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Addison = excellent

Just had a great meal at the new Addison:


Top level cuisine, fantastic service, one of the best meals I've had in our little burg. Not cheap, but worth it. Check it our while you can still get in!


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  1. Can you go into more detail. Addison is the restaurant I was waiting for some time now. Hopefully it will set a new standard for SD.

    1. Sure!

      First, yes, I consider it a new standard for San Diego. Closest experience to which I can compare would be NYC's Daniel. Relatively formal- they probably wouldn't require it, but I was glad I wore a jacket (but, for the record, no tie). I was part of a group of five foodies, including one trained sommelier and one former pastry chef. We saw the menus briefly- very small nember of choices, but each was a sophisticated blend of ingredients- not complicated and fussy, but well-grounded. Yes, I should have brought a notepad. Prices on entrees were, if I remember correctly, between $26 and $35. The tasting menu with paired wine was, if I remember correctly, $156.

      It is a very large room shoehorned full of decor. We had mild disagreement among our table- some liked the formality, others thought it was a little Vegas-y. It's the anchor restaurant in Doug Manchester's Grand Resort, which will be opening sometime in the future, a year, I think. But the restaurant is going to have to tough it out with local business in the meantime. We, in our group, disagreed about the music- it was a contemporary and hip instrumentals- sorta "chill" but edgier. My favorite when working, but not dining. Others thought it was perfect.

      Anyway- as it was a somewhat slow Thursday night, we nearly had the place to ourselves. The chef is young (well, younger than I but, well..) and had started his career with James Boyce at Azurra Point, who has since become one of SD's celebrity chefs, and is now up at Studio in Laguna Nigel's Montage resort- another dining experience. So, the staff whisks away the menus, and we're off to the chef's teeny-weeny tasting courses. LOTS of them, and LOTS of paired wines. Each plate beautifully presented, each course with one or two fantastic sauces. As I recall (note: When doing wine pairings, resist the temptation to drink every bit of every wine- I'm no lightweight, but with a cocktail starter the meal will tend to run together) we were served a bit of crab leg, a tad of seabass, a glorious piece of duckbreast, a beautiful glazed shortrib on lentils, a controversial dessert looked like cheesecake but was more like a dense meringue with a tart but sour-ish flavor, a cheese course and some teeny sweet thingies.

      Re-reading that is sounds less georgeous than it was, but I'm too lazy to edit. Let me be clear: Each course was a little jewel of preparation and flavor, exquisite (sorry, have to use a cliche) in it's craftmanship.

      Service was the best I've had in town. Granted, it was a slow night and there were more waiters than diners. I understand weekends are already packed, and it won't be long before the weekdays will too.

      Gotta run.


      2 Replies
      1. re: Fake Name

        thanks for the heads up on Addison! We got a flyer announcing their presence and have been curious if it's worth the time and $$. Will add it to out "need to try list."

        1. re: Fake Name

          An update on Addison from Inside Scoop SF:

          In the restaurant world, six years is a long time for a restaurant to thrive, let alone a chef — especially a sous chef — to stay in a restaurant. But some restaurants are different, and well, the French Laundry is obviously one of those.

          Sous chef Anthony Secviar has been at the French Laundry since 2005, when he started as a chef de partie. In 2008, Thomas Keller promoted him to sous chef, where he’s been since then. Now, Secviar is headed to San Diego to become the new chef de cuisine at William Bradley’s Addison, the city’s only Forbes 5-star restaurant. He’ll join a fellow French Laundry alum there, Jesse Rodriguez, who is Addison’s wine director.

        2. I'm hearing some rumors about the continued existence of Addison and am wondering if anyone else is hearing anything similar. It would be a shame to lose a restaurant of this quality but given market conditions I guess that I wouldn't be shocked if it were to close.

          5 Replies
          1. re: ibstatguy

            what did you hear? closing? change of ownership?

            1. re: stevewag23

              The Grand Del Mar itself is in jeopardy. It's supposedly on the market to be sold from what I've heard.

              1. re: SDGourmand

                I'm not surprised, given the state of the economy (and it was going down two years ago, roughly when Addison opened). I would be very, very bummed if Addison closed. They really have good, albeit expensive, food.

