After Over Quarter of Century With Same Owners, Ortega’s in Ocean Beach to Change Hands

by on March 30, 2023 · 23 comments

in Ocean Beach

Whenever I inform out-of-town friends or OB newbies about restaurants in Ocean Beach, I always describe Ortega’s on Newport Ave as the best Mexican eatery in the village.

Now, however, after over 25 years under the same family ownership, Ortega’s Cocina is changing hands.

Brothers Adolfo and Erik Barrientos-Ortega have been operating Ortega’s at 4888 Newport Avenue since the mid 1990s.

Over its 27 year tenure, the restaurant has become known for its lengthy menu of central Mexican fare, including tamales, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, tacos, pupusas and much more.

It weathered the pandemic with outside tables and offered fresh tamales on OB Farmers Market Wednesdays.

The Ortega family is planning on retiring, so the restaurant is in the process of being taken over by new operators, which should be finalized by mid-to-late April 2023.

Ortega’s Cocina will be taken over by a new group that includes David Sason, Jonathon Jarosa, Ryan Salem, Evonte Jina and Samer Cholakh. It is believed the team will continue to use the Ortega’s name and menu, with only aesthetic changes planned for the restaurant.

For more information, visit

(Hat tip to Linda Taggart)

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris March 31, 2023 at 7:17 am

Hopefully the new owners will keep the same menu and quality as as mentioned. No matter what happens, at least this is a story of the old owners simply wanting to retire after so many years and move on to a different chapter in their lives and not one about re-development and/or being driving out by high rents.


Greg March 31, 2023 at 9:37 am

Haven’t been in forever. What’s some favorite things to order there?


Frank Gormlie May 4, 2023 at 12:06 am



cg March 31, 2023 at 10:12 am

Can we have the parking spaces back?


Sorry not Sorry March 31, 2023 at 10:43 am

Bike lanes


GML March 31, 2023 at 10:57 am

Walking is good for you.


cg March 31, 2023 at 11:10 am

I’ll bet I walk more than you do. It’s about encroachment on a public street.


GML April 4, 2023 at 11:21 am

Sounds like “cg” is challenging me to a walk off!


cg April 4, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Between walking to work, walking to lunch, and walking home I’ll try to find the time!


Sorry not Sorry March 31, 2023 at 12:53 pm

I wasn’t serious GML. In fact, I am in agreement with eg. It’s just there has been a lot of push back against the rag as of late when it comes to the topic of bike lanes and the lack of public input.


Geoff Page March 31, 2023 at 2:13 pm

I think you meant The Rag, right.


Sorry not Sorry March 31, 2023 at 6:57 pm

I did. My bad Geoff.


Sorry not Sorry March 31, 2023 at 7:01 pm

I think you meant “The Rag, right?”, right?


Chris April 1, 2023 at 4:26 am

What parking has been takin out along Newport?


Geoff Page April 1, 2023 at 11:00 am

Have you been on Newport recently, Chris? Not being sarcastic, just asking because a lot of parking was taken out by the street restaurant set ups.


Chris April 2, 2023 at 5:16 pm

I forgot about that.


JayBird April 3, 2023 at 12:24 am

I walked down to the Townhouse for breakfast this morning. It’s pretty wonderful to see that most of the renegade restaurant serving decks have disappeared on and around Newport. There are some blatant offenders still around Newport and Cable , and the OB BBQ is still giving the middle finger.
At least at 8a.m. it was great to have almost no vendors at the end of Newport.
There were probably five vendors at Veterans Park. It is comforting to know that if I need to source some rocks or geodes for gifts I know where to get ’em. Nice grouping of 20 A-holes encamped in front of the former Starbucks. I guess they are showing US…! Not a rant, just the truth.


cg April 3, 2023 at 8:58 am

Also, the kombucha place. The one you mentioned was charging $10 to watch the Holiday Parade from the pen. Tables in the street made sense when inside seating was shut down, but years later these holdouts are just bad neighbors.


Lynn April 3, 2023 at 6:01 pm

Some Newport businesses are losing customers.
Disabled people will shop and eat where they can park.


JayBird April 3, 2023 at 7:34 pm

What I forgot to mention, is that Ortegas opened up wonderful little backyard space, and did not screw themselves and the community by appropriating parking in front of their business. There is absolutely no legitimate argument to allow any of these abominations to continue to exist – the attrition factor is working, BUT… there are the bad actors who will take advantage of the rules (sic). Not only about the covid dining areas but also the scuzzy “vendors” ? WTF ? They are all lined up and parking on Abbott and it is still a free for all. Still no enforcement.?


Pudintane April 26, 2023 at 6:08 pm

Everyone seems to be trying to turn a buck on what we thought was public space.


JayBird April 26, 2023 at 9:16 pm

Well,right! How come all of a sudden, we are in some kind of parallel universe where everybody just gets entitlement to do whatever the hell they want?
“Disruption” is sexy and cool. (Not). it is of course laughable that the scooter companies are also crying “restraint of trade”. Thanks , Smiley and Odd Todd. What a world…what a world…


JayBird April 26, 2023 at 9:49 pm

I was just thinking about this correlation… interesting that the City is opening up widespread unregulated development, as long as it is within one mile of public transit. (unprecedented and total B.S)…The scooter companies and the City have both been touting in their manifestos that scooters will bridge the gap for that last mile…A co-winkidink? You decide…


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