There’s a new kid on the block in the busy downtown San Diego food scene: a restaurant and bar on 5th Avenue that boasts a rooftop space for mixing and mingling.
Rustic Root Rooftop and Restaurant – located at 535 5th Ave. in the Gaslamp Quarter – opened to the public in July, with finishing touches to the new business’ unique design completed last month.
The multi-level eatery includes a 2,500-square-foot rooftop space that serves food and has its own dedicated bar, plus quirky décor such as life-size animal topiary bushes.
Over in the main dining area on the lower floor, patrons will find features like a life-sized Sudoku wall and street-style lamps. The restaurant also includes a 500-square-foot downstairs patio that opens to the main dining room.
As for the menu, it features American cuisine with a focus on locally-sourced meats, produce and seafood, as well as housemade ingredients.
Noteworthy staples include the Duroc Double-Cut Prk Chop with apple rhubarb chutney; Furikake Crusted Hamachi; Elk Chops and Rustic Root Fried Chicken (RFC) served with habanero honey mustard – already a fan favorite among diners.
Appetizers include Firecracker Shrimp with Sriracha aioli and spicy sweet mango drizzle espelette and free-range Deviled Eggs with a classic filling and Thai chili.
Meanwhile, the bar mixes up a range of craft cocktails created by consulting mixologist Garth Flood, also of Cowboy Star.
The menu includes playful spins on timeless classics named after the year each cocktail was created, including the “1830: America’s Original Cocktail” – absinthe rinse, Rittenhouse rye, simple syrup, Peychaud’s Bitters and orange rind – and the “1902: Hemmingway Made it Famous,” which combines Bacardi White Rum with lime juice, simple syrup and a lime wheel.
The bar menu also includes Craft Cocktail Shots, sip-sized versions of classics such as the Manhattan, Margarita, Gimlet and Old-Fashioned with fancy garnishes.
Rustic Root is open Monday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and offers brunch Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and includes $2 off cocktails. For reservations and more info, visit the restaurant’s website.