La Jolla ex-chef heads cooking team at OB's Espresso Cucina
Jun 03, 2014 | 1176 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Espresso Cucina's decor features clean lines and a symmetrical color scheme.  COURTESY PHOTO
Espresso Cucina's decor features clean lines and a symmetrical color scheme. COURTESY PHOTO
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Italian cuisine always seemed to work for the old Espresso Pizza. The popular Ocean Beach eatery served it with speed and pride as far back as the early 1970s. It built its reputation for service well before then, when it was first open as a malt shop in the 1940s.

Time marches on, and the malt shop and pizza place are gone. In their steads stands Espresso Cucina, recently reopened after a four-month facelift that features a new chef late of La Jolla, artwork by local artists and a respect for what the co-owner sees as a new OB vibe.

Chris Stavros and his wife Adriana Alcaraz, owners of OB's Olive Tree Marketplace, bought the restaurant last year upon the former owner's retirement. Pizza, of course, is a staple (for $12, the customers get to make their own 14-inchers), and more than 80 entries, including beer and wine, dot a menu that features favorites such as smoked salmon and veal Parmigiana.

Jose Lares, formerly at Avanti in La Jolla, cooks your dinner.

The Stavros family work ethic and Ocean Beach have essentially grown up together – and Stavros notes that the eatery's upgrade reflects the change in the neighborhood's climate.

“You're seeing a huge influx of wonderful restaurants coming in in OB,” he said. You're finding people refining their taste buds, demanding higher-end foods and better product. It's the same in the craft beer industry, too. We've noticed the trends among young owners, and we went for it to give the city want it wants.”

Espresso Cucina is located at 1776 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. And is open from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. Further information is available at (619) 224-2227 or espressocucina.com.

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