Chef Jarrod Moiles places a filet of Ono directly on the burning embers of a wood stove on the back patio of Fireside in Liberty Station. The intense heat creates a white sear on the fish, leaving the center rare, in a preparation you’ve more likely seen using Ahi Tuna.

He then dresses the Ono in a tajin lime vinaigrette and serves it to me with cilantro corn salad and pepitas, garnished with a corn tortilla.

It is fresh, bright, and quite a departure from the previous menu at Fireside.

“Fireside’s menu was all over, [it had] American BBQ, Asian, Italian and Baja influences,” the new executive chef explained. “So, first we decided on the concept—Americana BBQ meets Baja California flavors—then, I began to create the ideas. I made a list of flavors and then begin the R&D process of testing out and tweaking each recipe and dish. It’s important to me that the restaurant has an identity.”

The wood grilled, Baja-inspired dishes at Fireside are dramatically different than the cuisine at top-ranked Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, where Chef Jarrod spent seven years as Executive Chef, but his focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients is the same.

“The ingredients used are so important these days. Guests are so interested in where their food came from. Fish should be local and wild and in season. Vegetables should be used in the peak of the seasons. It's better for the guests and the planet.

Chef Jarrod’s connection with food started early. Growing up in rural Massachusetts on a block that was his father’s farm in the 1930s, he would run out to the garden to grab a tomato and cucumber for that night’s salad to go along with a dinner the whole family cooked together.

“Growing up in Oxford Massachusetts, it was a small town,” the chef explained. “I am the youngest of four boys and we all grew up gardening and involved in the 4H community. We entered in our vegetables and homemade pies. Outside our yard, we had a large field we played in, and wild raspberries and blackberries grew in this field we would eat and pick them go home make jam and pie with my mother.”

Courtesy @katiefromedible
Courtesy @katiefromedible

Local sourcing wasn’t a trend for Jarrod and his family, it was everyday life. “We had crab apple trees and wild rhubarb. I can remember going out to the field with a cup of raw sugar and dipping rhubarb and crab apples in and eating them. On the weekend we would get in the car with my Dad and head to the local chicken farm for fresh eggs and the local dairy farm for fresh milk,” he said, noting that when you cook with good ingredients, you should let them shine.

Some of the ingredients now speaking for themselves on the new Fireside menu include beautiful vegetable-centered dishes like the wood roasted cauliflower dressed in an apple cider vinaigrette with raisins, pickled onions, chives, and sunflower seeds.

Wood roasted heirloom carrots with spiced chickpeas come topped with a cumin crema, offering subtle flavors with a touch of sweetness.

And the zesty version of Mexican street corn, served with citrus chili aioli, topped with cotija, cilantro, and lime, is an elevated take on a local classic.

Staying true to their barbeque roots, Fireside will serve the likes of St. Louis Ribs in a Carolina barbeque sauce, tri-tip tacos, and a “Cowboy Platter” sampling of brisket, tri-tip, and pulled pork.

Though, a major focus will be on fresh, locally sourced fish dishes like the previously mentioned Ono, and whole roasted Branzino with a guajillo corn puree, citrus, charred broccolini, and pickled onion salsa.

“At a young age, I learned that things done right were always much better,” Jarrod said. “I learned to appreciate fresh ingredients and that those ingredients had a story and they spoke for themselves.”

Fireside was his first, and most extensive undertaking, but soon, Chef Jarrod will also be reviewing the menus at Patio on Lamont and Goldfinch to ensure that local, seasonal sourcing is at the heart of every Patio Group menu.

Visit Fireside by The Patio

Liberty Station, 2855 Perry Road, Point Loma

About the Contributor
Michelle Stansbury
Michelle Stansbury is a food enthusiast and the founder of Eat, Drink, Be SD, sharing the best restaurants, bars, and happenings in San Diego. Misuse of the word "literally" drives her figuratively insane.