With gastronomic legends such as the founder of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters opening of a restaurant inside the Hammer Museum in LA, art museums are increasingly known as gastronomic destinations. At Balboa Park, the jewel of San Diego, the Mingei International Museum unveiled Artifact, a sleek new restaurant centerpiece that is part of a $ 55 million renovation by local architect Jennifer Luce (Extraordinary Desserts, George’s California Modern). It is designed and operated by Urban kitchen group (Cucina Urbana, Cucina Enoteca), which also runs Mingei’s more casual craft cafÃ© and serves as an on-site caterer.
The restaurant and cafe share the ground floor with the museum’s gift shop and selected pieces from its art collection, which informed the menu of partner chef Tim Kolanko and chef Jeff Armstrong, who found the recipe for sabaayad, a Somali flatbread, in a cookbook sold in the shop and paired it with lamb kibbeh seasoned with cumin and allspice. With their ever-changing dishes that continue to be inspired by ingredients, spices and herbs from a mix of global cuisines, chefs tell Eater that a paid dinner series, launching in January, will feature menus that will be directly influenced by the highlighted regions. in the international exhibitions of the museum.
Urban Kitchen Group founder Tracy Borkum said this Mingei residence is part of a new division of their business that allows the company to branch out into more partnerships, ranging from a star food vendor to Rady Shell in Jacobs Park with upcoming projects that include an all-day dining restaurant that will anchor a life sciences campus in the Torrey Pine Area.
Artefact, 1439 El Prado, Balboa Park, lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday with partial bar service until 5:00 p.m.