To Copic’s point, Manoocheri says Del Frisco’s, with its oceanlike blue hues and browns and copper to represent beach sand, is banking on its atmosphere.
‘Big and Bold’
“Everything we do is big and bold, from the steaks to the award-winning wine list of over 1,400 selections, to the sophisticated details and the ambience,” said Manoocheri. “We try to take things in from the guest’s point of view and the staff’s point of view, and we ask ourselves: Is this functional to work in? Is it comfortable for guests? Of course, our service is part of that.”
Manoocheri says Del Frisco’s research team took the time to visit other steakhouses in town which helped it make decisions the team hopes would make the restaurant a top and recurring choice for locals and visitors alike.
“There are so many great restaurant companies out here in general, and a lot of those are steakhouses, but, I feel there are plenty of savvy diners in San Diego that are discerning and are probably willing to try us,” said Manoocheri. “All these restaurants have great services. But, we take the service and turn it into hospitality. That translates into a state of mind and how you are made to feel.” Manoocheri said. At the end of the night, the staff at Del Frisco’s hand-writes thank-you cards to send to those guests whose addresses they have on file.
King Signature Group’s vice president of operations Mark Augarten, who oversees the Lou & Mickey’s location, says on top of offering its guests what he describes as “an approachable steakhouse atmosphere,” the restaurant is currently building a Himalayan sea salt dry-aging room. Set to open in December, the room will allow the eatery to also have more control of the cut of meat it offers.
“It will be an illuminated wall of Himalayan sea salt that will help extract moisture from the room to the meat, so the flavors will be intensified,” Augarten explained, adding the restaurant also has what it calls a very successful “shareable program,” which allows guests to order multiple types of steaks and share with those at their table.
“Another important part of the process will be air flow, so, we’ve spent a lot of time installing specific fans inside the room. To control the meat every step of the process — we can age from 30 to 45 to 60 days, and we are even experimenting with 90-days — it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Welcoming the Competition
One thing’s for sure, many say they welcome the friendly competition that Del Frisco’s will bring to the waterfront.
“We are truly thrilled for Del Frisco’s and the city of San Diego,” said Ryan Tichenor, general manager at Donovan’s Steak & Chop House. “Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group is a first-class team and upholds similar standards that we attain here at Donovan’s Steak & Chop House. Donovan’s welcomes the quality of competition and looks forward to growth in the market.”