Rimel’s Rotisserie’s Legacy


Following the success of Rimel’s Rotisserie, the owners decided to open a sister restaurant, Zenbu, near the La Jolla property. Zenbu was opened 2 blocks away from Rimel’s Rotisserie, and the two joints shared a tank where fish could be stored and plucked when preparing meals. The new restaurant complemented Rimels’ long-standing tradition of offering quality fresh food in their restaurants. This concept was unprecedented in the region and saw the restaurant attract many visitors from across California annually. When the Rimels first came up with this idea, nobody was preparing their fish fresh from a tank in La Jolla, and even in the broader Los Angeles region. Unlike La Jolla’s Rimel’s Rotisserie, which focused more on chicken-style dishes, Zenbu restaurant leaned more towards sushi-style dishes. Zenbu differed from other Japanese-style restaurants in San Diego in that it allowed people to enjoy their sushi in a dynamic way at the restaurant’s premises instead of offering a takeout service. The restaurant was more geared towards an atmosphere where people could enjoy a conversation over a fine meal and some cocktails.

The lounge setup at Zenbu was quite relaxed, featuring Asian-inspired décor, candle-lit wooden tables, dim lighting, bamboo accents, accompanied by eclectic world beat background music. The restaurant opened every day from 5 pm serving two dining levels, comfy lounging corners, and a classic sushi bar located in the upper area. This concept became such a hit that Rimel launched a subsequent Zenbu joint in Cardiff, which also became a success.

At its height, the Rimel’s restaurant empire comprised 3 sit-down joints, a booth located at Petco Park, a butchery in La Jolla, and 2 Zenbu Sushi joints. La Jolla’s Zenbu joint was shut down in 2014, and in 2017, Cardiff’s Zenbu joint was merged with the Rimel’s. Rimel’s La Jolla butchery ceased operation from its physical location but continues to sell beef jerky products online. Rimel’s Rotisserie in Del Mar shut down, and the La Jolla location closed shortly after that in August 2018. Cardiff’s Rimel’s Rotisserie was the last of the Rimel-owned restaurants to close its doors to the public.

In today’s competitive food industry, where few restaurants make it past the 1-year mark, Rimel’s Rotisserie has proved the importance of having a sustainable business model. Although Rimel’s Rotisserie in La Jolla has since closed its door to the public, the serene atmosphere and delicious chicken-style meals will still be cherished by La Jolla and California residents. Rimel has been a true visionary and has redefined the concept of fresh-food dining in the California region. There is no doubt that he has set the trend for restaurants in the last three decades, and the move towards fresh foods will continue to gain influence even in years to come.…

Be Sustainable and Support the Local Community – Rimel’s Rotisserie’s Key


The owners of Rimel’s Rotisserie believe in the concept of giving back to the community and community building and tried as much as possible to obtain cooking materials from the local population. For instance, Rimel would trade fish for fresh greens from The Bridges’ organic farm, and would rarely use products that weren’t locally grown. Rimel was all about local people and supplied fish to other local areas as well.

Rimel’s Rotisserie’s owners are also big on sustainable building, and their La Jolla property boasted of nothing but quality wood. It comes as no surprise that the building held up for almost 30 years, and still functioned well and without any cracks. Their lean towards sustainable building was not just in the Rotisserie in La Jolla, but also in their other properties. For example, the heavy front door and shoji screens at their Zenbu joint were built using century-old reclaimed redwood, the owners used dead cedar wood from their Palomar ranch when building their sushi bar, and would often prepare food using firewood fetched daily from the ranch.

When you are creating a business that is going to be there for a while, it’s not just your financial footing and creditworthiness that matter; it pays to invest in quality structures. More so, when you are creating a restaurant business such as Rimel’s Rotisserie in La Jolla. Making clients feel at home is indispensable to the growth of a restaurant business. When someone visits your restaurant, the first thing they evaluate is the structure. Food comes only once the first criteria is given the nod. Besides, no one wants to sit and have a meal inside a building that looks like it could collapse any minute. Investing in a quality structure was a great investment move on the side of the restaurant’s owners, and has stood the test of time for nearly 3 decades.

