Just went last night with 4 girlfriends and had a great time. There's a lounge area with a few sofas, chairs, and one long high top on one side of the restaurant (there isn't an actual bar- they just serve beer, wine, and soju cocktails). One the other side, the dining room looks straight out of West Elm with chocolate colored walls and cozy booths. There aren't too many tables, though, so the space still feels a little bit empty.
Portions are very substantial and some are actually entree sized, the food is good with some dishes approaching great, and the prices are reasonable. Our favorites were the pancetta wrapped chicken with mushroom sauce, the parmesan crusted salmon, and the raw oysters, but the winner of the night was the short ribs with marscapone polenta. Yum. Each of us had 2-3 glasses of wine and left feeling very full and our bill only came to $41 each before tip.
You'll find a lot of the old Cafe W staff here (and even a giant "W" on the wall), but not too many of the dishes. The focus is Mediterranean rather than Latin. Chris Walsh actually owns Bite, but apparently he didn't have a stake in Confidential and he left his menu with them. The staff seems thrilled to be back in Hillcrest with none of the parking/scene issues that they had in the Gaslamp and we are just as happy to have them back. This will be a regular stop for me.
Their website is up:
We have been to Bite twice since it opened. We went for the soft opening and then a month after that. Food was just ok, service was good. Not terribly expensive and the portions aren't too small, but for all of the hype surrounding Chris Walsh I was hoping for a meal to knock my socks off. Unfortunately it didn't. If you go, try the duck confit salad. It was the best thing on the menu.
Thanks for posting this Honkman! But now I wonder if this means that Chris Walsh is no longer associated with Confidential, or if he's doing Bite in addition. I do know that I love his food so much that I'm willing to overlook the tiny portions on huge plates that appear to be one of his trademarks -- and that always make me feel simultaneously virtuous and deprived.
. . . jim strain