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.


caesar salad

steak tartare

San Diego – 12/14/17 – Biga Wood Fired Dinner Series

A great introduction to Biga for dinner which was part of their wood fired series featuring guest chef Drew Bent soon to open Lola 55 in San Diego.  All very good and flavorful dishes with the bonus of a surprising dessert that I loved.  I look forwarding to visiting Lola 55 and have already made a return visit to Biga based on the great hospitality.

trio of tostadas
loca ceviche – pineapple, jicama, chipotle
beef tartare – papilla, avocado, leek
fried oyster – basil, tomato, serrano, lemon

beets, potatoes, wood fired octopus, smoked saffron aioli, pickled spring onion parsley

tamale of porchetta, mole manchamantes, pickled vegetables, coal roasted plantain

oak baked yams, charred marshmallow, horchata of allspice & sugarcane

San Diego – 10/28/17 – Trust

Trust is definitely one of the better options in San Diego and I was pleasantly surprised by the food.  Service was quite good and even the wine list was a cut above most of the city.  However due to a poorly functioning exhaust system I came home having to launder everything I was wearing and wanting to wash my hair before bed, a feeling I haven’t experienced since the days smoking was permitted indoors.  I hope this was an unfortunate one time event so I will definitely give it a second chance.

hamachi tartare, black sesame, cilantro, avocado, sprouts, cucumber, trout roe, taro root

baja striped bass crudo, persimmon, apple, pickled chiles, fish eggs, citrus, herbs

arugula salad, yams, fried lentils, red onions goad fromage blanc, spiced pepitas, maple dijon vinaigrette

wood grilled cauliflower, golden raisins, mint, serrano aioli, curry vinaigrette

wood grilled pork sausage, yam gnocchi, bread crumbs, morels, charred broccoli, arugula cream

La Jolla and San Diego – 10/27/17 – Galaxy Taco and Juniper & Ivy

Galaxy Taco
I so wish Galaxy Taco was in downtown San Diego instead of La Jolla!

Juniper & Ivy
It’s always my first choice when anybody comes to visit!

carne cruda asada, quail egg, cotija, jalapeno

persimmon caprese, burrata, lemon balm, puffed rice, champagne vin, persimmon jam

country ham pancake, candied pistachio, persimmon

sweet potato agnolotti, maple glazed chestnuts, sage, brown butter

ahi tuna wellington, mushroom duxelles, gravy, kale, horseradish fingerling potatoes

La Jolla – 10/10/17 – George’s at the Cove

While its obviously all about the sunset, the food is delicious!

chili calamari – fresh hers, fresno chiles, sweet chili sauce

hummus – marinated olives, roasted peperonata, charred eggplant puree, za’atar, tzatziki, house made pita

grilled faroe island salmon, vegetable Lanson mills faro grain salad, watercress, chermoula

Healdsburg, CA – 9/3/17 – Single Thread

It was perhaps the most anticipated opening of 2016 and after so much hype I was sure that I was going to be disappointed. I tried to set very low expectations and even prepared myself to sweat on the roof before dinner.  I could not have been more pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. One of the best examples of what hospitality is.  Delicious food, friendly and stellar service.  Really the type of fine dining experience that I gravitate toward.  I didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to return.

late summer in sonoma county

homemade tofu – heirloom tomatoes, jimmy nardello pepper, saikyo miso and olive oil

summer squash from the farm – scallop stuffed blossoms and courgette cream

bodega bay wild king salmon “ibushi-gin” – shio koji vinaigrette, char roe, and myoga

poached foie gras – tea of last year’s tomatoes, tokyo turnips, and their greens

black cod “fukkura-san” – leeks, vegetables from our farm broth of young lettuces and gyokoro tea

pacific rogue beef – noyaux cream, komatsuna, bing cherries, chanterelle mushrooms, summer truffle, and almond

sonoma grains – nettles, kasu-zuke, farro verde beignet, rib cap, and herbs from the garden

frozen peach – sweet corn granite, peach, corn pudding, and peach consommé

pennyroyal lychee sherbet – whipped lemon posset, fig compote, and plum

the check

wagashi – chocolate and mint, tomato and strawberry, yuzu cream