Mabel’s Gone Fishing, the North Park gin and oyster bar opened in late September by business partners Chelsea Coleman and Rae Gurne, was one of six California restaurants recognized Wednesday by the Michelin Guide.
The other five restaurants are in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco. San Diego County is now home to 55 Michelin-recognized restaurants, including Addison, which is one of just 13 Michelin three star restaurants in the United States.
Throughout the year, the international ratings organization adds newly recognized eateries to its California Guide. Some of them may be recognized at year-end with the higher Michelin honors of Bib Gourmand or Star. A Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant is described as a friendly establishment that serves good food at moderate prices. The Michelin Star, the guide’s highest honor, recognizes high-quality cooking.
The Michelin honor comes just three months after Mabel’s was honored by Eater.com as one America’s top 15 U.S. restaurants.
In its review on the Michelin website, the guide’s anonymous inspector wrote: “Charm is in abundant supply at this popular gathering place, from the name and décor (both of which honor an owner’s beloved dog) to the easygoing, friendly staff. But it’s more than just window dressing that draws in the crowds. A focused menu highlights excellent local seafood with a simple-yet-satisfying approach that blends Californian and Iberian cuisine, and the results are undeniably delicious. Case in point is the crispy, meaty swordfish schnitzel, served with salsa verde and creamy tonnato sauce alongside a salad of caper berries and shaved fennel, for a winningly bright, briny combination. Raw items like oysters and simple crudos are a great way to start, and an assortment of natural wines and gin-based cocktails provide top-notch accompaniments.”
Mabel’s is the second mid-city restaurant owned by Gurne and Coleman, who is the daughter of the late San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman. They opened The Rose Wine Bar, a 50-seat wine bar and bottle shop, in South Park in 2010. Originally they planned to open Mabel’s Gone Fishing in the summer of 2020, but the pandemic delayed the debut for two years.
In a January interview with the U-T, Coleman said Mabel’s Gone Fishing is indeed named after her now-deceased dog Mabel, who she found as a puppy on the side of a road in Patagonia, Argentina, years ago. The concept for the restaurant at 3770 30th St. was inspired by a trip she and Gurne took to Spain in 2018, particularly the Basque region and Iberian peninsula. The restaurant serves Spanish-style shellfish, organic vegetables and Basque-style cheesecake. Its bar, billed as a “gintonería,” specializes in Spanish gin and tonics.
The other five California restaurants recognized on Wednesday are Bonsang in San Francisco; Leona’s Sushi House in Studio City; Niku X in downtown Los Angeles; Selanne Steak Tavern in Laguna Beach; and Sushi Yuen in the City of Industry.