San Diego’s East Village is where all the magic is happening. It’s where cool food ventures and innovative public projects meet, and it’s where I go if I want a dose of real city living. And the restaurants by CH Projects, the team behind Polite Provisions, Underbelly and many other uber-cool venues, is where I go when I want a dose of city eating.
This June CH opened the stylish East Village deli, Rare Form, followed by Fairweather, a rooftop bar with a penchant for tropical drinks two months later. The former is a dim, library-like space with banker’s lamps, Baroque-style paintings and religious undertones; my mind is still processing how or why those elements go together. That said, the sandwiches are well-made—the namesake Rare Form sandwich is a gigantic pastrami-filled ode to New York—and the fries are dynamite. They also make fresh lemonade, and though I can tell the ingredients are natural, it was neither here nor there. Out of everything we chowed down, the soft pretzel and dipping sauces were tops.
I liked Rare Form, sure. But I love Fairweather. I love the blue and white tiles on the front bar, the view atop Petco Park, the cozy banquettes, the Shazam-worthy salsa playlist, the intimate atmosphere and the bartenders, who hand you a menu and then throw in that they can actually make anything you want. Local cocktail king Anthony Schmidt gave Eaman a tropical play on a negroni, and for me, the best mocktail I’ve ever had. It was mixed with their house-made passionfruit syrup, and when I asked him about the recipe, it was refreshing to hear how much thought he put into a non-alcoholic drink. Let me tell you, that’s a rare thing.
Here’s a closer look at the deli-bar combo:
Disclaimer: Our meal and drinks were complimentary, but as always, all opinions are my own.