It’s not even technically spring yet, but new restaurants and bars are popping up like weeds, making us happy the days are getting longer. (Maybe if there’s more time in the day to eat, there’s also more time in the day to walk/bike it off before hitting the beach?) We’ve reviewed a couple, but here are some more you need to check out!


the haven pizzeria, kelsey brookes art
The Haven Pizzeria
Kensington Cafe owner Lauren Passero is opening a new pizza spot in Kensington later this month. Celiacs will be excited to find a gluten free pizza crust option (there’s also regular and whole wheat). They’ll use local ingredients when possible, and the menu features basic and original pizzas (with sauces like hazlenut pesto and roasted garlic), as well as meatballs, roasted brussels sprouts and salads. A giant painting by artist husband Kelsey Brookes will decorate the space, and Passero gushes, “I am super excited about that! Its our first collaboration aside from our new daughter, Lively.” We’re excited too!
4051 Adams Avenue, Kensington

sycamore den
Sycamore Den
Coming this April, Sycamore Den is bringing us a totally new concept – a bar celebrating who dad was before the years and his kids may have made him a little less cool. Nick Zanoni (Thruster’s Lounge) and Eric Johnson from Noble Experiment are developing a craft cocktail program, and Bells & Whistles, who did a fantastic period piece with Starlite, will outfit the space to feel like an old family room. Sycamore is currently holding a contest on their Facebook page, asking followers to submit old family photos with dad (think: Dads are the Original Hipsters) and three winners will be incorporated into Sycamore Den’s design. Ahh, really wishing I could find photos of my dad with his afro…
3391 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights



great maple
Great Maple
Johnny Rivera of Tractor Room and Hash House a Go Go (which, P.S., has been replicating around the country pretty prolifically) has transformed Brian’s/Topsy’s into Great Maple. Not unlike Hash House, Great Maple serves large (not insanely large, more like above-average large) portions of seasonal food and is soon going to serve breakfast (they do serve brunch right now). But the food – lamb, burgers, flatbread pizzas, salads, pastas, small plates and pies – is more brasserie style, and the mid-century, “European dinette” space has a cool, Kings Highway at the Ace feel.
1451 Washington Street, Hillcrest/University Heights


heights tavern
Heights Tavern
A new sports bar (with two patios) serving good beer, craft cocktails and tavern food – like burgers, poutine fries and wings – all with the goal of being better than one would expect of a sports bar.
3377 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights


project pie san diego
Project Pie
This new pizza place in Hillcrest is one of the first of a quickly growing, fast/casual franchise operation. Build your own thin crust pie with local ingredients and they cook it up within a few minutes. They also have a Boylans soda fountain, which heaven probably has if heaven is a place and it’s real. Rubicon DEFINITELY has one though, so the west side of the city is a far safer bet and preferable option. And speaking of growing pizza joints, if LA’s Pitfire Pizza wanted to franchise its way out here, that would be OK with me. Too much pizza to choose from is a good problem to have.
3888 Fourth Avenue, Hillcrest