Saffron Thai Expands To La Jolla


After 33 Years In Mission Hills, the legendary San Diego restaurant Saffron Thai is finally branching out this summer. Nearly 33 years after establishing its original location on India Street in Mission Hills, the iconic eatery is opening a second outpost to the north. The new Saffron Thai is scheduled to open this June at 1055 Torrey Pines Road, near downtown La Jolla. “I’m thrilled to expand Saffron to La Jolla,” says founder Su-Mei Yu. “Customers have been asking me for years to add more locations, but I haven’t found the right opportunity until now.”

As a long-time La Jolla resident, Yu is excited to create the new location in her proverbial backyard and adds, “I look forward to delighting my neighbors on this side of San Diego with the cuisine, convenience and affordability of Saffron.”

The expansion comes just over a year after Yu joined forces with San Diego hospitality firm Karina’s Group. Also successful veteran restaurateurs with popular dining establishments like Karina’s Mexican Seafood, Savoie Italian Eatery and Karina’s Ceviches & More, Karina’s Group will provide their design and operational expertise along with the capital needed to create the new Saffron. The space, which previously housed Chipotle, will undergo a facelift under the guidance of Karina’s Group’s David Contreras Curiel to reflect the fresh look of the recently remodeled location on India Street.

The finished product should be even more inviting than the original location with close to 2,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor seating.

“Saffron is such an on-going success story that we need to share it with other parts of San Diego, and La Jolla is a natural choice,” Curiel says. “The new space is large enough to accommodate a good number of guests, but small enough that we can maintain the high quality of the food, service and environment customers expect from us.”

The food and drink offerings will be mostly the same as those at the Mission Hills location. The menu, infused with Su-Mei’s food for the mind, body and soul philosophy, will feature her famous Salad Rolls, Thai Grilled Chicken, Stir Fried Noodles, Curries, Soups and Salads along with new additions like Healthy Thai Tacos and Curry Wraps.

About Saffron Thai

Saffron uses the freshest ingredients, using items based on the season, making sauces and broths from scratch, and preparing everything daily. The result is an award-winning menu that is both affordable and nutritious. Opened in 1985 by Su-Mei Yu, Saffron was San Diego’s first Thai restaurant. Yu’s unique approach of using healthy Thai cooking techniques to create delicious dishes that nurture the mind, body and soul earned her national acclaim and a loyal customer following at Saffron. As one of San Diego’s most loved culinary figures, Su-Mei is accomplished cooking instructor, Emmy nominated television personality and award-winning cookbook author. For more information, please visit SaffronThai [dot] com.

About Karina’s Group

In 1981, Arnulfo Contreras and his wife, Maria Ines Curiel, opened a small but ambitious restaurant in Spring Valley in the hope of providing a better life for their six children. Named for their eldest daughter Karina, this location closed when the family chose to expand the brand into a San Diego County-spanning group that now encompasses numerous Karina’s Mexican Seafood locations, Karina’s Taco Shop and the soon-to-open Karina’s Ceviches & More. An insistence upon on-target authenticity guides Karina’s restaurants daily, with a clientele willing to wait in line to enjoy their expansive menu of popular Mexican seafood specialties. Karina’s Group also includes Savoie Eatery in Otay Ranch Town Center and Su-Mei Yu’s iconic Saffron Thai in Mission Hills. For further information about Karina’s Group, please visit KarinasGroup [dot] com.