Friday, May 11, 2012

Food Lately & Upcoming Events

The past few weeks have seen some fantastic meals that are off my usual truck, shack, hole-in-the-wall beat. It's been a nice break, nibbling and sipping the finer things that San Diego has to offer. Ch-ch-ch-check it: 

The US Grant's regal lobby. 
When I told a friend of mine that I'd eaten at the Grant Grill, he laughed and asked why I'd go to such a stuffy place for lunchtime cocktails. While the scene isn't "poppin" per se (at least not at noon, anyway), the ambiance is classy and timeless, and reasonably priced, delicious food plus Jeff Josenhan's stellar cocktails lured me in.

If you've read any of my other cocktail posts, there's a noticeable trend in my drink choices: anything that has an egg! Even though I ordered the Grant's fried egg sandwich for lunch, I couldn't resist the lure of Josenhan's Dandelion Ramos Flip. 

This cocktail screams spring fling. It's floral, citrusy and perfectly frothy thanks to a proper shaking, and egg whites. Ballast Point rum is simply a pleasure to drink. I wanted to order another, and another... tart, light and refreshing, this is a drink for the ladies. Sexy ladies!

The fried egg sandwich didn't photograph well, but Erin Jackson snagged a hot pic for her SD Mag piece. Once you have this sandwich, you'll want another-- despite it's $12 price tag. I'm not cheap by any means, but when you're on a budget, a $12 sandwich better taste fucking incredible, and this was definitely up there.

It's like an Italian BLT with a fried egg. Soft, toasty rosemary bread is spread with mayo, then butter lettuce, heirloom tomatoes (remarkably sweet, like candy!), Guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon made from the jowls or cheeks), an egg fried to your liking (over medium for me), and nutty-sweet Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese finishes it off.

This sandwich is served till 11:30 p.m. every night, and Friday nights after 10 p.m. all signature cocktails are 1/2 off. Yes, a Dandelion Flip can be yours for the low price of $6!


I finally made it to Saltbox, and mixologist Erin Williams' cocktails were fantastic. My favorite was Off the Beet'en Path:

Saffron infused gin, yuzu, ginger, beet brine, oj,
elderflower syrup, angostura bitters,                            
dainzu hibiscus salt. Not too sweet, but tangy and delicious!

Omg... this sandwich is killer, and the pickles, I'd take to bed with me. Get the short rib grilled cheese when you go to

Our table loved this dish. Burrata, pesto, spinach and lovely asparagus. An explosion of flavors! 
Tomorrow, Saltbox, or rather SummerSalt (the poolside version of the eatery and bar) is hosting a show-down between local chefs from Craft & Commerce, El Take it Easy, JSix, Quality Social and the Grant Grill. Chefs and mixologists will go head-to-head to create the best bite/cocktail duo. 

Ticket proceeds go to local charity Olivewood Gardens whose work is to teach youngsters the value of organic gardening. 

The competition is based on a single ingredient (that's in season, of course). Can't wait to see just what that is tomorrow! 


Evolve Cuisine's San Diego Dinner event at Caffe Calabria was a blast. The communal style dining really makes these events-- this is the kind of food you want to discuss, think about and enjoy together. Plus, drinking other people's wine is nice, too. They always offer!

Several bloggers took way better pictures than me, so check out Rodzilla Reviews and Gastro Bits write ups.

The fish taco course was my favorite. The broth tasted like a tortilla, and all the elements of your classic fish taco were there in flavor, just disguised. Fun. 

The bacon cheeseburger was also a hit. It was more like a bacon cheeseburger sausage, which was fine by our table.  
Jeff Bonilla's adorable bite-sized chocolate cupcake. The fluffer for the main event. 
The Evolve team plating. 

Which was the deconstructed version. Best raspberry sorbet I've ever had. 

Buy your tickets for Evolve Cuisine's next dinner, which takes place at Fixtures Living June 1-2. 


If you haven't been to Harney Sushi in the last year, get in there for omakase. The ambiance is the same-- loud-- but the menu is something else. Everything is sustainable, and quite simply some of the best seafood I've ever eaten.

Bring a skilled photographer with you like I did. These aren't my pictures!

Spanish Mackerel. 

When you're working with the best ingredients available, don't fuck with 'em. This dish didn't, and it was perfect.

Rice-less and missing nothing. It was cool, crisp and wonderful roll with added crunch from tempura asparagus. 

The tuna was clean and pure. 

Food coma! I believe this was albacore belly. Simply prepared with a vinaigrette drizzle and fresh grated ginger,  

We refused dessert and got this instead. 

Chef preparing our sashimi

Holy food porn. 

Seafood party! The New Zealand Salmon was the best I've EVER had.

Sexy little shrimp.

Delightful shrimp tempura roll, wrapped in soy paper. 

All the plates at Harney are beautifully presented. 

The best shrimp head I've ever had the joy of sucking. Never sucked the goodness out of a fried head? You haven't lived!

1 comment:

  1. What a writeup! Everything looks delicious; I'm dying to try several of these items. I sucked a fried shrimp head at Gabardine last night and didn't even bring protection.