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Well this is sad news: El Take It Easy to shutter on April 22

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  1. Bummer, hopefully the new concept is more successful.

    1. I can't say I'm impressed with the new concept. Does sd really need a new burger joint?

      20 Replies
      1. re: sf415

        I wait until I see the full menu but on one side I am not really looking forward to any new burger place in SD but at the same time a restaurant is a business and it is quite obvious that one (and nearly the only concept) in SD which seems to be always successful are burger places. I hope at the end Hubcap will have some burgers but also many other "american" inspired dishes.

        1. re: sf415

          Where did you see what the new concept is going to be?

            1. re: honkman

              Lame. Guess Jay just wants to make some money now?

              1. re: DougOLis

                Isn't part of the objective in being self employeed to make money?!?!??? Where is it written that restauranteurs have to suffer for their art and not make money :-(

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  It's always good to see restaurants be successful and make money. That being said, only three years.... seems very short, I mean a toddler is barely potty trained in that time period. It takes a lot of effort and capital to remodel and change direction. If everything was so great why would you need to change it.

                  1. re: cstr

                    I don't think I was advocating for ETIEZ to stay as it was or not change. The only point I was trying to make is that any restaranteur is in business TO make money. Whether ETIEZ was or was not is nothing more than speculation on our part, unless, of course, Jay has shared his balance statement with you ;-)

                    I have to give him props for trying something different in SD and offering menus that were, if nothing else, pretty interesting. Not all San Diegans are willing to go SOB to experience the cuisine of Baja, and it would appear that neither are they willing to stay NOB to experience it. Or it may simply be that with the lifestyle changes Jay and his wife have made (i.e. the SF piece) that ETIEZ has run it's course and it's time to do something different. Frankly, I'm interested to see the spin they put on burgers. And if it turns out to be a more profitable venture, good on them. Both the Linkery and ETIEZ were intensely personal reflections of the owner, don't you think his burger concept will be too?

                    1. re: DiningDiva

                      I only hope it will not a burger-only concept but something in the direction of American comfort food. Urban Solace started like that and got over the years more "upscale" but it would be interesting to see Jay's vision with mix of Urban Solace (old) and Linkery. I also hope he is not limiting himself by having everything cheaper than $10. $15 would give him more room to play but still attract people with cheap prices compared to other restaurants

                      1. re: honkman

                        Hubcaps, burgers, vintage american....I am gonna grab the low-hanging fruit here and call a Corvette Diner rip-off concept :). Maybe no poodle skirts, but plenty of tats, taters and ten dollar, pastured shakes. Hodad's has license plates, will Hubcap have hubcaps on the wall?

                        I am just having a tough time these days getting excited about products that have been commoditized to death. Sure, Hubcap will be a reflection of the owner, but every time a burger joint opens, it brings its own <insert our unique spin on the classic burger joint here> and when Umami Burger finally comes to SD, it will bring its own <insert angle here> to the burger and when Queensland Public House opens in LIttle Italy next week, it will...oh wait, that's the BareBack Grill guys with 15 burgers on the menu... It's just getting a little long in tooth for me.

                        That being said, best of luck to Hubcap. I am sure i will check it out on an upcoming 30th on 30th.

                        1. re: Stiflers_Mom

                          I don't think this new concept will be only a reflection of the owner but much more a reflection of what is possible and sustainable in SD. Every restaurant in SD over the last 10 years who tried not to be absolute mainstream, Region, Blanca, Better Half, Cafe Cerise, Asia-Vous etc failed miserably not due to continuously bad food but missing customerbase. And let's be realistic none of these restaurants tried to be overly creative but every chef we talked of these restaurants mentioned that they would like to be much more creative but that's the maximum they think is doable in SD - and they still were way too far out for SD. So I don't think of Jay as going for the burger place is selling out or going for the low-hanging fruits but just going for the few remaining fruits on the tree.

                          1. re: honkman

                            "customerbase" - only a German would make one word out of that. :)

                            I'd be curious to hear Jay's thoughts on this new concept, but I'll be patient and wait a few weeks.

