At Tasting Room Del Mar we believe that food and drink are inextricably bound. They complement each other in specific ways, and when paired creatively, can create a dining experience that is entirely unique. Driven by the fundamental building blocks of vines, hops, and harvest, our service is a direct reflection of our passion for all things craft, local, and honestly delicious. Whether you choose to find your own way through our food and beverage menus, or are gracious enough to trust us and partake in the Surrender Series, our goal is to take you on a tour of what food and drink can be when they are given a reason to shine. Welcome to our home, we’re excited to show you around.
We place an emphasis on filling your glasses with small production boutique wines not easily accessible outside of our restaurant. At Tasting Room Del Mar you can savor these exceptional wines on premise or take them with you to enjoy from the comfort of your home. Our dynamic wine list fluctuates with the changing of the seasons. With a strong international focus from wine regions in France, Germany and Spain, our list still remains California-centric. Nearly half of the wine we provide comes from our home state, highlighting an abundance of Rhone varietals from the fertile Central Coast. Our Wine Director Rusti Gilbert personally selects each wine for the unique way in which it represents both its region and the integrity of the varietal. Since wine is all about learning, we hope you’ll join us on this vine-fueled educational journey finding the perfect bottle or glass along the way.
Our 28 taps are constantly rotating, offering a variety of everything from Belgian style ales and lagers to sours and more hoppy beers intended to please every palate. We sample each beer mindfully before tapping them for you, our guest, to enjoy. We’re proud to support our local San Diego breweries while highlighting other innovative brewers throughout California and across the US and world at large. For us, it comes down to quality. Our taps run from a high quality system designed to preserve the integrity of our beverage offerings and their purity of flavor. In addition to noteworthy brews, several of our state-of-the-art taps are dedicated to cold brew coffee, kombucha, cider and yes, mead.
Our locally sourced small plate selections by Chef Steven Lona are artfully crafted to seamlessly complement our continuously revolving boutique wine and beer offerings. Simple in nature, yet complex in taste profile, our menu changes with the seasons allowing us to bring you the freshest bounty our crops have to offer. We render homage to the farm-to-table philosophy by partnering with well-respected local artisans including Prager Brothers Artisan Breads, Suzie’s Farm, Baker & Olive and Catalina Offshore Products. Our goal is to make sustainability within reach and encourage guests to engage in conscious thinking, an educational element that is paramount to the overall gastronomic experience.
David Taylor. CoFounder, Owner
David Taylor’s career has spanned more than 30 years in Silicon Valley and San Diego as a well-respected entrepreneur in high-tech start-up companies. Most notably, he was the co-founder and CEO of CineForm, a company that develops compression-based workflow solutions for film, television and videography markets, which was acquired by GoPro in 2011. In 2014 his business focus shifted to his avocational interest in wine and Cordant Winery was born that year in Paso Robles with his winemaker partner, Tyler. The following year, David took his passion and extensive wine knowledge to the next level by co-founding Tasting Room Del Mar, a farm-to-table restaurant focusing on food pairings with boutique wine and craft beer.
David’s most enjoyable challenge is migrating brilliant technical and business ideas from the lab into the marketplace for commercial success, whether in technology or food and beverages. With Tasting Room Del Mar, he looks to do just that by offering an emphasis on education for both customers and staff.
Evan Taylor. Proprietor,
Director of Sales
Evan Taylor has been deeply entrenched in the restaurants and hotel industry in the San Diego area since the early age of 15. Since that time, Evan has furthered his career with positions at Morgan Run Resort & Spa, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Einstein Bagels and LA Fitness before accelerating into management with the opening of Que Pasa Mexican Grill in 2011. As the General Manager of Que Pasa, he was instrumental in building the restaurant from the ground up.
After his time at Que Pasa, Evan immersed himself in the world of triathlons, specifically IRONMAN. With six months of extreme training, he completed the Half IRONMAN 70.3 in Puerto Rico in 2014, then moved on and completed the IRONMAN 140.6 in Arizona in 2015. Between races, Evan consulted on the opening of Agave, an organic coffee shop in Chula Vista. As the operations manager, he was responsible for opening the restaurant, building the service model and overseeing its implementation.
