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Brian Malarkey's Searsucker update

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Clarifications on some of our goals: We are going to be opening for dinner only to start and then we plan on building our late-night business, serving food and booze until 2 a.m. on the weekends. Nothing says a good buzz bite better then rattlesnake-and-rabbit sausage, “DeadDog,” or eggs Benedict at 1:30 in the morning. I’ve always missed a fun and hip place to dine in the middle of the night since moving to San Diego six years ago. Then we’re going to open for lunch with an entirely different feel: counter service and very informal — chalk board meets fast and flavorful. Ten salads, 10 sandwiches, 10 bucks and 10 minutes. In and out, without the time or money commitment, in a fabulous environment. AND then if all is going well we’re going to go for the Sunday brunch scene in the heart of the Gaslamp: big, bold and beautiful on Sunday morning. Word is we may have some live music on the weekends. Wait and see — or wait and listen. I hope you all come enjoy the ride that is sure to be an adventure.

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/media...

  1. This place sounds like a disaster already.

    Also from the article:
    One more Searsucker bite: We are very excited to congratulate the restaurant in Brooklyn which last month opened up with our name likeness — Seersucker — and stole all of our fun by being mentioned as one of the worst-named restaurants in New York by the aptly named publication Fork in the Road. I agree that Seersucker is a ridiculous name, and I am extremely happy we went with “sear” to pay homage to the sea and the style of cooking. So much more appropriate.

    If you know the name is awful why would you ever name it that?

    2 Replies
    1. re: SDGourmand

      "If you know the name is awful why would you ever name it that?"
      ~~~~~~~~
      if it was anyone else i'd say they chose the name simply to get attention, because it clearly generated a buzz...but we all know Malarkey doesn't like to be in the spotlight, so that couldn't possibly be it.

      speaking of which, has anyone else seen his *awful* commercial for San Diego Kitchen and Bath?

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I think they should have chosen the name Malarkey. I wonder if that Is that is his real name.

    2. At least there will be some place where you can eat late now though right? And rattlesnake & rabbit sausage sounds interesting.

      1. I heard its like 7000 square feet. Pretty big.

        I do think this is a good move though: "serving food and booze until 2 a.m. on the weekends."

        That might be a gaslamp first.

        1. The name still makes me think of Sears Department Stores. Can't believe Brennan didn't put his foot down on that name.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mcgrath

            "I bought it a Sears and I was a sucker," my grandfather used to say.

            Stevewag's "hype machine" is in full blossom in that puff piece giving that much space to a chef who is best known for shucking oysters in a bad hat and an owner who has a much higher list of failures than successes. Good for all of us if it works out. Color me wary.

          2. Malarkey must not want anybody over the age of 25 or the IQ of oh let us say above 75 to set foot in his restaurant. Reading his blog, I cannot tell if he is serious, or his tongue is planted firmly in cheek. I know I may be getting towards the crotchy age but from that blog I have zero desire to goto that restaurant, and I really did like his stint on Top Chef, and I was hoping for so much more. This place looks like a train wreck waiting to happen.

            8 Replies
            1. re: littlestevie

              I don't think Malarkey resides on the planet "Reality" and does not have the wherewithal to firmly plant tongue in cheek. Also, despite the full blown "hype machine", isn't anyone keeping score of Brennan's track record? After brief, initial success, everything but Stingaree has failed. Six months. Tops.

              http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi...

              1. re: foodiechick

                BINGO..
                Who's advising these tools?

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Ah, but clearly the tools aren't very sharp...

                  1. re: DiningDiva

                    as the saying goes..not the sharpest tools in the tool shed.
                    my personal fav is...a taco short of a combo plate!

                    Re-reading the hype, I just don't see it..1:30am hungry for a 'deaddog'..WTF!
                    That's what taco shops are for..

                    I think the $10 bucks for a salad/sandwich in 10 minutes would work but what's gross, is that their so full of themselves and they would be better off wearing the Ed Hardy crap and just get it over with..

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Okay, clearly I'm old and don't get out much. What do I really know a "dead dog" as?

                      1. re: DiningDiva

                        DD..
                        It's from the article link above..
                        'Nothing says a good buzz bite better then rattlesnake-and-rabbit sausage, “DeadDog,” or eggs Benedict at 1:30 in the morning'

                        We'll keep the stool at Bully's East warm for ya...hee hee

                2. re: foodiechick

                  This one will probably have the same fate, besides who's going to miss it?

                  1. re: foodiechick

                    I dunno, I think this statement is pretty tongue in cheek and sounds like he knows Searsucker may not be the best name: "It’s just that the name “Cosmopolitan” sounds really weird for the area and the time. But what do I know? I named my place with “suck” in the middle of it."

                    He does have a point that "Cosmopolitan" is a pretty crappy name as well and does not fit Old Town at all.

                3. I like the "Sunday brunch scene ... big, bold and beautiful!"

                  I hope it's twice as big as Hash House.

                  I was all ready to love the place until I saw Brian's pose in the linked article. What corner is this on again?

