"Little Lion has a huge restaurant history. Their aunt is probably the best pastry chef in San Diego, and it's her daughters who opened up Little Lion together. It's the kind of place that when you walk in it just makes you want to smile because it's so quaint and charming."
"We're called Little Lion because my family used to own a restaurant in San Diego called Belgian Lion, just on the other side of the beach. So all our family heirlooms and things from that restaurant are strewn about the shop. We grew up there. Literally, as we got out of school, we'd go to work at the family restaurant, so we always dreamed of one day doing our own thing.
We grew up on Ocean Beach, so we used to always walk past this exact location. Anne-Marie, my sister who's the chef here, surfed on the end of the Sunset Cliffs and we always said, 'Couldn't you just imagine if that was a little location where you could get a glass of rosé and a cheese plate? Wouldn't that be so magical?'
We always had this really romantic vision of doing this European version of what we grew up doing at the Belgian Lion. Our goal when we opened this place was to have it feel like you’re in someone's home like you’re going to a dinner party at a friend’s house, and without advertising that, I’ve had people say that to me multiple times.
We've been able to realize our dream, and that's pretty cool."
"San Diego is perfect. It literally has everything. It's a big city, small town. You're 20 minutes away from any climate you could want, like mountains, desert, surf. Whenever I travel, no matter where I go in the world, every time I get on a plane to come home, I'm sad that my vacation is over but I'm stoked to come home to San Diego. I live in a place that people pay to come to see. I'm grateful for that."
My Perfect San Diego Day
"I'd start out in Little Italy and end up at Barrio Logan. Start your morning with coffee at James Coffee and have mussels for lunch at Iron Side. Then take the bridge south to Coronado, which is stunning.
I love Starlite for drinks and dinner. You have to be 21 to go there, but that's definitely a hidden-gem in midtown. It's kind of upscale bar food, but they source locally like we do at Little Lion and they really care about what they're doing. El Pescador in La Jolla is awesome as well, with phenomenal food."