Roppongi La Jolla New Chef Arrives

Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar is undergoing some exciting transformations that is waking up a chic but sleepy La Jolla social scene.  The Asian fusion dining establishment proudly announced the arrival of Chef Michael McDonald who is already making his mark through introducing modernized menu items as well as handcrafting and launching the Sunday brunch.

Some new tapas dishes include the Spice Crusted Ahi as well as the Crispy Pork Gyoza.  A vegetarian standout is the Crispy Quinoa Cakes with a delicious mango chutney.  Diners who love the Kobe Beef sliders can now also order the slow roasted mini Mongolian Pulled Pork and the Maine Lobster BLT.

Popular signature mainstays like the Crab Stack and specialty sushi rolls such as the Albacore Jalapeno, the Steak and Fries, and the namesake Roppongi roll will remain on the menu.  They will be joined by new entrees including the Crispy Jidori Chicken, the Double Cut Lamb Chops, and the Shrimp Lo Mein.

For dessert, the Persimmon Crisp and the Dark Chocolate Cremaux are newly added items but what is the most pleasing is a secret dessert that is not listed on the menu.  Please see the slideshow for the hint.  The whimsical display is sure to bring out a smile in anyone who orders it.

Chef McDonald comes with an impressive resume which includes positions as the Chef de Cuisine of The Grill, a Five Star/Five Diamond property at The Ritz Carlton Palm Beach, posts at the Avenue and at the Pantina Restaurant in LA, as the Executive Chef at Hollywood’s five-star Roosevelt Hotel, as the Executive Chef at Brix at1601 in Hermosa Beach, at the Top of the Market in San Diego, and most recently at the Beachcomber at Crystal Cove in Newport Beach.  His list of mentors is equally as impressive with renown Chef Dean Max, Chef Andrew De Groot, and Chef Theo Schoenegger.

The passion for food started out early on with weekend trips to the farmer’s market with his parents.  That young impression shaped a strong belief in using only the best and freshest produce items.  It’s no wonder that Chef McDonald was named 2011’s Best Restaurant Chef of the Year by The California Restaurant Association.

For the chef, a love for food comes with a love for family and community.  He is an avid participant in local and national charity events, in mentoring youths and is a supporter of educational programs.  Chef McDonald was the one who came up with the idea behind the Great Chef Showdown, a charity event that benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  The foundation is one that dear to his heart as cystic fibrosis is a disease that his 6 year old son, Connor suffers from.  When the chef isn’t spending time with his family in Ocean Beach or whipping up his dishes at Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar, he likes to surf and enjoys taking pictures of nature and food.

Chef’s McDonald’s achievements in the culinary arts as well as his community outreach will bring a new dimension to Roppongi Restaurant & Sushi Bar in La Jolla.  The place already has a renewed and vibrant feel with the chef’s latest creations and with the fun events hosted under the guidance of the new General Manager Ron Fabor.  You don’t need to be a celebrity to be a part of the fun but you might catch a sighting of one.  Some celebrity diners have been Natalie Portman, Ellie Kemper, Gus Van Sant, Jef Holm (of the Bachelorette), and Selena Gomez.

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