By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Major foodie hubs like Los Angeles and New York are seeing the rise of pop-up dining: long-established restaurants that allow new chefs to temporarily operate out of their kitchens, running an entirely new concept out of the same space. So, by day the restaurant may be a casual sandwich shop, and by night change into a gourmet dining hotspot with a new name, décor and menu.
Carmel Valley chef Dan Moody is bringing that trend to North County with his pop-up restaurant Relate, which will operate out of St. Germain’s in Encinitas from Feb. 3 to 26. Every night that Relate is operating here, the restaurant will undergo a complete transformation and offer a frequently changing prix fixe menu for around $50 per person. Though the menu will change regularly, Moddy said the cuisine will be contemporary French with a down-home American flare.
“My hope is that Relate will satisfy the inquisitive ‘foodies’ who have high expectations of the food, as well as those who are simply curious about the pop-up concept,” said Moody, who is also known as “The RelationChef” because he sees cooking as a way of expressing love, showing hospitality and ultimately bringing people together. “Pop-up dining isn’t just about going out to eat. It’s a an experience.”
Because of that, Moody will also be doing several cooking demonstrations, and he’s created wine and craft beer pairings.
Moody decided to open Relate after having gained extensive experience through the launch and ongoing support as Sous Chef at LudoBites — one of LA’s most popular pop-up concepts by Chef Ludo Lefebvre, who was recently named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Chefs by Relais & Chateaux. Moody has also hosted evenings at Test Kitchen LA — a showcase by restaurateurs which allows for experimentation and testing of new ideas and concepts by various well-known and upcoming chefs.
Moody graduated from Torrey Pines High School, so bringing pop-up dining to his old stomping grounds is especially rewarding, he said.
“North County has a really vibrant dining scene, so I’m happy to have found a way to be a part of it,” he said.
Relate will operate out of St. Germain’s at 1010 S. Coast Highway 101, #103, Encinitas, CA 92024. Its hours of operation will be Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 3 – Feb. 26, 6 to 10 p.m. For more information visit
or call 858-367-3709.