San Diego

Weekend roundup

February 25-28

Outdoor Fun

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Reopens Feb. 27. The aquarium reopens to the public as an exclusively outdoor experience—complete with new animals, exhibits, activities and safety protocols. Home to 6,000 ocean animals and 60-plus aquarium habitats, Birch showcases the groundbreaking research of Scripps Oceanography and UC San Diego scientists; as well as conservation breeding programs, family-friendly exhibits and more. Don’t miss the new Growing Up Seahorse exhibit. Advance reservations required. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $16.50 adults; $12 children (age 3-17). 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474.

Laugh Outside at Quartyard

Feb. 27. Who else could use a good laugh? Comedian Matt Stanton hosts Laugh Outside—a socially distanced evening of alfresco hilarity. Enjoy live stand-up acts by headliner Jesse Egan (pictured), Kelly McInerney and Remi Perez. Seating is limited to 100 guests total and will be spread across Quartyard’s 11,000 square feet of outdoor space. A minimum purchase of one food item and two drinks per guest are required at seating. Tickets are $10 with a two-ticket minimum (four-ticket maximum per table). 7:30 p.m. 1301 Market St., East Village.

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Open. This romantic resort is the place to be for all things alfresco—especially on the heels of receiving its eighth consecutive Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award. Spanning 45 acres of olive groves, gardens and trails, the Mediterranean-style property encompasses 45 luxurious guest casitas; world-class dining at Veladora and the Pony Camp outdoor tent; and open-air treatments at The Spa. Guests can take complimentary fitness classes; ride Italy-imported Pinarello bikes; play tennis on one of 18 courts; and relax poolside in a private cabana. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.759.6246.

Food + Drink

Ballast Point’s “Victory at Sea Days”

Begins Feb. 28. In Ballast Point beer world, the “darkest day of the year” is a one-day celebration of dark beers—namely its flagship Victory at Sea imperial porter with coffee and vanilla—typically held the Sunday before Christmas. Having forgone its December 2020 fête, the renowned brewer instead is launching a weeklong “Victory at Sea Days” celebration. From Feb. 28 through March 7, beer lovers can sample the signature brew, plus eight rare variants—all voted on by Ballast Point staff—at all of its San Diego taprooms. (See website for locations.) Welcome to the dark side.

Cerveza Jack’s

Now Open. From its southern-inspired cuisine and cocktails, to live music on the outdoor patio, there’s lots to love about this newest offering from hospitality group Good Time Design. Dine on comfort dishes such as crispy crawfish tacos with Carolina slaw; hush puppies filled with corn, jalapeños and crab; and jambalaya penne pasta with chicken and andouille sausage. Wash it all down with the Lavender Hooch Sweet Tea, Hot Honey Paloma or Peach Bourbon Smash; or choose from 40-plus beers on tap. Th-F 4-10 p.m.; Sa-Su 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 322 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.546.9292.

Craft & Commerce

Reopened. The bone marrow is back! Little Italy’s hip gastropub has reopened, serving menu hits such as the bone marrow, the signature burger and grilled oysters—along with a new menu by executive chef Kyle Pierce. Offerings include barbecued quail skewers, whole branzino and chicken ‘n’ dumplings; plus cocktails such as the Big Iron with rye, aged rum, cardamom and absinthe. Weekend brunch features vegan pancakes and the “C&C English-ish Breakfast” with fried eggs, baked beans, sausage and bacon. See website for hours and reservations. 675 Beech St., Little Italy, 619.269.2202.

Live Music and Late Dining at Cafe Sevilla

Now Available. A Gaslamp staple since 1987, this authentic Spanish eatery welcomes the return of live music and late-night dining seven days a week. Enjoy flamenco-inspired music on the patio as you sip sangria and dine on traditional tapas and the best paella in town—with kitchen hours recently extended to 10:45 p.m. We suggest the empanada trio and the seafood paella with black rice. Return for Sunday brunch and indulge in the short-rib hash and bottomless mimosas. M-F 4:30-11 p.m.; Sa 4-11 p.m.; Su 11 a.m.-11 p.m. 353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.5979.

Arts + Culture

New Quint Gallery Exhibition Space

Opens Feb. 27. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Quint Gallery debuts an additional exhibit space, located one block from its ONE gallery. The new location will host solo and group exhibitions, featuring contemporary artists from San Diego and worldwide. Its debut installation—Walking on Water (pictured) by Chilean artist and architect Alfredo Jaar—is a series of photographs inside light boxes that depict migrants crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico. The gallery also houses a museum, gift shop and library. Tu-Sa 11 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only. 7655 Girard Ave., La Jolla, 858.454.3409.

Tristan Chord at Madison Gallery

Opens Feb. 27. The striking architecture alone of owner Lorna York’s 4,000-square-foot gallery—with its soaring ceilings and gleaming white walls—is worth a visit. Madison’s edgy exhibits span a range of media and center on international contemporary artists. On view through April 30, Tristan Chord (pictured)—named for the opening chord of the German opera Tristan und Isolde—is Donald Martiny’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. The collection comprises tonal works made of polymer and pigments. M-Sa 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Su by appointment. 320 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.523.9155.

Maraya Performing Arts Center

Now Open. The arts movement is blooming in South Bay! Founded by Filipina-American Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, Maraya Performing Arts has opened Chula Vista’s first multicultural performing arts center. The industrial space hosts multigenerational training in dance, music and theater—spotlighting BIPOC artists and operating under the Filipino philosophy of bayanihan (meaning “communal unity”). Other services include professional development workshops, artist networking events and more. See website for all offerings and hours. 861 Harold Place, Suite 208, Chula Vista, 619.934.2999.

Photo credits: Cerveza Jack’s by Patrick Samokhvalof. Maraya Performing Arts by Sue Brenner Photography. All other images are courtesy of the businesses and venues featured.

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