• Team members in the car
  • Served burger
  • Served food top view
The Lab Collaborative logo

California at its best


The Lab's flagship restaurant takes a fluid, cutting-edge, and evolving approach to dining. We are committed to sourcing our local organic ingredients as close to Oceanside as possible. Come enjoy our exclusive guest chef experience, in addition to our awarded executive chef Ramiro Guerra's unique coastal cuisine.


Team Driven

Keeping it simple and working together is the formula for giving you a great meal and memorable experience at the restaurants of The Lab Collaborative. Abbreviated, our name is TLC - and that is no accident. At TLC, modern, upscale dining is delivered in a friendly, caring, and artless way. Whether in flip flops and a t-shirt or the suit you wore to land that new job, you are welcome here. To us, hospitality is always more important than what you wear, so come as you are and stay as long as you like. Our concept is focused on nourishing the body and creating community. Bring your friends. Let us feed you.


Locally Sourced

At The Lab Collaborative, the path from farm to table is direct and uncomplicated. Local sourcing means better food. All the ingredients on your plate are chosen with care and are as fresh and local as the farm down the road or what swims near the sandbar just this side of the horizon. While the restaurant industry may define farm-to-table as ingredients sourced within 500 miles of their location, we believe that you should know the fields and surf the waves that feed you.
The short distance to our table means that there is no fresher meal that we can offer to our friends and neighbors. Insisting on the finest local ingredients is about more than offering quality, freshness, and superior dishes that take their references from our natural resources. The Lab Collaborative supports the passion and livelihood of our neighbors - especially those who need our help to grow a prosperous future.



The collaboration that goes into our food also happens behind the bar. We bet it has been a while since you tasted a truly unique cocktail. The artisan bartenders at The Lab Collaborative are as inventive as every other member of our team. Choosing from our premium and top-shelf liquors and fresh juices and fruits, we invite you to challenge our team to compound an entirely new drink that you will only find here. You never know...maybe we will name it after you!

Executive Chef and Partner

Executive Chef and Partner RAMIRO GUERRA

Ramiro Guerra

At 16, Guerra dropped out of high school and got a job at a woodshop to help support his family, then struggling with homelessness. He worked as a carpenter for eight years until one day his tools were stolen. To bridge the income gap, Guerra picked up his first restaurant job at Chili’s in Escondido where he learned to cook on the line and find his passion as both cook and teacher.

Ramiro then graduated of the Western Culinary Institute in Oregon. A top student, he faced his final black box exam secret ingredient…. fish. Problem was that Ramiro is allergic to all seafood. But true to his spirit and ability he overcame and managed a near perfect score.

In the years since, Guerra has been the Regional Training Director for Chilis, Corporate Executive Chef at Genentech, culinary teacher at Palomar College, Executive Kitchen Manager with BJ’s restaurants, and most recently the Executive Chef and brand builder at Belching Beaver.

He has built Belching Beaver into a local staple of North County. He was responsible for everything menu and operations related. He created and ensured delicious consistency of the popular spinach and mozzarella meatloaf while introducing diners to Picanha — a Brazilian steak experience typically found in traditional churrascarias — Guerra’s been the flavor architect of Belching Beaver’s menu since its Tavern & Grill in Vista opened in 2016. His seasonal menu was driven by Belching Beaver’s extensive beer and wine selection, and includes global flavors and traditions he’s learned from fellow trained chefs as well as his abuelita’s kitchen.

General Manager

Eddie Navarro

At 17, Eddie started his restaurant career at Bruno’s Italian Restaurant in San Marcos Restaurant Row. There, Eddie learned the value of quality food and a family-owned restaurant. Later, Eddie had joined the Chili’s team in Escondido where he worked as a busser and line cook. This is where Eddie and Chef Ramiro became friends and have known each other since 1994. In 96, Eddie had moved on to work at Claim Jumper as a busser. He quickly moved up the ladder and became a FOH manager after completing the training program of all departments. This is where Eddie’s knowledge and experience in the restaurant business developed, not only in management, but in hospitality and custom service.