                  1. Isn't serving rattlesnake a problem in California? I thought those Tivoli's Crazy Burger guys tried it, and then were force to take it off the menu

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Captain Jack

                      One of the vendors at the SD fair had it a couple of years ago, and I have not seen it since. Not there was a huge demand for it. Theirs was a rattlesnake chili, and if you did not know it was in there, you could not tell.

                      1. re: Captain Jack

                        Wurstkueche in LA has a rattlesnake & rabbit sausage on their regular menu

                      2. Judging by the responses, this place seems like it has all the makings of a chowhound favorite.

                        25 Replies
                        1. re: stevewag23

                          10 sandwiches, 10 bucks, 10 minutes!

                          1. re: stevewag23

                            I really don't see the purpose of this thread except for people to sound like elitists and complain, for a place that hasn't even opened yet. Rather pathetic.

                            and yet, I hate Fancy Hats and bedazzled shirts too.

                            1. re: MrKrispy

                              I understand your point, but I think people's cynicism about the Gaslamp is more than warranted given the history of the restaurants that open down there. Will Searsucker be different? Are there any early indications that this will be the case?

                              1. re: Josh

                                I think Brian Malarkey got generally favorable comments and reviews until the last year or so. To jump on the hater bandwagon simply because of his poor choice of stylish hats and even poor-er choice of a partner seems kinda pathetic to me. I don't think these comments would be any different if his locale was the East Village or Hillcrest.

                                1. re: MrKrispy

                                  Heard they plucked the two bartenders from Whisk n Ladle in La Jolla. Interesting to see what craft drinks will be paired with rattlesnake and rabbit sausage.

                                  1. re: MrKrispy

                                    Speaking for myself, his hats and partner aren't the issue. Perhaps I'm unable to see past my general antipathy towards the Gaslamp.

                                    1. re: MrKrispy

                                      I'm sorry, IMHO he is a hack, it has nothing to do with the Gaslamp location. While I think that Oceanaire has some good dishes, being that it is a national chain I give very little cred to his personal cooking skills.

                                      His so called jaunty attire of hats and shirts has nothing to do with my negative opinion. I think that, based on what I have read, and watched on top chef, he is not particularly intelligent or talented. He seems to bask in the fake PR headlights. None of the serious chefs in SD seem to give him any kind of heads up, nor does he appear to want to participate in anything like Cooks Confab.

                                      He lost Top Chef for many reasons, just like another local chef that has opened a new eatery - yet insists on serving his "signature" s'more dish that caused him to be eliminated from Top Chef.

                                      -----
                                      Oceanaire
                                      San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                        Confidence is one thing, but foodiechick nailed it when she stated that he seems to bask in the fake PR headlights..plus, he comes across as a bloviated ass..

                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                          It's funny to see the different reactions to this guy. I read the article he wrote and I didn't see anything that egregious there. It'd be wrong to judge him based on Top Chef, though I didn't think he came across badly there either.

                                          Television editing is very selective, and people who edit those shows tend to choose shots that emphasize the narrative they want to present. I have a friend who was on a pretty big reality show, and the way they portrayed her was pretty far from how she is in person.

                                          As I said before, my own negative reaction is purely based on my perception of Gaslamp eateries, and my cynicism that any place that opens there is more likely to be bad than good.

                                      2. re: MrKrispy

                                        I think it kind of turned against him a little once the Hype wore off and people realized the oyster shuckers were the true "stars" at Oceanaire.

                                        I am actually interested to see how this place will turn out, and I will check it out.

                                        1. re: MrKrispy

                                          I have to take exception with Mr. K's comments. I am not on the hater bandwagon because of his hat or his partner. I have been on it for a long time. I ate at Oceanaire its first month in town and three times thereafter and never had a piece of fish properly cooked. The bad hat made its appearance on TV some time later and the partner is simply icing on the cake. Being the fair-minded sort I am, I have long praised his ability to open and serve an oyster. Oh, I had a shrimp cocktail that he made at a food event once. That was pretty good, too.

                                          -----
                                          Oceanaire
                                          San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                          1. re: MrKrispy

                                            To me, the problem is, to steal a phrase from stevewag23, that the restaurant seems to be more hype than any real substance. I want to go to a place because of the food, ambiance, location and my perceived value of the experience. I would like to see the product that they put out. Don't give a bunch of blog feeds telling me that it is the greatest thing going. Or to rip off a movie line (sorta) "Show me the food!"

                                            1. re: littlestevie

                                              The whole celebrity chef culture bugs me. Or maybe it's the celebrity culture in general.

                                              1. re: Josh

                                                Agreed.

                                                1. re: littlestevie

                                                  Agreed where the celebrity part outshines the chef part. I don't care if Malarky is a celebrity if he maintains standards for his cooking. There are plenty of greatly hyped chefs who have restaurants that are consistently excellent (Cut, Mozza, Bouchon, Capanille as a few LA examples). But where a chef achieves some notoriety for something other than his/her food......feh.

