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Coming Soon: Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

The West Group takes downtown with the launch of an exotic new restaurant and lounge concept.

The brains behind The West Group first introduced us to Bar West in Pacific Beach and The Griffin in Bay Park, two completely different nightlife destinations with one common thread: a clear and focused vision. Embracing PB culture, Bar West is an upscale nightclub with a laid-back attitude that has become a second home to local college students; while The Griffin is a revitalized neighborhood dive bar that appeals to a younger demographic with upgraded amenities and live music events. And now, The West Group is expanding downtown to redevelop the former Cheese Shop space on Fourth Avenue at Market Street – a prime location for any inspired eatery.

Breaking out of the nightlife genre, The West Group introduces Gaijin Noodle + Sake House, described to be an urban restaurant and lounge serving authentic Asian cuisine in a swanky setting with a hint of exotic mystique. The West Group partnered with a team of local professionals to bring this vision to life; including chef Antonio Friscia in the kitchen, Snake Oil Cocktail Co. behind the bar, and designer Jules Wilson everywhere in between.

Formerly of The Restaurant at Stingaree, Executive Chef Antonio Friscia is creating a new Asian-inspired menu for Gaijin that specializes in traditional noodle soups prepared with sustainable ingredients from local farms. Gaijin Noodle + Sake House found its basis and core values from childhood memories of warm bowls of pho and other Vietnamese dishes made by the owner’s mother, Juliette Reidy. When Mike Reidy recalled these tastes and teamed up with Chef Antonio Friscia, a passion for light-hearted Asian cuisine was shared. Gaijin is Japanese for foreigner, and gives the restaurant their objective for pushing innovative dishes to integrate fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients.

Another big culinary draw will be the Bincho Charcoal Yakitori Grill, a stimulating focal point featuring an indoor open flame. Meanwhile, Snake Oil Cocktail Co. is busy crafting a Pan Asian bar menu, which will showcase Soju and Sake infusions and a selection of quality cocktails and local brews. Inside, guests will greet a forest of match-stick trees and hanging lanterns in the bar lounge. Throughout the dining room, new age street art will adorn the historic exposed brick walls. San Diego designer Jules Wilson channeled a whimsical charm with an evocative edge. The interior space offers a juxtaposition of passion and power, playing with popular trends in a fresh new way.

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House is located at 627 Fourth Avenue in the buzzing center of the Gaslamp Quarter, and will serve Asian cuisine and cocktail infusions by day, evening and late-late-night on weekends, starting early spring 2012.

Trend Watch: Also check out UnderBelly Ramen House in Little Italy

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