Restaurateur turns hand to reviving Rancho Santa Fe street plantings

By Karen Billing

One village business owner has taken it upon himself to put his love of gardening and plants to good use as a gift to Rancho Santa Fe. Mozy Jahanguiri, owner of Rancho Santa Fe Bistro, has not only filled his restaurant patio with greenery, he has also spruced up the entire stretch of the north side of Paseo Delicias and also given some love to the corner on La Granada. He has completed the project on his own time and with his own money.

“All of the planter boxes here looked really bad. I decided to do the whole block,” Jahanguiri said. “Nobody asked me to do it I just took it upon myself because this is a beautiful city and it should look good.”

He replaced dried-up planter boxes with water-saving succulents and plantings. While some spots have flourished, he said other spots, like the areas near La Granada, will need a couple of months to fill in. He expects one of the cactus plants to grow 10 feet.

Jahanguiri purchased the restaurant, formerly the Pantry, in January 2013. He said his fresh fish and grass-fed beef dishes have brought diners in from Del Mar, Encinitas and Carlsbad, and business has doubled from last year.

“They don’t feel like they’re coming to a restaurant, they feel like they’re at home,” he said of his cozy, gardenlike setting.

For his next project, Jahanguiri will turn his attention to an underused plaza behind Rancho Santa Fe Estate & Fine Jewelry, in front of Pacific Sothebys and Willis Allen. Jahanguiri’s plan is to remove the planter that is there and replace it with a fountain, flowering plants, tables and chairs. He has already built an archway in the paseo next to his restaurant that leads back to the plaza that he hopes soon will be filled with flowers.