                            1. re: RB Hound

                              You should just follow Germans and combine more words, it makes life much easier

                              1. re: honkman

                                I agree. The possibilities are wonderful:

                                UpscaleBurgerFadComplaint

                                WhereIsTheBestPlacetoEatintheGaslightPost

                                BerlinStyleDonnerKabobThread

                                FakeyDon'tDoNorthof8Post

                                RBHoundoffonanotherTangentPost

                      2. re: DiningDiva

                        Will there be any optiion for this type of food in SD? I guess Romesco's but felt like that place was having a serious indentity crisis the one time I was there.

                        sad news indeed.

                        1. re: Saabiar

                          I would agree that Romesco's tends to be uneven. I've had some really good chow there and then some that left me scratching my head.

                        2. re: DiningDiva

                          Oh sure Jay shares everything, including his financial status with me, snark! What I am saying, from a business perspective, 3 years is quite lean when it comes to investing in any business. Need I go into the past where restaurants failed and private investors got burned. As for SOB, the chow is great but, the risk of being safe is greater as witnessed by recent news reports of it being dangerous to even go to Baja Cal. I do wish Jay and co all the best, I really enjoyed both of his places.

                          1. re: cstr

                            Yes, you would like to think that the "long haul" is longer than 3 years in an investment.

                            I thought Baja, particularly the TJ/Ensenada corridor was off the State Dept. "do not go" list. Unless a culinary tourist is looking to score some contraband, they aren't the target. I don't think safety is as much the issue as it is the dreadful process to cross back NOB. That's a deterrent if there ever was one.

                      3. re: DiningDiva

                        I have no problem with him making money but it definitely seems like he's selling out. Previously he was about doing something different and creating positive change in the community (which I think he certainly has done); a fancy Corvette Diner is just going along with so many other restaurants. At times ETIEZ was very good and they had some great dishes over the years but too often those dishes disappeared. Maybe that's more of an indictment of the San Diego diners than anything and it sucks to lose a restaurant that was actually trying.

                        1. re: DougOLis

                          I do agree that it sucks to lose a restaurant that's really trying to do something unique and different. I also think it's probably pretty hard to run that type of restaurant from 500 miles away no matter how wonderful, loyal and trustworthy your employees are ;-).

                          It'll be interesting to see what he does with the ubiquitous burger concept.

                  2. re: DougOLis

                    Burgers? Hmmmm, never had that before.

                    Someone mentioned Romesco's having and ID crisis and I have to agree. Last time I went (about a year ago) they ditched most anything they had before that was Mexican and pretty much went all Italian. It was pretty ho-hum.

                    I never went to ETIEZ but the two times i've been to Linkery I was not impressed and just never bothered to give it a 3rd try.

                2. Wish him well...pie shop would kick serious ass..

                  1. Gota wonder if the SF project is taking a lot of Jay's time.

                    1. Yeah, I can't say that I'm all too thrilled about "Hubcap" - after all, there are about multiple places on 30th with a similar concept, along with dozens of other places in San Diego.

                      Honestly, the concept of ETIEZ was fine - an upscale Mexican cantina - but the execution was bizarre. The most recent menu has ramen and tacos. Sometimes there was country ham on the menu, sometimes not. It never made sense.

                      Now if this was an upscale dining establishment, with a great chef cooking good food, Jay could've gotten away with it. But instead, it tried to be a little bit of everything, and ended up confusing.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jmtreg

                        I don't think they've had ramen on the menu for a while now (it never made sense to me, either). The current menu on their website focuses only on tacos and a few plates (aguachile, cezar, etc) and is one of the best I've seen in a long time.

                        1. re: Señor Andy

                          Then its a shame it took Jay so long to figure out the concept.

                          1. re: Señor Andy

                            I don't think the problem was so much the concept as the taste in relation to the price.

                            The few times I ate there, the food seemed expensive and horrible in taste. I actually drove over to Super Cocina afterwards.