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Born & Raised Cost $6.5 Million to Build

Inside Little Italy's midcentury-modern marvel


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Illustration by Holly Exley

What does that kind of change get you? A 10,000-square-foot, two-level steakhouse with expertly dry-aged beef, tableside tartare, waiters in tuxedos and Converse sneakers, and framed portraits of rappers, all on a highly covetable corner in Little Italy.

“It’s a throwback to the old ’50s and ’60s posh steakhouse—somewhere your grandfather would go to—but we kicked up the luxury,” says Paul Basile, who was enlisted by CH Projects (Craft & Commerce, Ironside Fish & Oyster) for the design. He gave the 1930s-era building a midcentury-modern makeover with a touch of Art Deco design.

Rich leather booths, tambour walnut paneling, terrazzo flooring, and fluted sconces deck the first floor alongside eight top-lit columns. It’s eye candy like San Diegans aren’t used to seeing in a restaurant. “There was not one single element that didn’t have total thought and care put into it,” Basile says. “Everything was custom.”

The rooftop has garden vibes and nearly panoramic views, but it’s the bathrooms on this second floor that may be the most memorable of all: It’s kitschy ’70s opulence reminiscent of Elvis’s later years, plus cheeky inscriptions courtesy of CH cofounder Arsalun Tafazoli.

As Basile says, “We always want our bathrooms to be totally unique, a transport to a different place and something very unexpected.”

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