One of the most popular items on Rimel’s Rotisserie menu was the rice bowls, served with squash, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, bell peppers, and broccoli. The restaurant offered a choice to pair the rice dish with either pulled rotisserie chicken, boneless chicken, rotisserie chicken breast, calamari, shrimp, tofu, mahi mahi, or filet mignon. Depending on the pairing you chose, the dish could cost you anywhere between $9.95 and $19.95. Tacos and burritos with chipotle black beans and Jasmine white rice were other popular selections on Rimel’s Rotisserie menu. These could be paired with grilled mahi mahi, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, Baja-style shrimp or Baja-style mahi mahi for around $9.95 to $11.95. As for the salad, Rimel’s $12.95 cobb salad was quite a treat, and comprised organic field greens, avocado, tomato, crumbled blue cheese, Rotisserie prepared using firewood, smoked bacon, and was dressed using balsamic vinaigrette.

Rimel’s Rotisserie’s $10.95 burger was made from locally-grown, grass-fed sirloin, and came in a selection of dark squaw, sourdough, onion Kaiser, or plain Kaiser roll. We all love to put some sauce in our burger, and Rimel’s Rotisserie had you covered in this department with a selection of sauces. Pairings for the burger included roasted potatoes, Asian slaw, beans, and rice with an option to add bacon, cheese, and avocado for an extra cost. The menu also covered steaks, sandwiches, ribs, and other rotisserie dishes.…

Nothing Beats the Freshness of Rimel’s Rotisserie Restaurant


La Jolla is one of the best-known coastal regions in California due to its spectacular coastline views. Beautiful views of Mt. Soledad lay on the background of the ocean-surrounded beach area. La Jolla is also famous for one other thing—the bursting food scene. From Japanese-style restaurants offering sushi, teriyaki, and super buffets, to restaurants offering some of the most delicious chicken dishes such as Rimel’s Rotisserie, La Jolla has it all. The food scene at La Jolla promises two things: exotic cuisine and a relaxing atmosphere.

Mathew Rimel, the man behind one of the most famous restaurants in California, hails from La Jolla. As La Jolla native, Mathew Rimel grew up fishing and hunting in Baja California and would use what he caught to prepare a fresh, healthy dish. When he was a kid, Rimel had a dream of providing the community with fresh and healthy meals. Later on, his childhood adventures inspired him to get involved in the restaurant scene in La Jolla. Mathew and Jackie Rimel opened the first Rimel’s Rotisserie location in Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, California, in 1993. The restaurant mainly focused on chicken-style dishes and a selection of salads. When he was starting out, Rimel had little idea that he was going to be one of the most successful restaurant owners in California. His business model proved successful and allowed him to open subsequent branches at Cardiff, Vel Mar, and at the roof of Petco Park’s Western Wooden Supply premises. Mathew and Jackie Rimel later opened sister concept Zenbu Sushi at La Jolla and Cardiff’s State grounds.

Rimel’s Rotisserie has been one of the best places for fresh chicken dishes in La Jolla, California. Their use of fresh, locally-produced ingredients ensured that clients return for a subsequent bite was guaranteed with every trip to the restaurant. At its core, Rimel’s Rotisserie in La Jolla was all about offering quality fresh meals to its clients. Although some restaurants claim that they cook their meals using quality meat products and fresh seafood, most of them do not. This is one of the areas where Rimel’s Rotisserie outperformed its competitors and ensured rapid growth for the restaurant. In the restaurant business, as in any other business, customer satisfaction is key. And nothing makes a customer happier and healthier than a meal prepared using fresh ingredients.

Rimel’s Rotisserie In La Jolla used to obtain most of its ingredients from a local-based farm. Most of Rimel’s salad and sauces were made on a daily basis from the ground up and without any preservatives, including barbecue and sweet pepper sauces, as well as green chile garlic. The sauces were used on tacos and burritos and in steaming rice bowls. The beef for Rimel’s burger was grown at a ranch located on Palomar Mountain and then taken to Rimel’s butchery, Home Grown Meats for the restaurant’s final preparation. Beef for the steaks was initially sourced from an El Centro ranch, but Rimel planned on moving the production to the Palomar-based farm as well. …