                  1. re: ibstatguy

                    Yes I had the full tasting menu here recently and it was really, really good. The wine pairings were excellent. It's a plush room that gives you that elegant, I'm really out to dinner feeling, but the food is livelier. I'm kicking myself for not having taken notes, I have a happy, hazy memory of melting into plate after plate of delicious food, wait, I remember an amazing Riesling, a sommelier who told us what we were drinking in a really interesting way without being intrusive or overbearing ... the menu's changed for spring now so I'll go back and repost with actual food notes.

          2. Hey chow chows. Has anyone eaten here recently? Excellent? Terrible?

            4 Replies
              1. re: Dagney

                We were there in July and it was excellent. However, it was a weeknight and the restaurant was near empty. My recollection is that, during the course of our meal, there were only 4 other tables filled.

                It's a gorgeous, decadent space and the service was impeccible. Similar in feel to Alex in Las Vegas, but with a nice California flair. One our way out, the Chef stopped by to introduce himself...nice touch.

                I hope this restaurant survives. It is a nice addition to the SD dining scene, but restaurants like this are dropping like flies as diners take their dollars elsewhere.

                1. re: ejs1492

                  was packed when I was there. They said business has been good for them.

                  1. re: SDGourmand

                    That's GREAT news. Glad that they are thriving.

              2. Thank you all for the opinions! I am tossing between Addison and Market for my 40th birthday next week.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Dagney

                  hmm, hard call. Addison is closed on Mondays, if that helps.

                  1. re: daantaat

                    We are going tonight. Still deciding...

                  2. re: Dagney

                    Another Virgo here.
                    Where did you end up going Dagney?
                    Both are excellent..
                    Happy Birthday!

                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      We went to Market. (I'll post the review on the Market thread). I think we are going to hit up Addison for our anniversary in a few weeks.

                      And, thank you!

                    2. re: Dagney

                      Most likely too late for you but my wife and I had a fantastic 5-course tasting menu at Georges this Saturday (It's not on their menu but we asked them a few days before if it would be possible since we always try to have tasting menus in restaurants.) It was also nice that we had different dishes for all courses so that we overall tasted 10 different outstanding dishes. It was also surprisingly cheap for the quality. I post a short summary soon.

                      1. re: honkman

                        Agreed, George's is actually a bargain and they've gotten better.

                          1. re: stevewag23

                            $65/person + $30 for wine pairing.

                      2. OH MY GOD. I cannot type the review. Too drunk, too satiated, tooo.................toooooo....it was soooooooooo amazing. I'll type tomorrow. . . . .. .....................

                        3 Replies
                            1. re: Dagney

                              I have the menu, I will post it tonight.

                            2. Addison, on September 24, 2009

                              We splurged and chose the chef's menu, with wine pairings. This is why God created credit cards.

                              Our dinner qualified as one of the top three EVER. The entire dining experience, from the greeting to the coffee was polished and ultra professional. I should mention that I was mildly prepared to be disappointed, as I always want to be careful to not be blinded or intimidated by cost and rating. Addison put my cynicism to rest for several hours with their effortless graceful presentation of what it means to be the best of the best.

                              The Start.

                              We were greeted by a sharply dressed, smartly demeanored, lovely young lady. A clearly spoken "Good evening" set a happy tone. One more "Good evening" from another young gentleman furthered this welcoming atmosphere. Clearly, this house understands a five diamond award standard extends to all reaches of the evening, not just the food.

                              The Seating.

                              The hallway leading to the dining room is constructed almost entirely of marble. I am not an expert in architecture, so I can only offer the simple compliment in this arena of "Gorgeous." The hostess walked SLOWLY down the hall, as if to shift our focus from the outside world to THIS room. We were shown to an excellent table near the window. She pulled each of chairs out in such a deliberate manner, the action further meant to shift our mind's life/work/busy timing to dining experience timing. She placed a small table next to my chair for my purse.

                              The Service.

