Couple transforms César restaurant into TABLE Food + Drink

A restaurateur couple has transformed its tapas concept — originally introduced at one of their Northern California restaurants — into a space with more American fare.

Richard Mazzera and Terumi Shibata Mazzera, the married co-owners of what is now TABLE Food + Drink in Rancho Santa Fe, originally brought their restaurant César to the Del Rayo Village Shopping Center in July 2016. (The couple also owns a 20-year-old César restaurant in Berkeley, which is still in operation, as well as four other Bay area restaurants.)

In order to respond to the demands of the San Diego market, the Mazzeras began withdrawing César’s tapas concept last year and now serves modern American food, created by Executive Chef Jon Hearnsberger. The official name change took place Jan. 5.

"Our customers appreciate the fact that it's not like we had a restaurant, it wasn't working and so we closed," Richard said. "We can cook anything. We just decided to change the concept. People have liked that."

The Mazzeras, who have been married since 2010, also responded to customers' desires for more comfortable chairs and a different atmosphere. When no sports games are being broadcast, the restaurant screens old films, such as "Casablanca" and "Some Like It Hot."

Some of the most popular dishes at TABLE Food + Drink include fried chicken, a fish dish with sole and bananas foster. The restaurant also boasts a raw bar with oysters and special events. Last year, the business hosted a southern pig roast and several winemakers dinners.

Japanese-inspired bites are also on the menu every Tuesday. Terumi, a Japan native, works for three days to develop new concepts for "Terumi Tuesdays" each week, her husband said. The restaurant also hosts Taco Thursdays.

Terumi said she and her husband, who frequently greet customers and work on the restaurant’s floor, have an advantage owning a business together in that they can work off each other's strengths and weaknesses.

"We can cover each other without saying anything at any moment of the day," she said.

TABLE Food + Drink, located at 16089 San Dieguito Road, Rancho Santa Fe, is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays and is closed on Mondays. For more information about the restaurant, visit www.tablefooddrink.com or call 858-771-1313.

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