This downtown dining destination, an open 7,000-square-foot, warehouse-like space featuring exposed ducts and brick walls, is warmed by playful touches such as cowhide stools, irreverent splashes of art, and dangling ropes of light bulbs. The menu from celeb chef Brian Malarkey, a “Top Chef” finalist and a mentor on ABC’s “The Taste,” offers creative spins on American comfort foods duck fat fries, bone marrow with onion jam, and pork butt with brandied apples and bacon, as well as bold preparations of seafood from the Southern California coast. Creative, seasonally-inspired cocktails also wow; the signature Peter Rabbit features basil- and lemon- infused gin with a pickled baby carrot. Beer lovers can sample some of the craft brews from local brewers such as Karl Strauss and Stone. There’s also a Del Mar outpost (12995 El Camino Rd, 858/869-5700).