Mendocino Farms, Southern California’s beloved sandwich destination with a mission of helping guests “Eat Happy,” is pleased to announce the opening of its 15th restaurant location in The Shops at La Jolla Village in the La Jolla area of San Diego. Mendocino Farms features a dynamic chef-driven menu that changes with the seasons and offers guests a gourmet fast casual dining option at affordable prices. Devoted to partnering with local farms and food artisans to create inspired dishes, the culinary team specializes in approachably adventurous sandwiches and salads using fine dining-quality techniques and ingredients. The new Mendocino Farms restaurant is located adjacent to Whole Foods Market, and will be one of the premier dining destinations for the newly redeveloped shopping center and immediate surrounding neighborhoods.
With all previous locations in the LA and Orange County areas, Mendocino Farms’ arrival in San Diego is the realization of a long-time aspiration for husband and wife owners Mario Del Pero and Ellen Chen. A UCSD alum, Ellen had always hoped to put down roots in her college town as San Diego itself holds much significance for the pair, including the site of their engagement at Del Mar’s Dog Beach. Over the course of building the Mendocino Farms brand, San Diego always remained in their sights as a preferred destination, and entering the marketplace in La Jolla has been a serendipitous culmination of efforts.
The initial La Jolla offerings will consist of Mendocino Farms’ new Winter Menu, featuring seasonal specialties like the Braised Short Rib & French Onion Melt made with 4-hour red wine braised short ribs, “French onion soup” onions, melted Havarti cheese, horseradish crema, and Scarborough Farms’ arugula on a toasted pretzel roll; and Chef Judy’s Korean Chicken Meatball Sub, which pairs caramelized free range chicken meatballs with pickled Asian mushrooms, kimchi aioli, jalapenos, and a kale-carrot-scallion slaw in a rice wine vinaigrette all tucked inside a toasted soft roll. You can also expect signature Mendocino Farms favorite sandwiches including the Pork Belly Banh Mi, a play on the Vietnamese classic made with rich, caramelized Kurobuta Pork Belly, bright pickled daikon and carrots, chili aioli, and spicy fresh jalapeño on panini-pressed ciabatta. Though the popular eatery has built its reputation on its innovative, chef-driven sandwich creations, their flavorful and unique entrée salad offerings have also garnered their fair share of fans. Choose from mouthwatering options like the Avocado & Quinoa Superfood Ensalada, a flavor- and nutrient-packed powerhouse featuring butter lettuce and romaine, kale, housemade “superfood krunchies” (a healthfully addictive blend of crunchy fried quinoa, millet, heirloom red rice, and nutritional yeast), Cotija cheese, and a black bean, roasted corn, and jicama succotash; or the Save Drake Farm’s Salad featuring Scarborough Farm’s greens, free range chicken breast, pink lady beets, dried cranberries, honey roasted almonds, and a generous portion of Herbes de Provence-marinated goat cheese from Drake Family Farms in Ontario, California, where every single goat has a name and is treated like a pet.
Mendocino Farms is thrilled to partner with Chef Christine Rivera of San Diego locals’ favorite Galaxy Taco to create a specialty sandwich exclusively for the La Jolla location’s opening menu. The two restaurants’ chefs worked together to conceptualize Chef Christine’s Torta de Lomo, a traditional braised pork torta-style sandwich with escabeche ensalada, Cotija cheese, black bean spread, avocado, and chipotle aioli on a panini-pressed soft roll. Always with a mind for giving back to the community, Mendocino Farms will donate 100% of proceeds from sales of the sandwich – at a price point of $11.95 – to ECOLIFE Conservation for a one-month promotion that runs through January 8th. The charity of Chef Christine’s choosing, ECOLIFE Conservation is devoted to championing techniques like Aquaponics (which uses 90% less water and land compared to traditional farming) and other simple sustainable solutions that address the problems associated with large-scale farming practices.
Another exclusive offering coming soon to the La Jolla location is artisanal, small batch soft serve ice cream from Chef Shiho Yoshikawa of Sweet Rose Creamery (Rustic Canyon restaurant group). Sweet Rose crafts their ice cream from scratch in their GMO-free kitchen in Santa Monica, CA using premium ingredients like 72% Guittard chocolate, hand-scraped vanilla beans, Clover Organic Farms dairy, and Chino Family Farms organic eggs. In addition to the classic flavor options – vanilla bean gelato, chocolate custard and swirl – Mendocino Farms guests will choose from two chef-driven sundaes: the Malt Chocolate Crunch Sundae, a decadent combination of vanilla bean gelato soft serve topped with malted cocoa syrup and chocolate malt ball dust, and Dottie’s PB&J Sundae, with vanilla bean gelato soft serve, peanut butter syrup, fresh blueberry coulis and peanut butter cookie crumble.
The fresh fare at Mendocino Farms La Jolla is complemented by a selection of wine and local San Diego craft beer on tap, including Bitter Brothers’ Aunt Joy and Little Brother Citra IPA, Modern Times’ Fruitlands Blood Orange & Hibiscus, and Karl Strauss’ Follow the Sun Kolsch. Additional seasonal soup and deli salad specials rotate weekly and include options such as a creamy, curried Israeli couscous salad with roasted cauliflower and carrots; and a raw shaved beet and carrot salad with black rice, ginger, citrus, and toasted hazelnuts. Weekly specials can be found online at www.mendocinofarms.com and through their social media channels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Extensive and flexible catering options are available daily for pickup and/or delivery, perfect for office and school functions or upscale entertaining at home. The catering menu includes a diverse list of Mendo’s favorite sandwiches arranged in signature blue trays, as well as flavorful hors d’oeuvres and sides like the Chili-Rubbed Chicken Skewers, the Charcuterie & Artisan Cheese Platter, mini cocktail sandwiches, a selection of seasonal green salads, and gourmet whole grain and pasta salads.
Designed to serve as a natural and welcoming neighborhood gathering place, the family-friendly layout has an inviting, open atmosphere with both indoor and patio seating, as well as a designated kids’ area with a chalkboard wall and pint-sized activity table. With a nod to the bohemian persuasion of 1970s Venice Beach and the clean, classic feel of a French brasserie, the space is accented in tones of gray, blue, and white, with such eye-catching features as fully-tiled flooring, a Carrera marble communal table, custom two-sided couch, and large twisted rope chandelier in the center of the dining room. On the patio a plant-centric ‘living wall’ creates a fresh and comfortable haven from the surrounding shopping plaza, and guests can enjoy a variety of seating options and foosball table in the active and airy space.
Mendocino Farms La Jolla is located at 8795 Villa La Jolla Drive in The Shops at La Jolla Village. The restaurant is open daily from 11 AM to 9 PM, with phone lines opening as early as 8 AM for catering and takeout orders. To learn more about Mendocino Farms, visit their website at www.mendocinofarms.com. For information regarding sponsorship or community partnership opportunities please reach out to Deanna Durst at firstname.lastname@example.org.