It goes without saying that San Diego is obsessed with food. Each neighborhood claims it’s got the best in town, in whatever dish or genre, and makes sure everyone knows it. In La Jolla, it might be a little bit more difficult to claim that you’ve got the best, with nationally recognized ocean view eateries like Azul’s of La Jolla and George’s Ocean Terrace. But that’s why at Bistro Pazzo they call the owner “Mr. Crazy.”
The crazy man, aka Seto Marselian, has really beefed up the menu this time around – his seventh restaurant in the area, Bistro Pazzo appeared on La Jolla’s Ivanhoe just as everyone else started to leave (thanks to the recession…what else?) Thus, he says, comes the nickname. Taking Italian cuisine to a whole new extreme, Bistro Pazzo offers up traditional entrees with a splash of something uniquely spectacular – literally all you have to do is sit down and you’ll know what I’m taking about. It’s the parsley pesto starter – a gilt free appetizer (mostly because it’s free with every entree), Seto mixes parsley, basil, spinach, garlic and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) together with a side of warm ciabatta bread. Hello, heaven. With just one bite you’ll be transported to the small cobblestone streets of Italy’s neighborhoods.
What makes his restaurant work is that, as he says it, he offers up the same cuisine as all those high-end restaurants just a block away, but at a lower price. Add that to his larger-than-life personality which greets every customer like his favorite neighbor, and you’ll be set on Italian meals for life.
Seto and his chef have worked together on some of San Diego’s greats – like Le Ste Maximes, The French Gourmet, Avanti Ristorante Club, Top of the Cove and Elario’s. “The menu is just a suggestion,” he laughs, offering up specials as appetizers or entrees, whatever you like, always with the option to mix it up a bit. It’s relaxing and less stuffy than any other La Jolla find you’ll find with critics star choices to boot. By far the most popular and most mouth watering is the Gamberi Pancetta – baked jumbo shrimp wrapped in pancetta with lobster risotto. If you’re not counting calories (and you shouldn’t here), count this on your list of must-haves while at Bistro Pazzo.