Dining

Sirena Gourmet Latin Seafood Restaurant Now Open in Little Italy

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Sirena1Sirena, a gourmet Latin seafood restaurant, officially opened on October 15 in Little Italy, San Diego. Located on the corner of Columbia Street and Fir Street, Sirena will showcase a unique menu featuring locally-caught seafood, sustainable and locally-grown vegetables and dishes influenced by South American cuisine and culture.

Sirena’s Latin-influenced dishes will play upon diners’ senses, with every component on each dish executed masterfully. The restaurant’s namesake, meaning “mermaid” in Spanish, will not go unnoticed as guests will be lured in with each bite, the menu designed to enchant palates with a true siren’s song of flavors, textures and sights.

From fresh oysters served with pickled vegetables and toasted squid inked black bread, to Chilean-inspired ceviche prepared with red snapper, octopus, scallops, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, uni leche de tigre and churrasca, to braised scallops set atop a fresh coconut-ginger sauce, mirasol chili oil and a cauliflower puree, Chef Chavez ‘ dishes highlight ingredients in imaginative ways, while incorporating touches of Latin flare and allowing the fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.sirena2

Chef Jaime Chaves is a Latin-born, Michelin-trained chef with nearly a decade of culinary experience under his chef’s jacket; he has learned in some of the best kitchens in the world, from Spain to Chile, Mexico to here in San Diego. Chef Jaime learned to cook from his family and comes from a long line of pastry chefs and cooks, so being in the kitchen was always in his blood. Here are some additional facts about Chef Jaime.

· He studied at Inacap, in Santiago de Chile, the oldest and best culinary school in Chile.
· While studying in culinary school, he searched for all the experiences he could find – from taco shops to sushi restaurants, Peruvian eateries to Asian-inspired hot spots, he wanted to get his hands on every kind of experience and techniques he could, to truly become a well-rounded chef.
· One of his most important mentors was iconic Chef Montse Estruch, from the legendary El Cingle, a Michelin star restaurant in Barcelona. It was from her he truly became inspired and dedicated to food, its preparation, its plating…its entire essence. He later went on to be the chef de cusine at El Cingle – which he credits to making him the chef he is today.
· He came to San Diego two years ago with his wife, and has worked at Westin Emerald Plaza and Hilton San Diego Bayfront
· He was tapped to be the Executive Chef at Sirena and created the menu to be reminiscent of the food culture in Latin America, but showcase fresh ingredients and flavors found here in San Diego.

Sirena, located at 1901 Columbia St., will be open from 5 p.m. until close, Tuesday through Sunday evenings. Sirena is not currently open for lunch or brunch, but is poised to create a daytime menu in the future.

Reservations can be made by phone or with Open Table. More information can be found at www.SirenaGourmet.com or by calling 619.564.8970.

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