In his new role as Proprietor at Tasting Room Del Mar, Evan is excited to create a culture different from the status quo – something worth fighting for and sharing with the community. He believes that commitment, dedication and passion, along with relentless perseverance, are the keys to success.
Steven Lona. Executive Chef, General Manager
Steven Lona explored various careers before diving into cooking, but his passion for the culinary arts was always in the background waiting for him to come back. Despite a number of valuable kitchen experiences and culinary school training, Steven’s career catapulted when he joined the kitchen at Marche Moderne in Costa Mesa. Since then, he has spent significant time consulting on a number of prominent restaurant and bar openings. The sum of his experiences thus far and the relationships forged have given him a special platform to honor the time invested in him by mentors and upon which to continue to invest in the future of the next generation of chefs.
Prior to embarking on his endeavor with Tasting Room Del Mar, Steven benefited immensely from his time at Studio at the Montage in Laguna Beach and various stages under his toque before accepting his first executive chef position. As chef at Bistro 45, he built many of the friendships and relationships that have helped sustain his success and facilitate his continued development as a chef.
For Steven, food is love. It’s one of the most timeless ways to preserve a memory and culture and pass it along, an element he looks forward to bringing into his role at Tasting Room Del Mar. In his role as chef, he plans to incorporate his passion for whole farm cooking and his dedication to supporting local farmers to create a rotating menu concurrent with the changing seasons.
Jenny Goycochea. Chef de Cuisine
A San Diego native, from a young age, Jenny Goycochea realized that her career and life passion lied in the kitchen, quickly learning that food is often the common denominator in bringing people together. After studying Women’s Studies and Communication at San Diego State University, she broke into the restaurant industry prepping for a catering company. From there, Jenny got her first restaurant job at North Park’s local favorite, Urban Solace. Following her time there under Chef Matt Gordon, Jenny continued to hone her skills at Quality Social, Flavor Del Mar, Jsix and Stone Brewing Company. Over the course of her eight collective years in the industry, she has had the privilege of working with some of the best talent that San Diego has to offer, learning from each along the way.
In her role as Chef de Cuisine at Tasting Room Del Mar, through her collaboration with Executive Chef Steven Lona, Jenny has challenged herself to look outside the box when it comes to looking at any given ingredient. In the kitchen, she is continuously inspired by the abundance of locally grown produce, harvested by a wealth of farms.
When she thinks of her fondest memories, many are spent with large groups of friends and family sitting down to a meal and enjoying food together – an experience she hopes will be prevalent at Tasting Room Del Mar.
Rusti Gilbert. Wine Director
Rusti Gilbert got her start in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, eventually working her way up to server at a local café in her hometown. What began as a way to make money to pay for school quickly turned into a career path. Rusti’s attention shifted when she had the privilege of working with a general manager who taught her that wine was more then just grape juice with alcohol and the idea of what a Sommelier is. A few years later Rusti went on to take the Introductory Sommelier Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers and shortly after realized her passion for wine was career worthy. She went on to take the Certified Exam through the Court as well as the International Sommelier Guild. Rusti is working towards her Advanced Sommelier Certification and hopes to take the exam in 2017.
Her experiences at Addison at The Grand Del Mar as well as Whisknladle and Pacifica Del Mar, led her to appreciate all styles of service, wine, beer and food. Most recently, Rusti was instrumental in opening Rancho Bernardo’s well-received The Cork and Craft. As the General Manager she also had the ability to build a wine list and wine education program while training a staff of 40 from the ground up.
Rusti’s passion for wine is rooted in a love for teaching, a component she looks forward to translating into her role at Tasting Room Del Mar. At the new location, she looks forward to curating a list of dozens of rotating, diverse and boutique wines from around the world while maintaining a strong emphasis on California wines.
At Tasting Room Del Mar you can savor these exceptional wines on premise or take them with you to enjoy from the comfort of your home. Our dynamic wine list fluctuates with the changing of the seasons. With a strong international focus from wine regions in France, Germany and Spain, our list still remains California-centric.