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California Cuisine - SD

honkman Jul 15, 2006 07:13 AM

Over the last few years we often drove by California Cuisine on University Ave. but never visited it. You don't read much about but it is often mentioned as one of the first restaurants in SD which used local food supplier far before it was trendy like today. This week it was finally time to visit California Cuisine and I can only say that I am very impressed with this first visit. As starters we had the whole softshell crab in tempura on cucumber salad (very good with any excellent dressing) and strudel filled with wild mushrooms and fontina cheese (very good). The entrees were Salmon with spinach, fresh ravioli filled with shitake and ricotta in porcini broth (great taste and excellent executed) and Niman Ranch steak with asparagus, tomatoes, garlic mashed potatoes and balsamico reduction (again very good). Desserts were banana and belgian chocolate strudle with dulce de leche ice cream and peach/pear sorbet as the second dessert (I know I repeat myself but it was again without any flaws.) Only disappointments were the cappuchino (bad microfoam) and the espresso (without any crema). Service was as I would like them in all restaurants, the waiters are only there when you need them but he knows in advance when you need something, e.g. our waiter brought us more bread when he saw that I used all of it for my porcini broth (this is only a minor point but shows how attentive they were). California Cuisine flies very much under the radar on chowhound and other food related boards but I think it deserves to have a broader audience. IMO it is on the same level as Region or Café Cerise which serve for a similar clientele.

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  1. Captain Jack RE: honkman Jul 15, 2006 01:41 PM

    I was there for a memorable early dinner a year or so ago with my ex girlfriend who lived on 5th ave. Any idea who the head Chef is? The food you described sounds very good. Were the ravioli house made?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Captain Jack
      honkman RE: Captain Jack Jul 15, 2006 08:16 PM

      The ravioli, sorbet and dulce de leche ice cream were all house made. I think the head chef is Todd Atcheson.

    2. DiningDiva RE: honkman Jul 15, 2006 03:10 PM

      Honkman, Chilepm doesn't post on Chowhound anymore, but California Cuisine is one of her favorite places. She's usually pretty on-target with regard to finding places with really good food. She thinks it's too far under the radar too.

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