San Diego – 2/25/18 – Cala Cala x Vino Carta

Loved this installment of the pop-up dinners at Vino Carta.  It is fantastic to see how these continue to grow.

roasted & fermented vegetables, trout roe, brown rice, charred bread

live scallop crudo, lardo, XO sauce, seaweed oil, preserved citrus

eucalyptus smoked lamb & beef tartare, blackberry, jicama, pine nuts

grilled chicories, pork, calabrian chili, kohlrabi

yakitori quail, wheat berries, green garlic, meyer lemon, wild mustard

San Diego – 2/17/18 – Ceviche House

Somehow they were out of the first two wines we tried to order but it was only up-hill from there.  I could eat these dishes everyday.

La Paz – big eye tuna, cucumber, orange zest, ginger habanero salsa

shrimp aquachile, cucumber, red onion, radish, serrano, cilantro, lime

grilled octopus, green pipian, toasted sesame, radish

Yellowtail – morita & hibiscus coulis, cucumber slaw, seasonal fruit, crispy hibiscus flower

San Diego – 2/10/18 – Cucina Sorella

It was finally time to branch out from Cucina Urbana which has been a go-to for more years than I can remember.  As good as expected and the Big Table Farm pinot did not hurt.

pesto & piquillo pepper flatbread – zucchini, pecorino, arugula, ricotta

market chopped salad – kale, fennel, celery root, grape, ricotta salt, cashew, white balsamic

pumpkin & goat cheese & zatar & crudite

grilled sicilian meatballs – amatriciana, guanciale, grana padano

San Diego – 12/17/17 – Born & Raised

I really want to like Born & Raised. The design is fabulous and I am happy for more high end concepts to enter San Diego. Unfortunately the service was terrible on this and a previous visit and unacceptable at this price point. My first issue, not unique to this restaurant, is being asked for a credit card when ordering the bar. It was not crowded and I was clearly ordering dinner. The bartender cannot keep track of me when I did not move? I despise this practice and what feels like punishment for preferring to dine solo at the bar while doing the restaurant the favor of not occupying a 2-top. I ordered 2 dishes that would be table side preparations if not at the bar (although I am told that if you order more than one table side preparation you will only actually get one). If I am not going to get the added show, could I at least have new flatware between courses? Or actually asked if I want the dishes coursed? While the tartare was excellent, the toast was a horrible choice as far too soft to actually support anything and created a collapsing mess each time I tried. I would have enjoyed a second cocktail, but alas I couldn’t get the bartender’s attention for 25 minutes. Perhaps why they need to ask for credit cards or people would get tired of waiting and just leave.

martini

caesar salad

steak tartare