                              A polite back waiter greeted us with a calm offering of sparkling or still water (We chose sparkling). I mention the tone of calm because it was simply that, not loud, not "hey guys can I getcha....", just simple and unadorned. The sommelier wheeled a cart of assorted champagnes to our table to offer a glass of the wonderful liquids, which we declined as we had dreams of Tanquery Ten martinis. This was a mild upsell, which usually drives me batty, but this gentleman carried himself in a respectful manner, and I did not feel assaulted. (I say, "I" here, as this is my pet peeve, not my husband's).

                              The front waiter continued the calm mood with, "Good evening, welcome to Addison, thank you for dining with us." Husband and I hopped right to the our regular opener of Tanq Ten martinis up. Sometimes martinis prove themselves a slight risk, as an unskilled bartender can slather the whole in vermouth, or produce an overly dry martini, leaving one wishing a bit of bite. These martinis were perfectly mixed. I mean PERFECT. A tiny amount of bite was decorated with subtle glitters of lemon and lime.

                              The Meal.

                              Amuse Bouche- Chilled Cavaillon Melon Veloute with Basil Cremeux. This was served with three rasberries, which were so perfectly ripe; their soft skin acted as a wonderful balance between the melon veloute and the cremeux.

                              First course- Baby Sea Scallops with Golden Caviar, Creme Fraiche, and Clam Jus. The scallops were sugary sweet and with the hint of a firm texture that quickly melted on the palate. Wine pairing- Max Ferdinand Richter, Riesling, Kabinett "Graacher Himmelreich" Mosel Germany, 2007.

                              Second course- Butter Baked Salmon with Carmelized Onions and Wild Arugula.
                              Wine pairing- Parr Selections, Chardonnay, Sta. Rita Hills, CA 2007

                              Third course- Seared Foie Gras with Carmelized Onion Mile Feuille and Sauce Albufera. The foie gras was cooked to perfection, the texture was velvety and buttery.
                              Wine pairing- Martinus Estate, Pinot Noir, Martinborough, New Zealand 2006

                              Fourth course- Ris De Veau Poelee (sweetbreads) with Confit Capers, Parmesean and Port Wine.
                              Wine pairing- Moulin-Tacussel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France 1993

                              Fifth course- Cheese, They did not include the exact names on our menu, but the most memorable was a type of bleu, with the sharpness of sharp cheddar.
                              Wine pairing- Michele Chiarlo, Moscato D'Asti "Nivole" Piemonte, Italy NV

                              Sixth course- Mint chip

                              Seventh course- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Terrine with Amaretto Gelato.
                              Wine pairing- Yalumba, "Classic" Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia

                              Each component of each course was the freshest available, had the richest flavors, that were physically possible. Each bite was like a small event of flavor and texture, embellished for miles by the excellent pairing; only to be followed by another event. As if the divine flavors stood up from their plates and hypnotically beat us gently into willing submission.

                              The level of service was so absolutely top notch and unnoticed. Each course was preceded by the wine service. The wait staff presented our plates simultaneously (for every course), as the front waiter described the course using succinct, well spoken verbage. The experience was flawless.

                              10 Replies
                                  1. re: Dagney

                                    thanks for the detail. if you don't mind me asking, what was the damage?

                                    1. re: rquitaso

                                      A lot. We broke five. Totally worth it. Keep in mind that we went all out with a seven course meal WITH wine pairings for each course. We will return. We are thinking about making Addison a yearly tradition. The outstanding execution of that tricky blend of atmosphere, food, and service makes it worth a special trip from Alpine.

                                      Ibstaguy- The food was easy to remember, part of our dinner included two copies of the food and wine signed by the chef.

                                      1. re: Dagney

                                        thanks dagney. ill have to keep that in my pocket for the wife on a special occasion. =)

                                        1. re: rquitaso

                                          We are going to tuck away a few duckets each month for next year's dinner.

                                    2. re: Dagney

                                      reminds me of our chef's menu evening with (extra) wine pairings. we had a spectacular evening but my hat is off to you for remembering all the details

                                        1. re: stevewag23

                                          They did not appear to be extremely busy. A table of 4 was seated shortly after we sat down, and I noticed a couple of other tables throughout the evening. One of the tables was a party of 6.