Eddie has worked for numerous different restaurant concepts, such as Islands, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, then onto Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill where he reunited with Chef Ramiro. The Lab Collaborative has been an avenue of collaborative freedom between staff and management in order to give high level of hospitality and experience to locals and visitors alike.

Bar Manager

Dani Steenberg

With two decades of hands-on experience in hospitality, Dani has solidified a reputation as a leading figure in the restaurant and bar industry. A seasoned professional, Dani’s journey began in 2003 as a host at IHOP where she quickly moved up the ladder into a server then key holder. As her passion for the craft grew Dani found a once in a life time opportunity as the Kitchen/Service Lead and Events Coordinator at Cal-a-Vie Health spa in 2008, where her love of hospitality really blossomed. There she learned the love of working alongside the chef to create amazing experiences for the guests.

In 2016, Dani embraced a significant opportunity to work with Belching Beaver Tavern and Grill. Over a seven-year tenure at the Tavern, she not only mastered the art of crafting impeccable cocktails but also played a pivotal role in helping create and design their cocktail menu. The last decade has truly highlighted Dani's prowess and innovation in the world of craft cocktails. Today, as The Lab Collaborative’s Bar Manager, Dani's commitment to excellence and continuous learning keeps her at the forefront of the industry, always eager to create the next big sensation in the cocktail world.

Kitchen Manager

Ivan Castillo

At The Lab Collaborative, Ivan's journey reached new heights. As a kitchen manager, he embraced the opportunity to collaborate with fellow culinary minds, fostering an environment of innovation and creativity. Ivan's leadership skills came to the fore as he mentored aspiring chefs and orchestrated successful culinary experiments that pushed the boundaries of flavor and presentation.

Legacy and Beyond After 15 years of hard work, dedication, and culinary exploration, Ivan Castillo's impact on the industry is undeniable. His journey from a line cook to a revered kitchen manager is a testament to his passion, innovation, and unwavering commitment to creating exceptional dining experiences. Ivan's influence continues to reverberate as he inspires the next generation of culinary talents to dream big and embrace the art of gastronomy.

Ivan Castillo's culinary biography chronicles a remarkable journey that began in the bustling kitchen of Hooters and evolved into an illustrious career spanning renowned establishments like BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, Belching Beaver Tavern, and The Lab Collaborative. From his early days as a line cook to his role as a kitchen manager, Ivan's dedication to pushing culinary boundaries and his unwavering commitment to excellence have left an indelible mark on the culinary world. His legacy serves as an inspiration to aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts alike, reminding us all that with passion, perseverance, and a dash of innovation, the world of gastronomy knows no bounds.

Jet Fuel/The Lab Manager

Mikayla Torres

Born and raised in Oceanside, Mikayla started her Career in service with Starbucks, where her higherups encouraged her education of operations and team leadership. She learned the ins and outs of corporate structure, and established a baseline for food and beverage service. After two years, she was given the opportunity to become a shift supervisor. In late 2019 Mikayla picked up a second part time job, where she got a taste for working with small businesses within her community. Restaurant service laid out in front of her, she learned the mechanics of food prep and kitchen-dining room relations through several local restaurants. This is when she caught the bug for small scale local business, and was kept around by the draw of impacting her community both through service, and encouraging her coworkers to strive for excellence.

In 2020 Mikayla got the opportunity to work in craft coffee, at a local coffee shop and roastery, Steady State, in Carlsbad. This experience expanded her knowledge of coffee, and allowed her to hone her skills in service and hospitality. From Steady State, Torres came over to The Lab Collaborative, in August of 2021, before we opened our doors. Her role began with building out our coffee shop, Jet Fuel. From curating recipes, dreaming up branding, to hiring our starting crew. This role rode tandem with learning the ropes of floor managing at The Lab.

