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Jul 31, 2009 10:19 AM

SD Malarkey leaves Oceanaire

So I just read that Brian Malarkey is leaving Oceanaire and so far doesn't seem to be giving up any information about his future plans. Does anyone know any other details?

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  1. Guy was decent if not overrated.

    I wonder if he knows something that we do not about Oceanaires future in town.

    I said before that I think that place shutters.

    1. It's temporary. He's taking the time off for paternity leave and will be back in 6 weeks.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DougOLis

        Thanks, saw that elsewhere a few minutes ago.

        I think this sentence in the article is misleading and lead to confusion: "He wouldn’t say what his next place of employment might be, or if he is planning on opening his own restaurant."

        Retraction: BRIAN MALARKEY is not leaving Oceanaire, only taking a 6 week paternity leave. Tried to take down my original post but site would not allow. Apologies.

        1. re: foodiechick

          Time will tell.

          It is not a stretch to think Oceanaire made him say that to help with damage control.

          Or offered him more cash to stick around.

          1. re: stevewag23

            it's also not a stretch to follow your initial instinct that the restaurant's future may be in question. Oceanaire filed for bankruptcy protection last month and closed several locations. Malarkey may very well have every intention of going back at the end of his paternity leave, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will still be a restaurant for him to go back to.

      2. Instead of "Searsucker", do you guys think he should call his new restaurant "Fedora"?

        10 Replies
          1. re: stevewag23

            "Jaunty Hat". Or just "Jaunty" I guess.

            1. re: stevewag23

              Fedora sounds a heck of a lot better!

              1. re: daantaat

                Ha. You know, when I first posted this I was completely joking.

                But now I actually think "Fedora" is a great name for a restaurant. And Perfect for him.

                It really grew on me (so to speak).

                If he uses it, he better kick me a finders fee.

                Or at least a few meals and bottles of red "on the arm".

                I will watch this one closely.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    or..' Bunch of Malarkey'?

                    You can have the Fedora tilted on the 'B'..
                    ; )

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Or, get some seersucker fabric and make a fedora out of it.

              2. re: stevewag23

                Seersucker reference. If Garfield refers to it, it has to be mod:


              3. A year later, he's on the front page of - a link to this article:


                Be nice!

                32 Replies
                1. re: FireFlyFiftyFive

                  OMG...the man likes Dungeness crab, blackberries and rice krispie treats, 3 of my favorite things too. I may have to revise my previous opinions. 4-F, thanks for the link

                  1. re: FireFlyFiftyFive

                    You know he is probably a really nice guy. It must be hard to be in the spot light and everything you do or say questioned. Is he a Chef on the level of other Top Chef contestants Like Michael or Brian Voltaggio ...probably not. That said he cam probably produce good food. Hey, he is trying to branch out and open his own place more power to him. His business partner choice may be his downfall.

                    1. re: chris2269

                      Since the Searsucker thread has been locked for nastiness... heading down to Comic Con and Searsucker now seems to be open...

                      1. re: Ewilensky

                        Opening is perfect with the Con going on and opening on Monday gives them a few days to work out any initial kinks just before the crowds arrive. You're going to report, right, E?

                        1. re: geekyfoodie

                          Only if I can report in Klingon. I thought the Gagh wasn't very fresh.

                          Joking aside, walked back by on way to car and a decent crowd was inside. Didn't stop to check out the menu. Had two bags full of books and a veggie burrito from El Comal waiting at home for me.

                          Will peek in tomorrow on my way back down.

                          El Comal
                          262 3rd Ave, Chula Vista, CA 91910

                          1. re: Ewilensky

                            HAHAHAHA. How dare they serve dead Gagh. Ain't worth eating unless it's writhing on the plate.

                            He posted a picture of the interior at opening. The decor looks pretty cool. From their meal testing, there was something he called a tomahawk steak. Big cut with a huge portion of the bone sticking out. Looked good.

                            Are you still cutting down on the beer? Apparently there's supposed to be craft beers, too.

                            1. re: geekyfoodie

                              There is ar article in todays NC times about the restaurant. A tomahawk steak was mentioned. It did seem to focus more on the food than the vibe, which is a good thing. Sorry I am really bad about giving links.

                                  1. re: SDGourmand

                                    did anyone else catch this line from the NC Times article about choosing the restaurant's name?

                                    "The only adaptation Malarkey made was a new spelling with "Sea" at the beginning to showcase his cooking expertise in seafood."

                                    i consider myself to be rather observant, and i can usually spot clever wordplay in business names pretty easily, but i always figured the spelling was a nod to the act of cooking, as in *searing* - i really can't imagine that most people will see a seafood reference there...?

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      I thougt the same don't see how anyone would think of the sea in searsucker.

                                      1. re: SDGourmand


                                        While the "sea" may provide a subtle hint, a nuance, a soupçon of ocean gifts, it is outweighed by the 500 lb gorilla of the term "sucker".

                                  2. re: littlestevie

                                    I checked out the menu today. Definitely no consisent theme to it but this isn't to say the dishes themselves didn't read well. There was a beef cheek dish I wouldn't mind trying out. Biggest thing I saw was that pricing was all over the map and tended to be on the high end. Salmon and beets were I think $28, which is pretty high. That Tomahawk Ribeye was priced at $75. I don't see too many of those chops getting sold, even on a busy night. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of this current menu change quickly, hopefully that will include better pricing.