                                      1. I thought I would add a few more notes about the decor, as some folks have commented the room was a bit Vegas.

                                        There were some things that would qualify as Vegas, the drapes, the fleur-de-lis here and there, but I loved the volumes of marble. Marble is not matchy matchy, painted, gilded or draped. Marble is a timeless, indestructible product; which offers it's own unique standard of beauty.

                                        1. Returned to Addison last night- I see I started this thread over four years ago. This was our third visit.

                                          Last night was as spectacular as the first. I maintain Addison is, (save Super Sergio's) the finest dining experience San Diego has to offer.

                                          No, I'm not giving a long soliloquy about each course, and I'm not sophisticated enough to comment on the wine pairings, except that I liked them.

                                          More important t me is the character and high level of service offered by the staff. You'll need to trust I've dined internationally (even Berlin)and have rarely seen the high standard set by Addison.

                                          It was our anniversary, and the staff was gracious without being obsequious, attentive without being cloying, and friendly without false familiarity. They addressed us by name (not the Fake One) from valet to lovely hostess parting chocolate on the way out of the door, as if we were long-time valued guests.

                                          We were also dining with another certificate purchased at an arts charity auction. It offered a four course dinner with wine pairings for two people. We let them know when making our reservations it was our anniversary, and we had the certificate.

                                          Certificates are frequently awkward in the industry. They often accompany diners who appreciate the experience a little less than if they paid full price, and often tip, if at all, on the discounted amount. Sometimes the establishment will adjust the service to compensate.

                                          If anything, Addison went in the opposite direction. Four courses- HAH! Champagne, amuse, appetizer, fish, meat, palate cleanser, cheese, dessert, all (except cheese) paired with wines we thoroughly enjoyed. Delicious breads with glorious house-made butter.

                                          We assumed we'd be paying for at least the Champagne and cheese course, and brought plenty of cash for a tip based on the total value of the meal. We put the certificate on the table at the end of our meal, and waited for the adjustment.

                                          Our waiter returned briefly to tell us everything was taken care of completely by the certificate, and to enjoy our anniversary. We thanked him and assured him we'd be tipping accordingly, which he promptly and graciously refused. We tipped anyway, but Addison's clear and obvious goal was to be completely sure we had a fantastic experience.

                                          They were successful.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                            Ahhh come on, don't torture us, tell us what you ate. Pleeeease? Don't need to ever detail, but at least what you had for each course. Halibut or salmon, duck or chipmunk, etc. Glad it was delish and happy anniversary.

                                            1. re: Island

                                              Well, each one was very complicated, and I know I'll leave out something important.

                                              Some salmon mousse thing
                                              John Dory
                                              Chipmunk chipndale
                                              Lamb with an incredible gastrique
                                              Palate cleanser with some sort of perfect quenelle
                                              Chocolate Tart
                                              TIny peppermint patty- hand made, etc, etc

                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                Had dinner there tonight and it was excellent as always. They have the 1996 Philipponant Clos des Goisses for $240, which is a killer deal.

                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                  Good to know they are still going strong - I have yet to make it over there but it is at the top of my list!

                                                  1. re: Alice Q

                                                    My husband and I went to Addison because of the rave reviews and wanted to embrace and support great food in SD. We had the seven course Carte Blanche and were extremely disappointed. We don't know if it was an off night or if the place is simply overrated. The wine pairing was weak, dinner took over three hours and most importantly the food was sub-par.

                                                    We should have known there was a problem when the waiter could not describe to us the difference between the $140 seven course and the $225 ten course other than one has three more courses than the other. He said the chef wanted to keep it a surprise...it was a surprise....surprisingly bad.

                                                    My husband got the wine pairing for $100 and I got the non-alcoholic juice pairing for $60. My husband was underwhelmed by the pairings, particularly the red wines. I thought the best part of my meal was the different fragrant and flavorful carbonated fresh juices with each course.

                                                    My least favorite was the foie gras with the macaroons and the meat course. The macaroons were hard and inedible and ruined the foie gras with its hard stick to your teeth consistency. The ham and veal dish was breaded and fried in butter and had a strange texture with no seasoning other than the taste of hot oil and butter. All I could taste was greasy breaded protein. I ate several bites and then gave the rest to my husband. Dessert was uninspired, a simple chocolate ganache and butterscotch gelato that both lacked depth of flavor and character.

