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Open House serves up Asian food, hamburgers and more

Food enthusiasts in Encinitas are now able to satisfy their palates with different kinds of foods — from Asian-inspired dishes to hamburgers to more than 100 types of tequila — at Open House Food + Drink.

The 7,000-square-foot largely open-air establishment in the Moonlight Plaza center on Coast Highway 101, which opened in early May, includes four “micro” restaurants owned by Encinitas-based restauranteur Wade Hageman.

The restaurants include Asian Kitchen, Saltwater, Driftwood and The Crafty.

Asian Kitchen, the only restaurant currently open, offers “Asian-inspired” dishes like ramen, poke and yakitori.

“When we say Asian-inspired it’s because we use awesome local ingredients as much as we can and really try to be seasonal but apply all the great Asian flavors to the food that we want to do,” said Hageman, who also owns Craftsman Tavern and Blue Ribbon Pizzeria. “We find it very freeing to be able to use all these awesome ingredients in a form that makes sense to us.”

He said he’s excited to serve the ramen, which takes about four days to make from start to finish. The noodles are made by a family in Oceanside who has been making them for about 30 years.

The dishes at Asian Kitchen are meant to be shared.

“The whole menu is about sharing and community,” Hageman said. “I think most people eat that way now. We really are conscious about the menu being an approachable shareable concept.”

Hageman expects the other establishments to open in about a month.

Saltwater will serve tequila, noodles and raw fish. Driftwood will boast craft cocktails, and The Crafty will feature hand-crafted burgers, fries and soft-serve ice cream.

While Hageman said Open House is largely family-friendly, Saltwater, which is 580 square feet and has about 35 seats, will be more exclusive for adults. He expects it to be a reservation-only area.

The location includes a tall bar that has about 100 different kinds of tequilas, which will be paired with raw fish concepts, like ceviche. The menu will constantly rotate, Hagemen said.

“It’s really going to be a cool approach to doing fresh fish,” he said.

Following the trend of food halls, like Liberty Market in San Diego, Hageman said he believes people desire different foods and experiences.

He said he’s excited to offer new dishes for adventurous foodies, as well as plates for more tame eaters.

“People want all kinds of different foods and experiences, and I think it’s awesome,” he said. “We try to push the boundaries with some of the plates and flavors that we do. They’re not going to be for everybody, and some people want cheeseburgers and fries, and they have that option here, too.”

Open House is currently open Tuesday through Sunday, beginning at 4 p.m. with various closing hours, at 345 South Coast Highway 101. Hageman plans to add hours later this summer once all the businesses are up and running.

For more information, visit OpenHouseFoodDrink.com.


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