                                    1. re: mjill

                                      I've heard from someone at one of the soft opening nights that the all-over-the-mapness of their menu was pretty apparent, and seemed not to work so well. They did say the small plates and cocktails were good, and they might go back for those.

                                        1. re: bizzwriter

                                          It didn't mention it was for 2 on the menu. I saw a picture of it on Gourmand's link above which makes me think it is for 1. It doesn't look that big in the picture (ie. worth $75 if you wanted to splurge). Putting it on a extra small plate isn't tricking me into thinking it is bigger than it actually is.

                                        2. re: mjill

                                          He posted a picture of the Tomahawk steak a little while ago on twitter. I don't think I have seen 32-ounces of steak look quite so unappetizing.


                                          1. re: foodiechick

                                            Somebody please take away that guy's camera and revoke his license to shoot. The only reason to publish an image is to ENHANCE business, not send us running away with a tight grip on our hard-earned dollars.

                                            And running all the way to the promised land of Berlin, where all food is superior.

                                            and that looks like 16 ounces of bone. But one could grab it in a greasy fist and wave it over one's head like a global tyrant. If you're into that sort of thing.

                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                              FN, you must have been speechless to the point where your words failed you. I should think a photo that unflattering - to the food, the plate and the photog - would have elicited much more eloquent reaction ;-).

                                              Wow, about the best thing I can say about that plate is that the crispy onions look good. White on white broken up by some dull brown. I hope the photo was taken during recipe testing and the final presentation doesn't really look like that. If I'm spending $75 on a steak, I think I need a little bit more bang for the buck!

                                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                                Ya know, good photography is tough, and good food photography is tougher. So I hold it against noone that tries to take a solid image. Just as I'd hope Malarkey wouldn't criticize my own cooking.

                                                But to choose to send an image like that out is yet another thing. That dish might be the single best steak dinner ever created, but it makes me want to head on up to my pal Sergio for a CAB. A drive thru CAB.

                                                Nah- I try not to crack on the photography of others. Except if they're shooting flash photography in a fine dining establishment (like the sample appearing here). At that point, the frites go flinging. Food bloggas, chill out with your flashes, please.

                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                  Leaving aside the trainwreckedness of the photo for a moment, wtf is on the steak? It looks like a pile of spaghetti and ranch dressing.

                                                  1. re: Josh

                                                    looks like fried onions & cream sauce to me.

                                            2. re: foodiechick

                                              OK, seriously, i've *tried* to defend Malarkey over the years but that plate just looks vile.

                                              1. re: foodiechick

                                                OMG I was thinking here we go again, more bashing before the joint even opens, but then I looked at that picture. My eyes, my eyes!!! I've got to agree. That reminds me of a spatula crusted with ancient spaghetti left hanging around by a college roommate notorious for never doing her dishes, circa 1980. Thanks for the flashback. Maybe she's putting her talents to work at Seersucker.

                                                1. re: Island

                                                  When I see that picture, the theme from The Flintstones cues up in my head and starts playing...
                                                  I wonder if Mr. Fedora has a publicist. If he does, he needs a better one.

                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                    I have not sampled this dish (who knows - could possibly be a hound-worthy dish), nor any of the other food at this new establishment, but the fact that someone (whether it was Mr. Malarkey himself or some hired-gun, social media person tweeting on his behalf) posted that horribly designed, amateur and unappetizing photo to proudly represent their $75 dish to the public, demonstrates (IMO) poor judgment, some arrogance, and their lack of comprehension of what this market will bare. Why wouldn't they put more effort into images that support their marketing statements of Chef's great food...the website is not even live yet with menus to peruse.

                                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                                      Hmmm...I think we need to take a road trip to the Gaslamp and actually *try* this place so we can speak of Seersucker with some experience and authority rathet than relying on personal opinion (even if those opinions may be correct). If not...all we're doing is reprising the blindmen and elephant.

                                                      Anyone up for *actually* trying this place now that it's open?

                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                        I plan on stopping by sometime this week once Comic Con blows out of town. Foodie, I think in Gourmand's link there were pictures of the menu if you want to check it out.

                                          2. re: geekyfoodie

                                            I am. But after 10 hours at the Convention yesterday I walked back to my car and had a Pliny the Elder at Johnny Browns. It was delicious. Like the Empire Strikes Back of beers.

                                            Johnny Brown's
                                            1220 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                                            1. re: Ewilensky

                                              Vinnie is a sheer genius at creating interesting and very enduring beers. As inexpensive as beer really is, there is no reason not to continually seek beers like this out.

                                1. Here is a better pic of the steak. My questions is, why is a 32oz steak in a bowl?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: SDGourmand

                                    Better question, why take the time to put grill marks on the steak when you're just covering it up with a bunch of crap?

                                    1. re: SDGourmand

                                      Good question. Does it make it easier to get the sauce onto every morsel and eat, or does it make it harder. While this photo is infinitely better than the one FC posted, it still doesn't make me want to run right down to the Gaslamp and order it.

                                      Maybe this is one of those menu items that's there for show but that the restaurant doesn't really want you to order?

                                      1. re: SDGourmand

                                        I'll agree that's a different shot of the steak. But while it might be a great steak, it appears to be a $7.50 great steak. I'm even less likely to buy it now.

                                        It's off to Super Sergios for me.

                                        I completely agree we cannot and should not make decisions about this place based on here-say and innuendo, whichever endo from which it comes. But certainly can comment on the images of the food thus far, and will maintain I'm qualified to do so.

                                        Super Sergio's
                                        4125 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111