Mikayla is excited for the future of The Lab, where our team works together to drive The Lab Collaborative forward, as staple in the local community of Oceanside.

For locals, by locals

Our Local Collaborations

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South O Brewing Company

Collaboration with The Lab

South O Brewing Company is a modern-day brewery with deep roots in South Oceanside, California. Founded by a group of passionate local residents during the Covid-19 pandemic, the brewery is built on the belief that beer is a powerful unifier, bringing people together to celebrate the best of this coastal community.

At South O Brewing Company, the focus is on brewing with passion and a commitment to the local community. The brewery is proud to partner with other locally-owned businesses to bring the best of Oceanside to the world. And, at THE LAB in Oceanside, you can experience the results of this collaboration first-hand.

The Lab Cerveza, a Mexican Lager, and St Malo, a Czech Pilsner, are two of the delicious beers currently on tap and pair perfectly with the food served at THE LAB. So why not come on down and explore the rich flavors of South O Brewing Company, and discover your new favorite beer!

Learn Moreabout South O Brewing Company

Harland Brewing

Collaboration with The Lab

At Harland Brewing Company, beer is more than just a beverage, it's a passion. The brewery is the result of a team of dreamers and doers who believe in inspiring others to pursue their passions and live life to the fullest. And, the Harland Hazy IPA is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy.

This IPA is the perfect balance of all the things we love about IPAs, without the overpowering bitterness. The addition of oats and wheat create a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that elevates the bright, citrusy aromas of gooseberry and white wine, making this IPA both aromatic and delicious. Southern Cross & Cashmere Hops give the Harland Hazy IPA its signature flavor, making it the perfect choice for beer lovers everywhere.

You can experience the delightful flavors of Harland Brewing Company's beers down at The Lab in Oceanside. Whether you're sitting at a table or grabbing a drink at the bar, be sure to sample the Hazy IPA when you stop by.

Learn Moreabout South O Brewing Company

Jen Turori Designs

Collaboration with The Lab
and Jet Fuel

Meet Jen, the mastermind behind the stunning brand identity and design for Jet Fuel Roasters and Coffee Co. and The Lab Collaborative Menus. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for capturing the essence of a brand, Jen has created a distinctive look for Jet Fuel that truly represents the brand perfectly and resonates with our audience.

At The Lab Collaborative, the focus is on building a strong and united community through collaboration with local artists, vendors, and businesses. And it's exactly this community-focused approach that shines through in Jen's designs for TLC. The logo and menus are a perfect representation of the "good people, good food, and good community vibe" that makes TLC a truly special place.

So, when you're in need of branding and design services for your business hit up Jen. When you're looking for a place to gather with friends and support local businesses, be sure to stop by The Lab Collaborative and see Jen's fantastic work in action over some unique food and drink!

Learn Moreabout Jen Turori Designs

Artifex Brewing Company

Collaboration with The Lab

At Artifex Brewing Company, the passion for brewing flows through every drop of beer we craft. Established in 2014, our family-run business is led by Johnny Johur, a seasoned brewing partner from Mother Earth Brewing, and a skilled financial and sales team consisting of Tom Cordato (CFO) and Nicholas Cordato (sales and distribution).

With two bustling tasting rooms in San Clemente and a brewery to match, we are proud to employ 15 talented individuals who work tirelessly to bring you the best beer possible. And soon, beer lovers will have even more reason to celebrate as we open our third tasting room, located at the Freeman Collective in South Oceanside on Freeman Street. Get ready to raise a glass and experience the art of brewing at its finest.

You can currently enjoy two of our expertly crafted beers on tap THE LAB in Oceanside. Trigger Finger IPA packs a flavorful punch with its hoppy profile and Artifexican, a refreshing Mexican Lager, offers a smooth and crisp taste with a hint of spices. Come visit us and discover your new favorite beer.