Fabric and food may seem different enough at first glance, but Searsucker proves that whimsical inspiration can come from many sources. According to San Diego Magazine, celebrity chef and former Top Chef competitor Brian Malarkey chose the name in honor of his seersucker suit, which is made of a lightweight fabric typically worn by the poor before being widely adopted. This lack of pretension heavily influences the eatery's approach to New American cuisine, which puts a spin on familiar staples by featuring items such as duck-fat fries with tomato jam, a cobb salad with pancetta in place of bacon, and corn "off the cob" with jalapeño and chorizo.
The name's deliberate misspelling embraces this hint of experimentation, but it also echoes Chef Malarkey's commitment to seafood, which arrives daily from the waters surrounding San Diego. Albacore tuna emerges with a complement of prosciutto, basil, and balsamic vinegar, and drunken cherries and smoky almonds add distinctive flavors to baquetta bass. Seafood comprises a significant portion of the lunch and dinner menus, but it doesn't overshadow dishes such as the rib-eye steak flavored with cognac and horseradish, or the pulled-pork sandwich on ciabatta with brandy-spiked barbecue sauce and apple slaw.
Even the decor embraces the same playful spirit as the menu. Thick loops of rope and warehouse-style light bulbs hang over some of the tables, creating inventive interpretations of traditional chandeliers. The exposed ductwork and brick walls mirror this industrial vibe, although there is a distinct coziness at the same time. The lounge section looks more like a living room than a waiting area, tempting patrons with sectional sofas, a wicker rocking chair, and stacks of old elementary-school report cards.