Rustic Root Fare

Rustic Root to Boast Gaslamp Quarter’s Only Dedicated Rooftop Restaurant

Rustic Root

Award-Winning RMD Group, Hospitality Expert Ken Lovi and Executive Chef/Partner Antonio Friscia to Launch Second Restaurant Venture in the Gaslamp Quarter

RMD Group, the innovative development and management team behind recognized venues including mega-club FLUXX, along with Ken Lovi, founder and CEO of Knotty Barrel Gastropub, and Executive Chef / Partner Antonio Friscia will open Rustic Root in May 2015 in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Following the successful opening of their first venture, Don Chido, which opened in June 2014, Rustic Root is set to become the Gaslamp Quarter’s only dedicated rooftop restaurant.

“Rustic Root marks our second restaurant venture in Downtown San Diego, and it is important to us that we continue to showcase both our culinary creativity and conceptual range,” said Michael Georgopoulos, RMD Group partner. “Rustic Root combines our reputation for service with Ken Lovi’s expertise and Chef Antonio Friscia’s culinary talent, and we’re confident it will elevate Downtown San Diego’s dining scene with a unique menu and unparalleled guest experience.”

True to its name, Rustic Root will showcase a dynamic menu of rustic American cuisine with a spotlight on locally sourced meats, produce and seafood and house-made ingredients, from Executive Chef Antonio Friscia and his culinary team. The Rustic Root menu will be anchored by signature staples including the double cut, bone-in pork chop with apple rhubarb chutney and parsnip puree, other highlights from the menu will include the seared Hamachi, elk chops and a unique twist on the classic surf & turf dish, featuring steak tartar and Hamachi crudo.  With over 25 years of culinary industry experience, Executive Chef Friscia’s dedication to using local and regional purveyors, as well as organic and sustainable suppliers can be seen throughout his careful selection of ingredients.       

“The Rustic Root menu features high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients that will transform simple, rustic American favorites into flavorful, unexpected and seasonally-infused dishes,” said Executive Chef and Partner Antonio Friscia. “This is my food. It will draw from the coastal influences I grew up with in San Francisco, and combine them with the techniques and flavors that I have come to appreciate throughout my career.”

Rustic Root

Signature dishes will complement a unique menu of craft cocktails thoughtfully created by Consulting Mixologist Garth Flood.  A member of the U.S. Bartenders Guild and most notably known for his current role as beverage director at San Diego hotspot Cowboy Star, Flood has created a unique cocktail menu that will include playful spins on timeless, iconic and classic cocktails.  Paying tribute to the year the cocktail was created, Rustic Root’s cocktail program will include timeless cocktails such as the “1980” cosmopolitan, the “1941” mule, the “1902” daiquiri and the “1830” sazarac, also known as America’s original cocktail, to name a few.  Another standout element of the new cocktail program will be signature craft cocktail shots—sip-size versions of cocktail classics, including the Manhattan, Negroni, Gimlet and Old Fashioned, finished with a variety of curated garnishes.

Designed by the visionary and nationally acclaimed interior design team at Davis Ink Ltd., the multi-level Rustic Root will include a 500 square-feet downstairs patio that opens to the main dining room on the lower floor as well as a rooftop space that will also serve food and be home to its own dedicated bar.  The 2,500 square-feet main dining area will feature a life-sized Sudoku wall, lighting features that include overhead colander lamps and street-style lamps that pay homage to the Gaslamp’s signature street lamps. The equally sized 2,500 square-feet rooftop space will be dotted with life-size animal topiary bushes, all set under glowing market lights. OCIO Design Group has also been hired on as the architect alongside RMD Development—RMD Group’s construction division.

Rustic Root will serve dinner daily starting at 4 p.m. in the restaurant and rooftop, and a late-night menu on the rooftop. Rustic Root is located at 535 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.  For more information on Rustic Root, please visit:

Connect with Rustic Root on Facebook, or follow Rustic Root on Twitter @RusticRootSD and Instagram @RusticRootSD.

About RMD Group

With more than 50 years of combined experience in the industry, RMD Group has emerged as a driving force in the nightlife and entertainment industry.  They have designed and developed a thriving collection of hospitality and lifestyle destinations that include award-winning FLUXX nightclub in San Diego.  Venturing further into the hospitality industry, RMD Group opened their first restaurant, Don Chido, in May 2014 and looks forward to opening their second restaurant, Rustic Root almost one year later.  RMD’s extensive expertise in design, development, management and A-list talent continues to elevate the level of effectiveness the hospitality industry can attain. 

About Ken Lovi

Ken Lovi, CEO and founder of The Knotty Barrel Gastropub, brings more than 25 years of experience in management and ownership.  Having opened over 12 pubs, fine dining restaurants and nightclubs over his career, Lovi’s focus on menu development, service and management recruiting led him to become vice president and managing partner of Moose Restaurant Group, where he served for 15 years, before moving on to establish The Knotty Barrel Gastropub.

About Antonio Friscia

Chef Antonio Friscia has over 25 years experience in the restaurant business, having served as chef-partner at the acclaimed Stingaree Nightclub & Guest House, Gaijin Noodle & Sake House, Campine: A Culinary & Cocktail Conspiracy and his current role as Executive Chef of Don Chido. While each endeavor highlights a unique expression of Antonio’s culinary savvy, his true passion for the industry lies in working alongside his comrades in a way that allows each to evolve beyond the walls of their respective restaurants to bring the best of their offerings to guests in truly unique settings. JPR

Rustic Root Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato