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Searsucker
Top Chef and club maven team up for a unique Gaslamp dining experience

San Diego

People from different worlds make the most successful teams, though technically, in Rush Hour 1-3 both Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan came from a world where nobody can understand what you're saying. Teaming up in the Gaslamp, the guys behind Searsucker.

Sear's a joint venture from club guru James Brennan (Stingaree) and culinary king Brian Malarkey (Top Chef 3 finalist & former Oceanaire exec chef), who brought in vaunted designer Thomas Schoos to create a wide-open "neighborhood restaurant" (no seersucker necessary save for server/chef aprons) made seriously eclectic via exposed beams & plumbing, unfinished wood tables intended to be spillage-stained, mismatched chairs, luxurious couches, and original Schoos artwork, including a piece instructing you to "EAT" -- which assumes your drinking is instinctual. Though there are no distinct divisions, there are three sections: a more traditional dining area next to the "exhibition kitchen" (w/ additional seating at the kitchen bar), a lounge, and a hulking horseshoe bar, with all sections serving up the full menu, the lighter side of which includes the Watermelon, Tomato & Honey Sherry Salad, Jalapeno Corn Off the Cob, and Fennel & Fingerling (potatoes that grow around 3rd base). Taking belts down a notch, there's Alaskan Halibut in bacon corn broth, Flat Iron Steak in chimichurri bearnaise, the deliciously overkilling Pork Butt w/ bacon butter, and Green Flash Short-Ribs -- a dish that might or might not exist despite everyone claiming to've seen it. And it was beautiful.

To make you comfortable with yourself and others, the bar's serving strictly local brews, carefully curated wines, and inventive cocktails from the mixperts at Snake Oil, including the "Lullaby" (High West Silver Whiskey/St. Germain/house rosewater/chamomile bitters) and the Zaya 12yr Rum/burnt sugar & and fresh cherry redux/pressed lime/tobacco cologne "Treaty of Paris" -- or, when every Parisian came together to prevent Rush Hour 4.

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1. Searsucker 611 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Created by Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey, Searsucker is a 7,000 square-foot restaurant whose classic American fare is crafted from locally-obtained ingredients. The beer on tap is local too, and there's also a fine wine list and an assortment of signature cocktails on the drinks menu.

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