Busalacchi Restaurants Presents Lala, an Intimate New Restaurant in Little Italy

We can’t wait for this one! One of Little Italy’s founding hospitality families, the Bussalacchis, proprietors of Busalacchi Restaurants (Barbusa, Nonna, Café Zucchero), are gearing up to introduce a cozy new restaurant, Lala, located in the heart of Little Italy at 1919 India Street.

Busalacchi Restaurants

Lala: Little Italy’s Newest Culinary Gem

Since opening his very first restaurant in San Diego in 1984, Sicilian-born president of Busalacchi Restaurants, Joe Busalacchi Sr., and his immediate family of chefs and restaurateurs have attained the status of local legends with Italian concepts that have anchored India Street for decades.

Upon opening doors on February 5th, Lala will mark a watershed moment, helping to usher in 40 years in business for Busalacchi Restaurants.

Lala’s “it-girl” vibe and moody feminine design aesthetic will be distinct from its acclaimed sibling, Barbusa, located one door south. The concept will echo the charming and flirtatious atmosphere of its Italian-influenced neighborhood, where one can admire with every step the show put on by the city’s top chefs, creatives, and patrons drawn in by the like-minded style-set.

The Busalacchi’s acquired the lease earlier this year on a ~1,000-square-foot property. Lala’s top-to-bottom buildout will include a covered garden patio seamlessly giving way to an atmospheric dining room and cocktail bar with wall-to-wall bi-folding doors. The plush venue will feature two-toned olive leather and velvet furnishings, antique mirrors, and walnut wood paneling juxtaposed by natural stone textures and hues of coral and burnt sienna throughout.

The Busalacchi’s designed Lala in partnership with designer Taylor Shaffer, a former founding partner of San Diego’s Open Gym collective who cut her chops at national design firm LPA. Lala’s intimate venue will accommodate seating for ~50 guests, with dinner service daily and an extended late-night weekend service offered till midnight.

The Creative Vision Behind Lala’s Menu

On the menu, classics of Italian cuisine will be matched with sun-soaked Mediterranean influences and a few fun unconventional twists from Busalacchi’s culinary commander, executive chef Nino Zizzo.

Busalacchi Restaurants chef

A 30-year industry veteran and nephew of chef Joe Busalacchi Sr., Chef Zizzo’s generous dishes will be based on seasonal ingredients, with nearly everything made from scratch.

A focal point at Lala—the bar program—will be led by Busalacchi Restaurants’ lead bartender Antonio Gonzales. His 27-year career spans notable fine-dining institutions such as Juniper & Ivy, Stake Chophouse + Bar, various Blue Bridge Hospitality restaurants, as well as former upscale hotels such as the Ivy and Se downtown.

Lala’s bar menu will prioritize modern classics with Italian influences as well as a barrel-aged cocktail program.

See you there!

As Lala nears its opening on February 5th, more information will be released along with menus and more. Follow along on Instagram.

See you there, San Diego!

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