Local French bistro Chez Loma is a favorite among Coronado’s dining options both for its historic location and award-winning food. While the restaurant has been serving food in Coronado for over 40 years, the Girault family took ownership in 2008 and their new manager, Diego Girault, is helping the restaurant thrive.
Like other local restaurants, Chez Loma was forced to close in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant reopened in June 2020 with Diego helping to hire a full staff and expand the business. New partnerships with food delivery services DoorDash, Postmates and Grubhub reached more customers. Diego also created the “Chez Loma To-Go” service which delivers their food to local homes.
Diego has worked at Chez Loma for more than two years and has held almost all of the positions in the front and back of the restaurant. His hard work and many successes led to him being promoted to restaurant manager last year at the age of 17. Diego now works 35 hours a week at Chez Loma in addition to being a senior at Coronado High School. Speaking about the manager role, Diego shared, “Successfully managing all operations of a restaurant is not something typical of an 18 year old. Being able to provide great profit margins, flawless service, and delightful food makes me feel confident.” Diego also recognizes that many of the restaurant staff depend on their income, so he feels an added responsibility to ensure the restaurant is successful.
Some of the many changes implemented under Diego’s management include adding numerous new dishes to the menu with enhanced presentation of the plates. While Diego is not old enough to drink alcohol, he worked with Chez Loma’s new bartender to refine the wine and cocktail list. Due to the increased volume of customers dining at the restaurant, Diego reopened the second floor of the historic home for dining. Most recently, Diego expanded the restaurant’s weekend hours to serve brunch from 9am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays with favorites such as crepes, French toast, and fruit bowls. As a teenager, Diego grew up with technology, so he added social media as well as online features including the OpenTable online reservation system.
Diego encourages locals to visit Chez Loma to experience the many changes and enjoy the fresh, French cuisine. After sampling all of the menu items, Diego’s favorite dish is the classic Filet Tartare which includes smoked raw filet mignon tartare, white truffle-micro arugula salad, and roast garlic aioli.