Baking in the San Diego Sun…
|August 21, 2012||Posted by hog under Restaurant Reviews||
Something happens to me when I go to San Diego. I get the impression that everyone’s brain is sun-baked! I do not mean for this to happen, and you could argue that because I spend most of my life freezing my butt off in the Bay Area, this is some form of jealousy packaged as snobbism. But, when I am there, the darndest things happen. Let’s take my recent trip, a security guard stopped me to ask what month is was? Yes, you heard me straight!
Okay then. Let’s move to some food. First stop was a cute little bar downtown packaged as a wine bar. The bright red meat slicer made me smile. The place has gotten critical acclaim in the San Diego press. After the single entry of rosé, the menu falls into categories with “White, Sweet and Fruity” as the largest
category. Hmm, different tastes here, to say the least. To top it, is a picture in the showcased press of the critic. (Our local critic, Michael Bauer, would flip a switch.)
Now, mind you, in San Diego some great spots are worth checking out, and I can’t believe that the chefs are dense, because after all they spend their days inside. For instance, I had a fine meal at Cucina Urbana. The restaurant is festive and alive, with a terrific take-away program and a wine room that doubles as a retail wine store–clever not to have to pay restaurant wine prices to bring a bottle to the table. You can’t go wrong with a bowl of mussels and a bottle of well-priced Kistler–I think it was $60.00, and the homemade burrata with prosciutto was also worth a second look.
Next stop, for views, go to the Marine Room or Georges, for California modern cuisine. We went to both, Marine Room first for a drink. The clubby restaurant, a stalwart by San Diego standards was reminiscent of the toniest Connecticut country club with ten foot waves that literally crash against the windows. Georges‘ view was equally significant, yet my first peek at the menu gives me pause: “Fish Tacos – hard to explain just try them?” Um, yeah. Otherwise, the homemade saffron and uni spaghetti with a softboiled egg was delicious, as was the uber fanciful seared octopus. Both ocean views were simply gorgeous, from almost every chair.
Last stop was The Fish Market, and as a friend of Fred Duckett, I’m an in-bred fan. As we stared off into the sea, nibbling on a delicious seared tuna and icy cold martini–the kind that comes with its own silver shaker– we fixated on the large mechanical owl that attempted fruitlessly to keep the stray pigeons off the roof. Another martini in and still staring at the sea, with 75 degree temperatures at 5:30pm, I started to understand San Diego and realized that sun-baked wasn’t so bad after all.
505 Laurel Street San Diego, CA 92101
2000 Spindrift Drive San Diego, CA 92037
Georges at the Cove
1250 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA
The Fish Market
750 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92132