Ranch & Coast Magazine

September 2023

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Hualalai on Hawaii's Big Island and the Four Seasons Resort Aviara (now Park Hyatt Aviara) in Carlsbad, as well as e Grand Del Mar when it was owned and operated by Doug Manchester's Grand Resorts. Sood later founded his own advisory firm to help owners and developers of new resorts, including Terranea in Palos Verdes, as well as hotels, luxury residences, and healthcare spaces. Most recently, Sood was vice president of operations for Hostmark Hospitality Group, overseeing ten branded and independent hotels including the historic El Cordova in Coronado and LaFayette in North Park. In another promising development, Clique Hospitality, known for the well-regarded Serea restaurant at the Hotel del Coronado, Lionfish at e Pendry, and Temaki Bar Sushi in Encinitas, has signed on to reimagine e Inn's restaurant and bar. Lilian's, its signature restaurant which replaces Morada, is named in honor of the late architect Lilian J. Rice, who designed e Inn and the Village of Rancho Santa Fe. Bing Bar pays tribute to Bing Crosby, the late crooner, Hollywood star, and co-founder of the Del Mar Racetrack. "We are thrilled to be a part of the team that is bringing new life to e Inn at Rancho Santa Fe," says Andy Masi, Clique Hospitality's founder. "As we imagined these new concepts, we sought to create a restaurant and bar as singular and as special as Rancho Santa Fe, an ode to e Inn's longstanding role as a gathering place for community." Masi, who co-founded the Light Group in Las Vegas with Andrew Sasson in 2001, also brings extensive experience to the table(s). Partnering with MGM Resorts, Masi and Sasson operated a range of restaurants, clubs, and bars until acquired by the Hakkasan Group. A year later, Masi founded Clique Hospitality, operating venues in a variety of new Las Vegas hotels, and in early 2017, three more offerings at the Pendry Hotel, including Lionfish, in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Reached by phone at his Del Mar home, Masi says he and his wife, Electra, met as college students in Boston, lived in Las Vegas, and in 2009 resettled in the North County where they are raising two teenagers. Last spring, members of GEM, the Chicago-based investment group, whom Masi knows socially, asked him what he thought of e Inn. "It's a beautiful iconic gem just sitting there," he replied. Now, barely four months later, Masi and his team are busy tweaking the interior design of e Inn's restaurant and bar and developing the menus. Executive Chef Moira Hill, a San Diego native who most recently helmed Little Italy's Nolita Hall, has also worked in such top restaurants as Campfire, Juniper & Ivy, and Trust. On the menu at Lilian's: California coastal cuisine including fresh-caught fish, grass-fed meats, and seasonal, sustainable ingredients. "What we're trying to do is create a very approachable dining experience," says Masi. at means quality food, but in an environment that's not stuffy or pretentious. "I'm a simple guy," says. "I will take a great cheeseburger over a dish of foam any day." As for the d├ęcor, Masi says former owner Steve Hermann did "some incredible things" with hand-crafted furniture, high- end finishes, and beautiful fabrics, a nod to 1920s Hollywood glamour when e Inn was frequented by such Hollywood stars as Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. But look for "vintage luxury, nothing shiny or flashy" at Lilian's, Masi says, and a cozy atmosphere at Bing Bar with a fireplace, wood paneling, exposed beams, and plush furniture offering creative libations and light bites. A cafe off e Inn's living room, which opens onto a patio, will be a place to grab a cup of coffee and light breakfast in the morning. Masi emphasizes that e Inn will embrace locals, not just hotel guests. "We realize that e Inn is the center of community," he says. "e hotel is the heart of the town. We're just the stewards." theinnatrsf.com Lilian's Executive Chef Moira Hill The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe Managing Partner Vikram Sood Lilian's patio at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2023 99

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