                                              2. re: littlestevie

                                                I understand the cynicism here toward the Gaslamp and tend to the same, but for people to personally attack him before anyone has been to his place or tried his food away from the confines of a chain eatery seems silly.

                                                I am betting most of the haters here have never even spoken to the man. To grumble about the concept of celebrity chefs and then judge someone based on the artificiality of celebrity is utterly ridiculous.

                                                1. re: MrKrispy

                                                  He's chosen to lead a public life. Unfortunately, in this day and age, that makes you a target, deserved or not.

                                                  I think the question for most people is how much of his persona and the upcoming venue is smoke and mirrors vs. tangible and real.

                                                  By his own admission he likes the fame and attention. Also by his own admission, he wasn't all that great in culinary school but has gotten where he's gotten through perserverance and will power. So, is he more interested in maintaining his "fame" or more interested in putting out a good product. The cynic will say fame, the foodie will pray for product. The question remains - can he do both. Can Brian Malarky walk and chew gum at the same time?

                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                    and that was my point. You can't complain about someone's skills/personality strictly based on hype and celebrity on one hand and then also complain about celebrity [chef] culture on the other hand!

                                                    To equate, that is like complaining about how celebrity gossip/paprazzi crap is ruining our culture but then you also own a celebrity gossip website.

                                                    1. re: MrKrispy

                                                      MrK, I think you are absolutely right, but I'm going to have to jump in with why I'm already a little leery of Searsucker:

                                                      I thought the storefront was going to be a clothing store.

                                                      Backstory: I was participating in City Chase two weekends ago and, while traipsing through downtown, I came across a storefront lined with pictures of the same guy in various douchey poses and a fedora. He was wearing a different outfit in each pose. For a second, I thought it was going to be a new clothing store, and then it struck me that the guy looked awfully familiar. It was Malarkey and the photos were all about him... not the restaurant, not the food, not the nightlife.

                                                      I think it'll be interesting to see how Searsucker does and what kind of food he turns out. However, as a consumer of food, it's such a turnoff when the PR for a restaurant is all about a person and not the food.

                                                      1. re: geekyfoodie

                                                        I just saw this this morning and couldn't believe he would put his face all over the place like that. It's one thing to promote your business and use your face to help but to just promote yourself is pretty sad IMO.

                                                        1. re: geekyfoodie

                                                          First of all, who doesn't love to see 'various douchey poses' used in a post..
                                                          Nailed it geeky..spot on with the 'it's such a turnoff when the PR for the restaurant is all about the person and NOT the food'

                                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                                        The real question is

                                                        If Brian Malarkey did not exist, would it be necessary to invent him?

                                                        Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the fashion line of Fedora hats made from seersucker fabric, which apparently originated in India.

                                                      3. re: MrKrispy

                                                        I met him a long time ago, before he was famous. It was shortly before Oceanaire opened, and he was running an oyster/raw bar at a luxury goods show. I thought he seemed like a nice enough fellow. That's why I'm going out of my way to stress it's not him personally I have any issue with, it's just my views on Gaslamp eateries are cynical, and it sounds like you understand the reasoning why.

                                                        -----
                                                        Oceanaire
                                                        San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                                      4. re: littlestevie

                                                        The San Diego Hype Machine is really taking a life of its own.

                                                        1. re: stevewag23

                                                          No, in this case I think it's the SD CH board hype that's taking on a life of it's own.

                                              3. what is the problem? all of you are criticizing a restaurant that hasn't opened yet. give them a chance to show what they can do. even people you dislike can cook well.

                                                1. Lots of narcissism and schtick. Perfect for the Gascramp.

                                                  Six months? This just in kids, we are in a recession, I give it 4. There are many dedicated foodies out there affected by the economy, (ourselves included) who will simply not risk wasting money, time, and energy on a place that is using pictures of the chef to entice the taste buds. What, so I'm supposed to think, "Oh, dude in a fedora, the food must be good." ????

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Dagney

                                                    Ha! Gascramp. (keeper)

                                                  2. Looks like Monday (the 19th) is opening day. A Monday?

                                                    1. "he's trying to create a business, not a culinary work of art." - Everybody here is aware of it but he has an unusual way to create his business (which doesn't mean it is a bad way) with a parter who has a bad tracking record. My impression on this thread was that people don't expect great cusine anyway but are surprised how BM is trying to promote his business and if it is indeed the best way.

                                                      1. His seafood sausages at Oceanaire were quite tasty.

                                                        -----
                                                        Oceanaire
                                                        San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Captain Jack

                                                          That's the thing I was always wondering, CJ... Oceanaire is a chain, so were the dishes "his"? Or were they part of some corporate formula, etc.?

                                                          1. re: geekyfoodie

                                                            I think the sausages were Brian's thing. At least thats what he said when he made them on Top Chef. As I recall, they showed up at Oceanaire after that empisode aired.

                                                            -----
                                                            Oceanaire
                                                            San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

                                                        2. Folks, this thread is getting very unpleasant. We're going to lock it.