The great thing is that while they are run by the same executive management, you would never know that as they each have their own very unique identity. From the bistro-like Bo Beau in Ocean Beach and now La Mesa, to the posh fine dining of Vintana in Escondido, their restaurants offer a style for just about everyone.
ZIGZAG is one of the more recent additions and is located next door to 333 Pacific, another Cohn restaurant at the Oceanside Pier. Their menu is simple, pizza and chopped salad, or chop-chop salad as they call it. The interior has a feel that I’ve seen before with the reclaimed wood, industrial like design elements, and skateboards on the wall, but they put their own spin on it and it comes across as original. The ZIGZAG sign (behind Jim and Amiko in the photo) inside is very cool.
David and Leslie Cohn are the couple behind this empire and they recently brought on Chef Amiko Gubbins and given her the title Special Ops: Food and Flavor, for their family of restaurants. One of her first assignments was teaming up with Operations Manager Jim Lamoureux to develop the concept for and launch ZIGZAG.
Amiko has been a star on the San Diego culinary scene for some time. Her culinary career began by watching her traditional Japanese mother in the kitchen, but her formal training first took life in La Jolla under Ulf Anders and William Gustaf, whom she credits for cultivating her immense appreciation for food and quality ingredients.
After spending time in the kitchens of Cilantros and Pacifica Del Mar, Gubbins served as executive chef of Cafe Japengo where she took home the award for Best Asian for eight years. Soon after, she branched out on her own as chef and owner of the critically acclaimed Parallel 33 in San Diego’s Mission Hills neighborhood.
After her time at Parallel 33, Amiko went to work as the personal chef for music icon Lenny Kravitz before working with Specialty Produce. Most recently, Amiko served as executive chef for Sysco San Diego where she brought her culinary experience to the company’s vast restaurant base.
She has a local connection, surfing North County beaches and performs in the Encinitas Guitar Orchestra. I’d say her background is a perfect fit to work with the Cohns’ eclectic group of restaurants and she is off to a great start at ZIGZAG.
I will admit that I am a huge chopped salad fan. The concept is so simple but makes so much sense. The greens and ingredients are chopped up together and dressed so that every bite contains a bit of everything. It’s been big on the East Coast for a few years now and Sammy’s has them locally, but of course ZIGZAG takes them to another level. I tried the Purple Haze with chile lime flank steak, spinach, arugula, purple cabbage, kale, purple basil, tomatoes, mozzarella, red onions, fried shallots, garlic, and balsamic basil vinaigrette. Loved it!
Also tried the Smoke on the Water with blackened shrimp, romaine, iceberg, spinach, bacon, black olives, eggs, avocado, bleu cheese crumbles, red onions and a smoky poblano buttermilk dressing. Another crazy good salad. They have six salads to choose from or you can create your own and at $9 it’s a good value for the quality ingredients. You may have noticed a classic rock theme going on here. Yep, all the salads and pizza have names taken from classic rock artists or songs and their tagline is Salad- Brew-Rock, so there you have it.
And yes, there is the pizza. They are making their own dough and there are nine varieties that range from traditional toppings to chef-designed with a more gourmet twist so there is something for everyone. I could have used a little more char and crunch on my crust but that’s just a personal preference. They do offer well done on request so I’ll simply ask for that next time. At $7.50, the pies are a great value as well.
There are plenty of crafty beers, soda and wine to choose from as well. The soda I had was called Mexicane Cola from Portland, Maine, and it was right up there with the best colas I’ve tasted. ZIGZAG is a cool place, a great value, and they offer some tasty grub. Another fine addition to the Oceanside restaurant scene. Located at 333 N. Meyers Street, Oceanside. Contact them at zigzagpizza.com or (760) 433-1555.