San Diego Board [Split from California Board]
I guess I didn't know that unsolicited reviews were OK here, which is why I Yelped instead of Chowhounded... I've lurked on Chowhound for years but never posted (until now), so y'all will have to guide me a bit. Here's a cut and paste of the review I wrote for Yelp.com, but I can certainly provide more detail on the food portion of the review if anyone is interested. thanks!
I concur with other reviewers that we are blessed to have this place open in our city! I went to see the Ramsey Lewis Trio there on June 9, and it was a magical experience. I'll do the review in two parts: venue and food.
Venue: It is a gorgeous facility with three levels of seating. First floor is tables and booths for full dinner service. Second floor is largely booths for full dinner service. Third floor has tables, ottomans (?), and a heated outdoor balcony with couches for bar service only. We sat on the first floor (RIGHT next to Ramsey Lewis himself!) for the first set. The money they spent on acoustics should pay off; the musicians seemed to really be enjoying the acoustics while they were playing. After the show, perhaps because it wasn't near sold out, we were invited to stay for the second set, although we had to move to the third floor. It was great there too - the acoustics are wonderful. There are also video screens sprinkled liberally about the place, with excellent camera work, which made up for a lack of visibility in some seats. Other fun details: the placemats matched the pattern on the stage walls, and the bathroom sinks were the coolest I've ever seen.
Food: A limited prix fixe menu was offered, with three choices each of appetizer, entree, and dessert. We arrived at 6pm for an advertised 7:30pm start. We were poky paging through the extensive, West-Coast-heavy wine list, but had hoped to get through dinner before the show began. No such luck - pacing was off and Ramsey & co. started early (7:10pm), but I digress. We had an ahi tuna appetizer, which was nice but not transcendent, and a spring custard/green pea soup that was fantastic despite the fact that "custard" and "pea soup" aren't usually items that get my motor running. The king salmon was slightly overcooked, but the short rib ravioli was excellent. Both desserts (cupcake trio and childhood chocolate tasting) were delightful. Courses are small, which is good (who wants a food coma while listening to live music?). Once they settle out the pacing of the meals and fine tune some things (salmon), it will be a real home run.
They have some real world-class acts lined up here paired with fresh dining options in a way I haven't seen before. The vibe among patrons was great, too - we met/chatted with some interesting people. Support this place - I want these guys to make it! (no, no relation or kickbacks, I promise)
It's up to the almighty moderators to help SD break out of it's position as California's southern cul-de-sac and be recognized for having it's own restaurant scene. We're not even allowed to mix with Mexico on this board which I find to be particularly absurd. Anyway, imagine how slow this board would be if 2/3 of the topics (my estimation of the SD contribution to this board) were moved elsewhere.
Okay, I'll repeat my longstanding complaint:
They won't let Tijuana intrude onto the California board, even though it's part of the same metro area as San Diego. At the same time, Northern Nevada (Reno, Sparks, Tahoe) is considered part of the California board. Whenever this comes up, I'm reminded of the famous New Yorker map of the US. See it here: