Solana Beach’s Ranch 45 restaurant continues to grow

Ranch 45 restaurant in Solana Beach
(Luke Harold)

The latest opportunity for longtime chef Pam Schwartz came about by “happenstance” in Solana Beach.

Schwartz, a Florida native who first came to San Diego years ago as the San Diego Marriott Del Mar’s Arterra Restaurant and Lounge training manager, had been enlisted by an investor as a consultant for a restaurant idea that turned into Ranch 45 on Via de la Valle.

“I did some consulting work and he said ‘Hey, do you want to open the restaurant?’ Nobody’s going to say no to that,” said Schwartz, a Culinary Institute of America graduate who has been in the restaurant industry for about 30 years after telling her parents at age 13 that she wanted to be a chef.

Her culinary experience includes the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, sous chef the AAA Five Diamond Aubergine in New York, Morton’s The Steakhouse in Las Vegas and lead line cook at Nobu. She also served as manager and sommelier at Pamplemousse Grille for several years.

Solana Beach, Schwartz said, “feels like home.”

“The demographic is wonderful, we’re close to the beach. After running Pamplemousse, I got to know so many people there. Customers became family,” Schwartz said. “And after leaving for 10 years, it was so nice to come back. I had missed being in this area and working in this area.”

Ranch 45 restaurant’s plans for expanding include a full butcher shop and soon-to-be increased capacity as COVID-19 restrictions are gradually lifted.

Schwartz said that pre-COVID Ranch 45 offered breakfast and lunch only, and had a very small butcher shop market inside.
“Throughout this past year we’ve expanded to a full huge patio, we offer dinner three nights a week, our butcher selection has increased, and our beer and wine selection has increased,” she said.

The restaurant has also formed partnerships with other local businesses, including popcorn maker Craft Corn and MightyBooch Kombucha.

“Our mission statement is really honoring the ranchers, the farmers and the fishermen that we service,” Schwartz said. “We serve as much locally-sourced product as possible.”

She added that at Ranch 45, “we really try to know and understand everybody around us and to then pull that out into the community and become part of the community in a place where people are comfortable to come and dine.”

Ranch 45 is located at 512 Via de la Valle, Suite 102, in Solana Beach. For more information, visit