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Jul 25, 2007 11:21 AM

Mission Beach Cafe

Located on the corner of Guerrero and 14th, this little spot was quite a lovely surprise. It's extremely meticulously designed, so I expected it to be all style and no substance, full of attitude and overpriced food. But it's really a charming place that has a very interesting, reasonably-priced menu.

The wine list is all California, with a LOT of interesting by the glass choices like Albarino and Tocai Friulano. And the menu itself is really varied -- rabbit pot pie, risotto with asparagus and peas, filet mignon and flax-encrusted tilapia (which I am definitely going to order next time). Entrée prices ranged from $12-20.

I had the roasted Poussin, which arrived nice and dark, perfectly cooked with crispy bits of skin that had a pleasingly aggressive pepper flavor. It came with cherries, dried figs and roasted endive. I would have liked a starch with it, but maybe that's just me. I'm a potato-lover, especially with roasted bird. But it was a healthy portion and I (somehow) managed to devour it.

I have never seen a dessert list so long -- it had at least ten items to choose from. We tried the banana butterscotch pie and the pecan chocolate pie. I would not usually order either of these, but my dining companion has a huge sweet tooth, so I relented. But neither of these pies were sugar bombs. The pecan chocolate pie in particular was a lovely, nutty, sophisticated balance that paired perfectly with my Blue Bottle Americano.

This also seems like a great place for a solo dinner -- they have a counter along one window for diners.

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  1. It's especially lovely during the day time--peaceful and airy. The cookies and tarts are wonderful. I've liked them more than the real food (burgers, brunch) that I've tried so far.

    1. I've only been there for pastries, but they were quite good.

      1. So glad you posted! I've driven by frequently and noticed the lovely space, but assumed it was truly a cafe. Nice to learn otherwise.