Two-star Michelin chef Jason McLeod has officially opened doors to Ironside Fish & Oyster in San Diego.
In partnership with powerhouse hospitality collective CH Projects (nationally renowned for craft cocktail venues such as Polite Provisions, Craft & Commerce, and Noble Experiment), Ironside is more than a year in the making, but is undoubtedly CH's most ambitious, culinary-focused concept to date.
Located in the heart of Little Italy at 1654 India Street, the stunning statement space is packed with provocative design elements and progressive architectural details. Ironside aims to reintroduce a rich oyster culture to San Diego, a known seaport city born from the local fishing industry that once existed as the tuna capital of the US.
Key people include:
- Executive Chef and Partner: Jason McLeod (Awarded Two Michelin Stars at RIA at the Elysian, Chicago; The Grand Del Mar, San Diego)
- Chef de Cuisine: Jose JoJo Ruiz (Searsucker, Herringbone, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Tower 23)
- Pastry Chef: Donna Antaloczy (Manresa, Los Gastos; Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery, Yountville; Gordon Ramsay at the London NYC, New York; Eleven Madison Park, New York)
- CH PROJECTS: Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment, Neighborhood, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, UnderBelly, Polite Provisions, Soda & Swine
The concept is So Cal's ode to the oyster. Surprisingly absent in California's southern-most city, is a rich oyster culture, one that is deeply engrained in coastal communities such as the Puget Sound of Washington State, or the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia and Maryland.
Executive Chef McLeod's goal at Ironside Fish & Oyster is to reintroduce this culture with an approachable raw-bar concept in San Diego, a known seaport city, born from the local fishing industry that once existed as the tuna capital of the US.
Born and raised along the seafood-abundant coastlines of British Colombia, a mere 90 minutes south of Fanny Bay, Chef McLeod was spoiled at a young age with plenty of local catch, but his favorite, undoubtedly, was the oyster. With over 25 years of culinary experience under his toque, Chef McLeod has traveled the world to train with several of the most prestigious chefs in the industry, including culinary icons Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White.
While Ironside will be Chef McLeod's first venture as an owner, it will certainly not be his first foray into developing a concept focused largely on seafood. In 2009, as the opening executive chef of RIA in Chicago's 5-Star Elysian Hotel, McLeod led a luxurious seafood-driven restaurant from being relatively unknown, to receiving two Michelin stars during its first year of operation—an honor that only two other restaurants in Chicago (Charlie Trotter's and Avenues) were awarded that year.
CH Projects spared absolutely no expense to transform the 4,500-square-foot, 1920s-era warehouse. At the epicenter of Ironside's $1.8 million build out is an impressive raw bar that is one of three open-air culinary hubs, offering guests a daily changing menu of bivalves, oyster flights, crudos, crab claws, seafood platters, house made mignonettes, and more.