We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Gomez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christian, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my business was upon returning from my 16 yrs in the City of Angels. and a travel/trek through food and drink abroad. After experiencing a bold, adventurous, refreshing and diverse dining scene for many years in Santa Monica, KoreaTown, Venice beach, Echo Park and the likes I desired to express myself in my hometown of San Diego. But not before enriching myself further on a global adventure. It began in a small enoteca in Pisa, where the complimentary platters of apertivos, delicious wine, the contemporary design, the stylish crowd and the chill ambience had hypnotized me.

Shortly after returning from Europe I took a friend up on an open invite on a trip of a lifetime, Brazil. It is here where I experienced the beautiful melting pot culture of the people. All the while taking in the storied Churrascarias while imbibing on communal Caipirinhas while listening to sounds of silky Samba. The mouthwatering Feijoada and Môqueca Are true highlights that make my mouth water as I type.

And of course to witness the art of their national sporting past time Futbol on the beaches of Floripa.

From there it was on to the land of Tango, Empanadas, Quilmes and Parrillada…Argentina.
Into the streets of Che Guevara while toasting with Malbec, Torrontés and Local Pils with winemakers in a Mendoza and BA gave me a taste of why the world clamors at the romance of the Paris of the South.
At that time it only made sense being separated by only the Rio Plata- and establishing so many friends from this country while my time living in Venice beach, CA- I decided to dip my toes into Uruguay. Home of Chivitos, Tannat, Maté and life in Punta del Este, life couldn’t be more chill. It reminded me much of a young California by its terrain, but with the obvious different cultural backgrounds and offerings. I just scraped the life there and desire to revisit soon.
My next adventure a year or so later was to embed myself into my mother’s homeland of Panamá, where I indulged on comida tipíca of patacónes, sancocho, langosta, pescado frito and of course with many toasts to Rón Abuelo and Cerveza Panamá. The diversity of the people of Panamá truly made me appreciate my heritage while going all into the Caribbean lifestyle of surfing Bocas and adventuring into the stunning land of the GunaYala, San Blas.
Sometime after, I ventured into a dream trip to Perú for Cebicherias, Nikkei cuisine, Comida Chaufa and of course all things Pisco. But foremost, my discovery of the Andean culture was long overdue and satisfied by taking in the monuments in Cuzco and MacchuPicchu, which I’ve since learned is only one of many archaeological destinations still to be discovered. I am truly blessed to have had that opportunity and am here in my hometown to express all that and more. Stay tuned!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Back in college, I was once again, fortunate to have been sent for a study abroad to Western Europe for the Summer studying Art History. It changed my life and dreams forever.. It catapulted me out of San Diego to Los Angeles where I discovered show business. That adventure is truly my Hollywood shuffle story. From working as an actor off/on to finding a side passion in the food world as a food stylist under the tutelage of famous LA and NYC mentors. To then, segueing my aspirations to working as a private caterer and personal chef to producers and photographers in Hollywood  all the while while stepping into hosting/producing my own cooking show on NBC-LA in the Summer of 2005 titled, GreenEats, when I introduced farmers, farmers markets and the natural/organic movement, bringing back items to cook in my 150 sq ft kitchen of my Venice beach abode. I believe it was a bit before it’s time but a ride I will never forget. It ran for 13 weeks on NBC-LA on Sundays @ 4pm. It is something I’m super proud of and would love to re-engage with the right people here in San Diego if/when the stars align. Flash forward to San Diego and here I am back in my hometown.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Great question! for I really enjoy exposing my hometown to out of town guests quite often. On a Friday morning It would start like this – for a hike through Torrey Pines to La Jolla Coves then for a salad and a glass of wine at La Valencia on the deck afterwards head Back into into Balboa park rent a scooter at the Laurel street bridge for a quick jaunt into the San Diego Museum of Art for some classics, then lunch and a cocktail at Panama66 then scooter around the back sides of the park less traveled. I’d then follow that up with a visit to Shelter Island to grab smoked fish from PtLoma seafoods then step into Eppig Biergarten for a iconic view and experience. With the dinner time upon us I’d then head to BaliHai for some MaiTais and once again stunning view of the city while enjoying some steak skewers and pork ribs <<<nap and shower>>> Head to see the symphony at the towers then dinner at CowboyStar and with the last hurrah, finishing off with more cocktails at LionsShare and…perhaps if able then to AeroClub for an ol fashioned

Saturday morning -start with a brisk walk/ jog up and down the alleys of Sunset Cliffs, head down to the water catch some surf out front, then chill at Garbage Beach. Then head to Little Lion for a rejuvenating lunch, perhaps a pit stop to SouthBeach for some oysters and a cold one <<<shower/nap>>> good for aging 😎 – head to Convoy area to support my friend NabéSan at Yakudori and then Taisho For the best Yakudori in town, then finish off at Starlite with some Mezcal Mules with Jack and Matt.

Sunday start off with coffee and a pastry from Bread and Cie then on to the stairs in La Mesa to build up an appetite for Linda Vistas Sab e Lee with a feast of duck larb, baby pork spare rib soup, sautéed greens and curries and of course some ice cold Singhas… After that, the world is our oyster! <<pun intended>> But to be honest, this is just what came into frame as I sat and typed but there is SO much to see and do in beautiful SD and that’s why we live here.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out goes to my restaurant mentors:: Chefs Susan Feniger and MarySue Milliken (Border Grill) for their display of true dining entertainment with their bold and refreshing menus, my dear friend Chef Scott Linquist (Coyo Taco) who inspires me with his raw talent and tenacity, architect Josh Schweitzer, for his work in creating dining spaces that transport diners to playful, sophisticated places. Real important, the City of Angels for exposing me to diversity and hustle without that 16 yr experience I’d be bland. FoodStylists: Victoria Granof, Kimberly Huson and Wendy Blasdel for mentoring me in the fascinating world of visual arts by displaying to me the importance of texture, color and placement.

BUT most of all, the biggest shout out to my parents who came as immigrants to America from distant lands (Philippines and Panamá) to show by example what it was to work hard, dream big and be like bamboo, “ bend in the monsoons but never break”.

Website: www.wetstonewinebar.com
Instagram: wetstonewinebar_sd
Linkedin: Christian Gomez
Twitter: wetstonewinebar
Facebook: wetstonewinebar
Yelp: WetStone Winebar

Image Credits
Marshall Williams Rollie Carrillo Gabe Halvor

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