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Interview at Cloak & Petal in Little Italy, San Diego

Cloak & Petal, Little Italy San Diego’s most unique restaurant with Japanese inspired dishes and beautifully hand-crafted drinks. Join me as I speak with Cesar, one of the partners at Cloak & Petal, to learn more about this beautiful restaurant.

Check out the video from YouTube here!

Jorge: Hey everybody, this is Jorge Castellon. Welcome to my channel where we explore everything that Little Italy has to offer. Remember to subscribe and hit the button so you get all my notifications on all my videos in Little Italy. Today, we are taking an intimate look at Cloak & Petal restaurant, right here on India Street. Let’s go check it out.

Jorge: Hi, everybody. We are here with Cesar Vallin managing partner here at Cloak & Petal. Cesar, pleasure to meet you and thank you for having us today in this beautiful restaurant of yours. So excited to show everybody, all of my viewers, what Cloak & Petal is. So let’s start off, let’s get right to it. Tell us a little bit about Cloak & Petal.

Cesar: We wanted to open up a Japanese place that was different, that wasn’t your typical bamboo or typical Japanese name. We wanted to express ourselves, through artwork and the color, and I used to sit right outside this … Before, it was another place, and I’d sit here with a clicker. I looked inside, I’m like, “I want this to have two cherry blossom trees.” Everybody thought I was crazy. Even my partners, were like, they thought that was crazy, but I told them that it wasn’t going to work.

And the only other person that supported it was our interior designer. He was like, “This is going to work. This is going to work.” And so, we just wanted to create something different and special. We went to Tupac, Biggie on the wall. We wanted the F word on the wall. We wanted just cool artwork that would … Just was different from everything else that’s in San Diego. And I really believe we’re one of the only places in San Diego that has this look.

Jorge: Yeah. Yeah. Your looks a little bit edgy.

Cesar: Yeah.

Jorge: With the artwork. And I personally say that every time I walked by this place, or I’m walking with a friend or a family member, everybody notices the trees. Everybody’s like, what the heck is going on with those cherry blossom trees in the place. So I really think you nailed it with the design. It’s a beautiful space. How’d you come up with the name Cloak & Petal?

Cesar: Again, we didn’t want to name it a basic Japanese name, and I think we were going to call it Blossom. My partners wanted to call Blossom and I was with it at the beginning and then I was like, “No, there’s no way.” We can’t, and we didn’t want to call it “and”, but one of the names that they came up with, that the marketing team came up with was called Owl’s Cloak. And I thought it was catchy, but yet nobody was going to want to say on a Friday night, “Let’s go to Owl’s Cloak.” So I used to pace around here for two months, just walking around in circles.

Jorge: You were stalking the place.

Cesar: I was stalking the entire city trying to figure out a name. And then I started thinking, well Cloak and … Cloak & Petal is what came to mind. And after two months of … One argument with my partner in two and a half years was about the name and we just chose Cloak & Petal.

Jorge: So Cloak & Petal is, you guys have Japanese influence, Japanese food. Tell us a little bit about your menu and what you guys serve here.

Cesar: So our menu consist of hot and cold plates, the primary dishes that are sold are sushi rolls. The customers have decided that that’s the direction that we should go and based on our sales report that just shows that we’re … That’s the direction we’re going. So the majority of our sales are going to be sushi rolls. We do have hot and cold plates. We do have some vegetarian items as well, but the majority of our food is going to be sushi rolls.

Jorge: All right, so out of those sushi rolls, you name them after streets in San Diego, right?

Cesar: Gateways, Gateways of San Diego. We have one, one of my favorites is … One of the top selling is going to be Cesar Chavez. That’s going to have spicy tuna inside was shrimp tempura, pickled cabbage, seared tuna on top. Dots of habanero, and then charred ponzu sauce. And then my favorite is probably going to be the La Jolla Parkway, which is going to have spicy tuna inside, avocado, seared hamachi on top, microgreens, cilantro and our house made signature sauce.

Jorge: Woo! All right, we’re going to have to try both of those.

Cesar: Absolutely.

Jorge: All right, cool. And what about drinks? Because I’ve seen your bartender here. It’s happy hour right now. He’s poured a couple of like, really colorful drinks with little figurines on them. Tell us about some of the drinks that you guys specialize in.

Cesar: So we’re going to … We definitely have craft cocktails that consist of a lot of … We’re kind of more in the Tiki direction, and so one of the top sellers is going to be the Elyx Fix. We have a Japanese version of a margarita called the High Kick. And then the Born & Dayzed, it’s like another Tiki style cocktail that’ll have a little dinosaur on top as well.

Jorge: All right, the High Kick, what is that?

Cesar: It’s going to be a Japanese infused … Well, it’s going to be green tea infused tequila.

Jorge: Green tea infused tequila, does that taste good?

Cesar: I’ll let you try it. Definitely let you try it. And then the Born & Dayzed is going to be a rum based cocktail, Tiki style cocktail.

Jorge: All right, cool. Want to sample the rolls and the tequila.

Cesar: We’ll have plenty of it, yeah.

Jorge: All right, cool. One other thing, one other question for you. Tell us what sets you apart from the other restaurants in Little Italy. I mean, it’s kind of pretty different than other restaurants, but what else do you want to tell people out there if they’re walking by and what would you want them to know about Cloak & Petal?

Cesar: You know, that it’s a place for everyone. You could come dressed as you are, you know, either in a suit or people are in shorts and t-shirts and hats. We have happy hour seven days a week, 4:00p to 6:00p. We’re one of the only Japanese places in  Little Italy, and then there’s no other location with our style in San Diego. You can’t walk into anywhere with a tree or … You know, we have an event space in the back as well that we could do events up to like 150 people if we needed to. And you could rent the entire place out, rent the backspace out, or just come in for your birthday or come in for a casual bite.

Jorge: Cool. And you have happy hour every day!

Cesar: Every day, seven days a week, 4:00 to 6:00PM.

Jorge: 4:00 to 6:00PM. Cool. So if you’re out there and you’ve been wondering about Cloak & Petal and you’re walking by, you see this beautiful tree, all the beautiful artwork in here, make sure that you come in. Say hello to Cesar and everybody here at Cloak & Petal, it’s a great place. The food is really good. We’re going to sample a little bit here soon, so next time you’re around, make sure you check it out.

Jorge: Thank you for joining me here at Cloak & Petal. If you liked the video, remember to like below and if you have any questions or comments, let me know as well. And join me next time as we continue to explore Little Italy.