                                                    We were also surprised that there was no flow to our dining experience. It took over 20 mins between some of the courses and dinner took over three hours, a bit excessive for a seven course meal. Again, it could've been an off night.

                                                    I gave it two stars because of the beautiful ambiance inside the restaurant, the tasty non-alcoholic pairing option and the wonderful amuse bouche of smoked salmon rillettes and excellent first course of australian hiramasa. It was all downhill after the first course. I expected all courses to be excellent or at least good.

                                                    We wanted so badly for it to be as good as the reviews, but it unfortunately fell flat. We will eventually give it another try and will get the three or four course meal where we get to choose each course from the menu. No more surprises.

                                                    5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130

                                                    1. re: uponthoughts

                                                      "We were also surprised that there was no flow to our dining experience. It took over 20 mins between some of the courses and dinner took over three hours, a bit excessive for a seven course meal. Again, it could've been an off night." - Three hours for seven courses (amouse bouche, palate cleanser) is quite fast.

                                                      1. re: honkman

                                                        Agreed. Even for the 4 course + cheese course, I would deem 3 hours as a minimum.

                                                        I am very happy that the management there understand that once you sit down, the table is yours for the night. And remember that you can always let the staff know of the pace that makes you happiest.

                                                        1. re: 4wino

                                                          Both of you are probably right, that 3 hours isn't too long for a 7 course meal. With good and exciting food the time would have probably flown by. Unfortunately, for that evening, even two hours would have seemed too long.

                                                        1. re: DougOLis

                                                          Struck me as odd too, no problem dropping $140 for a meal but no way I'm paying $60 for juice. Too bad about your experience, there has been lots of chatter of unevenness at Addison lately. My experience there was very good, but that was over a year ago.

                                                          1. re: stevuchan

                                                            Yeah I went about 1 year ago and I was very impressed (with the 4 course). It's definitely not a good sign that it seems to be going downhill.

                                              2. I just noticed that Thomas Keller named Addison as his best meal of 2011 and William Bradley as the chef with the most potential. Pretty big honor and congrats to them:


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: DougOLis

                                                  That is HUGE props for William Bradley and Addison..
                                                  'Kiss the rings'

                                                2. We ate at Addison on Friday night, after agonizing over where to celebrate our anniversary. Pictures here: http://goo.gl/nrQZt (man, their dining room is DARK!


                                                  Service is by far the best in SD, and probably up there with (or better than) the top places in LA. Angelo, their head sommelier, seems quite young but he has talent - wine pairings were very well chosen and in some cases, inspired. We had a swell time, but oddly enough, the weakest link was the food! I can see how Thomas Keller would appreciate it, though.

                                                  If you put a gun to my head and asked for ratings, I'd say service is at a high 2-star level, food is 1-star with some dishes reaching 2-stars. The chef is relatively young, and hopefully he has lots more to grow.

                                                  One thing I'll mention is a pet peeve of mine - the prices and menu descriptions on their website are not accurate. Carte blanche menu is now 6 courses, not 7. Price is up to $175 from $140 on their website. Le Menu Gourmand is now 8 courses, not 10 (don't know about price). I wish these places would put more effort into keeping things up-to-date. The price increase didn't bother us, but I can see how it would definitely deter some people if they found out they'd end up paying $100 more for dinner than they expected.

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: shouzen

                                                    So now they are on the same price level (price/course) as French Laundry and double the price as Providence - we want to visit them for some time but at a certain point prices are going to be too high.

                                                    1. re: honkman

                                                      it may be more cost effective to take a trip up to the FL!

                                                    2. re: shouzen

                                                      I did find that their service exceeded the food. It sounds like you guys had a great anniversary so I'm happy for you!

                                                      How would you compare the food to other SoCal places you have been?

                                                      1. re: shouzen

                                                        Is Jesse Rodriguez no longer the somm at Addison??

                                                        1. re: steveprez

                                                          I believe he is the overall wine director for the Grand Del Mar?

                                                            1. re: ibstatguy

                                                              Thanks! Thought he was the somm as well.

