San Diego’s Lionfish Restaurant Receives 2019 James Beard Smart Catch Leader Accolade

Clique Hospitality’s Lionfish, the modern restaurant located inside Pendry Hotel in the heart of San Diego’s famed Gaslamp Quarter, is proud to announce its esteemed recognition as a James Beard Foundation Smart Catch Leader for 2019. Led by Executive Chef Jose “JoJo” Ruiz, Lionfish is a design-driven restaurant that offers modern coastal cuisine featuring fresh-catch cooking and seasonal ingredients, all prepared with innovative twists.

As one of the country’s most prominent culinary institutions, the James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch is a program created by chefs for chefs with the purpose of increasing the sustainability of the seafood supply chain. Lionfish offers both sustainable seafood and prime meats, and is one out of only three restaurants in San Diego to have earned this prestigious accolade.

Chef Ruiz brings local and sustainable products from the “sea to the table” and emphasizes the importance of using responsibly sourced items. Having studied under Michelin star and celebrity chefs, Ruiz has developed a network of fisherman and produce growers to ensure that the Lionfish kitchen uses only the freshest and most seasonal ingredients.

“We are committed to sustainable sourcing, and I’m really happy I’m able to support something as essential as Smart Catch with The James Beard Foundation. I care deeply about our oceans, growing up in San Diego, as it’s been a huge part of my life and lifestyle. I’m flattered to be a part of something that’s truly changing the way chefs and diners feel about food and the importance of sustainability in seafood,” says Ruiz of Lionfish.

Opened in February 2017 from Clique Hospitality, Lionfish quickly became one of the leading innovators in San Diego Restaurants. Chef Ruiz showcases his amazing talent in sushi, seafood and coastal cuisine to the airy two-floor dining room at the Pendry San Diego. As a technique-driven eatery, Lionfish sets itself apart from other restaurants in the city, showcasing careful precision that elevates each dish for the diner. Chef Ruiz prides himself with a seasonal San Diego-inspired menu of modern coastal cuisine serving fresh sustainable seafood.

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