Wheat & Water, as featured on our recent article about new restaurants to get excited about, is Bird Rock’s soon-to-be hot spot for craft cocktails, artisan pizza, and local beer; it’s already under construction and is well on its way to joining San Diego’s list of hottest restaurants later this year. We met with owner and co-founder, Ted Cochrane, to get an exclusive tour and some inside information about his newest up-and-coming creation on La Jolla Boulevard.
From Chef to Entrepreneur
Ted grew up steps from the beach in La Jolla and been a part of the culinary industry since he was eighteen: he attended culinary school, and his very first job was at La Jolla’s beloved El Pescador. He then moved on to (the now-defunct) Zenbu Sushi, hand-making sushi in front of restaurant-goers in a performance that felt more like art than cooking – an experience that sparked an early interest in combining aesthetics with taste. From then on, Ted began to dream of a dining experience that would cultivate a comfortable neighborhood vibe while simultaneously offering delicious, handmade cuisine.
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When he was younger, Ted and his friends would head over to the old Bully’s location on La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock, order a classic French Dip, a couple of cocktails, and hang out at the quintessentially vintage low bar in the front; it’s precisely this kind of homey atmosphere that Ted wants to create at Wheat & Water. The new restaurant will feature its very own low bar in the front, set back from three ultra-modern garage doors that will stay open to the balmy sea breeze. The cozy indoor space will feature the building’s original 1950s-era brick walls along with wood ceiling beams in an “industrial rustic” style that will encompass everything he wants his guests to experience: comfort, fantastic food, and a spot casual enough to grab some dinner with friends and family.
The Food, the Vibe, & the Goodies
Wheat & Water’s main focus will be artisan pizza, providing a slew of options as well as a make-your-own section using some of the finest ingredients available; as a big fan of charcuterie, Ted assured us there will be some delicious sausages, salamis, and artisan cheese on the menu. Also on the list will be shared plates, salads, desserts, weekend brunch, and a Happy Hour menu during the weekdays. There will be specialty craft cocktails, all created right there by a talented mixologist, as well as an ample selection of San Diego’s favorite local craft beers.
The atmosphere inside Wheat & Water will be something all generations of La Jollans can identify with: the restaurant will employ family style seating, with cozy booths and a kitchen surrounded by glass that’s right in the dining space so guests can see what’s cooking behind-the-scenes. If there’s one adjective Ted wishes Wheat & Water to be associated with, it’s ‘inviting’: the food, the space, and the atmosphere are all going to be comfortable, and hopefully serve as a respite from the stress of the daily grind. Eventually, he even hopes to host family movie nights on an outdoor projector, complete with a wood-fired pizza trailer and of course, beer!
Wheat & Water will be located at 5737 La Jolla Boulevard. Keep an eye out for the grand opening happening later on this year (maybe as soon as this summer), and check wheatnwater.com for the latest updates.
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