                                                        2. re: shouzen

                                                          That bothers me just on principal. I understand it may be hard to update specific courses on a rotational menu (though when it's seasonal..it can't be that tough) but pricing is another issue, especially at this point.

                                                          I'm also with Honk on the price point. Their charging more than some of the best restaurants in America, and it doesn't sound like they've matched such places in any other aspect.

                                                          So Secviar is cooking now, but it doesn't seem like he has full control of the menu.

                                                          and I don't agree with Bradley on the cheese course either. Paring cheese with accouterments is half the fun.

                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                              I was replying to Shouzen's visit. I'm yet to go.

                                                              1. re: Rodzilla

                                                                Oh- my bad, sorry.

                                                                I'll be interested in your comment/review once you actually eat there.

                                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                                  My take from going about 2 years ago is that it's better to order 2 of the 4 course menus (and different items) and then share. At least in the past, the extended menus still features dishes that were off the "regular" menu so there was no benefit to going for more courses.

                                                                  1. re: karaethon

                                                                    I've visited them 3-4 times every year, ever since they opened in 2005/06. This place has improved vastly for my palate.

                                                                    Addison is simply a superstar the last 4 years, but I will say that nowadays I will only go for the 4 course menu with the cheese cours as +1.

                                                                    The 6 and 10 course menus did not live out to expectations. I am also very surprised that they came down from 10 to 8 menu at the same price.

                                                                    I can also say that in 8 years or so, I've never met Jesse, but I always bring my wine or order stuff that is shy of $250, so no need for a sommelier!

                                                                  2. re: Fake Name

                                                                    lol, I suspected you were being snide but I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. I agree with you that there is no comparison to actually visiting, but my opinion is not baseless.

                                                                    So what part was it that bothered you?

                                                                    That I believe they should keep potential visitors informed on prices?
                                                                    - I don't think you can refute that

                                                                    I've heard that Secviar is cooking, but Bradley is still in charge?
                                                                    -Doubt this was it

                                                                    I like accouterments with my cheese selection?
                                                                    -That's just personal preference

                                                                    So it must be that I don't that based strictly on accolades, I feel the price is on the steep side.
                                                                    -sorry, it does. I immediately compare it to TFL (where I've never visited either) but how many less than stellar reviews have you seen of TFL? How about reviews in general?

                                                                    I do hope to visit at some point, and I'll be happy to give you my thoughts - and as much detail as I can provide, but getting there is half the battle and where my thoughts are coming from.

                                                                    ...or was it the cheese thing? :p

                                                          1. Returned there Friday night and...

                                                            Yes, it was terrific in just about every way. Certainly the service is well beyond anything else here in town. The room is wonderful- not exactly my taste in decor, but very roomy, and easy to enjoy conversation with others at the table.

                                                            Exactly how I like it- every subtle nuance of good conversation without shouting- makes other places seem like a machine shop or disco. This was a business dinner, but with a couple we like very much and enjoyed getting to know better- and that really counts for me as a dining experience. It's not just the food (although theres little to overstate- magnificent) it's that magic of the environment- service that is fairly invisible, except when necessary. And then, very well done.

                                                            We took a walk through the kitchen afterwards, met Bradley again- if you can try to do this. The kitchen is like a beautiful, elegant, well-appointed operating theater. No shouting, no tickets flying, no stained toques. All calm, spare and controlled.

                                                            My only nitpick was one of the wines- just not my style. Not suggesting it's not quality, but didn't work for me.

                                                            Love this place.


                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                              They seem to have a history of not keeping their website prices up to date. Are the ones posted current?


                                                              4 course 98
                                                              3 course 90
                                                              7 course Carte Blanche 175
                                                              10 course Gourmand 235

                                                              1. re: Ponder99

                                                                The 10 course Gourmand seems to be $300 now. Kevineats just wrote about it and was pretty disappointed for the price (and just based on the photos and descriptions of the courses $300 seems way overpriced for the quality and creativity). The food reminds me a lot on Melisse (which at least for us was very disappointing)

                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                  I hadn't seen that kevinEats review on Addison. For the menu that was served, that $300 price tag looks completely unjustified.