Cesarina to Open Second Restaurant in Former BO-Beau’s (Thee Bungalow) in Ocean Beach

by on June 27, 2023 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Elvira to Open This Summer

By Jared Cross / San Diego Magazine / June 26, 2023

Cesarina is finally opening a second Italian restaurant, Elvira, in a beloved OB spot.

Niccolò Angius and his wife, chef Cesarina Mezzoni, operate under the moniker Cesarina Group along with longtime friend Giuseppe Capasso.

Their first spot, opened in 2020, has been a runaway hit in the no-man’s land between OB and Point Loma, and won Best Pasta in this year’s “Best Restaurants” issue of SDM. Their next idea will be called Elvira—named after Niccoló’s great-grandmother—opening later this summer in the 1930s building that previously housed BO-beau kitchen + bar and longtime local favorite Thee Bungalow.

“We love this community and the neighborhood,” Angius says about operating two restaurants just a handful of blocks away from one another. “We’ve established a reputation in Point Loma and Ocean Beach, so we wanted to stay close. It’s also convenient to have both projects close by so we can remain hands-on and maintain quality.”

The Italian architecture and interior design firm Limes Architetti is tackling the remodel at Elvira, using checkered flooring, wood detailing, thrifted artwork, and vintage family portraits. The nearly 2,400-square-foot space includes a wood-paneled dining room with marble table tops, a covered patio with a hybrid gas pizza stove (separate from the kitchen), a full bar, and a private family-centric dining room that aims to recreate the experiences Angius had at his grandmother’s home.

Although chef Mezzoni is still fine-tuning the menu, her direction is clear: tell the culinary stories of ancient Roman streets with just enough modernity. “Everything will center around traditional Roman dishes—a balance between pizza, pasta, and entrees,” says Angius. “In Rome, you have two styles of restaurants: pizza restaurants and osterias. In pizza restaurants, you usually don’t find any kitchen items, and vice versa. We will be a blend, the best of the two worlds.”

Menus will rotate daily, but include items like fried rice croquettes, squash blossoms stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies, an array of Italian cured meats, cacio e pepe, carbonara, and varied preparations of chicken, lamb, and salted fish. You won’t find any items spelled out on a paper menu though, and forget whipping out your phone camera to scan a QR code. Instead, refer to the blackboard menu or have it verbally communicated by the staff.

Medium-sized parties (up to eight people) will be able to reserve Cucina di La Nonna, the on-site private dining room accessed through the kitchen. It’s an interactive and reimagined version of late Elvira’s de facto residence, the scene set by earthy tones and weathered wood fixtures. A fully stocked China cabinet and delicate tiling illuminated by classic lighting fixtures.

“Servers will be trained to somewhat mimic what our experience was at grandma’s house,” says Angius. “Grandma would cook, but everyone had a part in making the meal special. So we want to do something similar.”

Cesarina will soon take over the world, or something slightly smaller. They own the lease on the space across from their original location. They’d originally planned to open Angelo, a neighborhood Italian restaurant named after Niccolo’s father. But it’s such a massive space they’re re-thinking what to do with it, and are looking for another home for the Angelo concept.

Regardless, OB’s pizza and pasta game is about to get a lot better. Elvira is planned to open August 2023 at 4996 Point Loma Boulevard. View Cesarina group’s website for more details about the Elvira restaurant opening.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie June 27, 2023 at 7:28 pm

Good News! Congrats-glad they are being successful and I am happy no scanning of QR codes. I hope there is a spot to park and pick up a pizza ordered to take out…hint hint :-)


FrankF June 28, 2023 at 7:42 am

“No man’s land” between OB and Point Loma????? What do you mean, no man’s land? It’s a great neighborhood with lovely restaurants, stores and people.

Pick your words better Jared, that’s where I’ve lived for the past 45 years and I love it.

Second point, I really like Cesarina but I’d rather have Bo-beau back in operation.


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