The New Owner of Mr. A's Joins us to Talk about what Changes He will (and will not) be Making

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The iconic Mister A’s is being sold (don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere, and this is a good story). Last week, we talked with Bertrand Hug—the restaurateur of restaurateurs, the don of dining and longtime steward of the rooftop restaurant—about why he chose to sell to his right-hand man. Today on the podcast, we have the man himself, Ryan Thorson. Ryan earned this (and paid for it). The SDSU grad got his first job at Buster’s Beach House in Seaport Village, then landed a low-level managers job at Mister A’s and just dedicated his life to it. Worked 100-hour weeks at times. He rose through the ranks over 11 years, becoming Director of Operations. He and Hug developed a father-son relationship, and, when Hug decided it was time to let go and focus on his original baby—the world=class French restaurant Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe—he turned down offers for more money and entrusted Mister A’s to his young partner and friend. Ryan tells us the whole story—including how he originally got turned down for the job because Bertrand didn’t like his facial scruff—and what he plans to do with the San Diego classic when he takes over in March. He’s not going nuts with the design, but he’s enlisted top designer Mauricio Courturier, who designed this place. In “Hot Plates,” things get a little wild. Takashi Endo is opening another Menya Ultra Ramen in UTC, and we all give our answer about which is the superior soup: ramen or pho. We talk about Shake Shack opening in Carlsbad and I for sure am going to get driven out of Southern California in a hailstorm of fire because I admit I prefer it to our own better-burger legend (sacrilege). The Pink Lady—La Valencia Hotel–is renovating their famed Mediterranean Room and adding a new patio concept to celebrate its 95th birthday. Temaki Bar is going into Encinitas, a handroll place from Clique Hospitality (Lionfish, Serea, Joya Organic Kitchen) and sustainable seafood chef, JoJo Ruiz… And 3R Brewing—a Native American-owned craft beer from the Rincon Reservation—just opened in Ocean Beach. For “Two People, Fifty Bucks,” Troy was reminded how much he loves the vegan food at Cafe Gratitude, especially that butternut squash dip with focaccia. Ryan wastes zero time in declaring his love for everyone’s favorite tequila-and-mole hideaway, Cantina Mayahuel. And David checked out the brand new Thai Street Food restaurant in North Park, Kin Len. Thank you for listening! As always, we want to hear from our listeners. Need a restaurant recommendation? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at happyhalfhour@sdmag.com. Hope you all enjoy. See ya next week.

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