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Guild San Diego

Trying to figure out if this is a worthwhile place to try. We're serious food people, and all I keep reading about this place is that it's an interesting "experience". How's the food? Any other places we need to try in San Diego? Love Laja, Sushi Ota, Addison, Mille Fleurs, but haven't found many other places that seem worth mentioning.

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  1. Laja!

    Man, that's setting the bar high.

    You might like George's California Modern. It's not Laja, but it is good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      I know, I know, thought I'd try it out and see what happened.

      Have you tried the Guild or heard anything about it? I've been to George's and enjoyed it, but not recently - have they changed the menu?

      1. re: feed_me_please

        Haven't been to the Guild yet, no. Am mildly curious, though somewhat hesitant. George's new menu is very good, I think. I was quite happy with my recent meals there.

    2. The Guild is good, but not really on a par with the rest of the places you mentioned. Have you been to Market, Tapenade, Cavaillon, 910, El Bizcocho, Bite or Cafe Chloe? I've also had a couple of good meals at Jack's, though a recent bad one put me off the place (in their Ocean Terrace room).

      Georges has recently renovated and changed the menu, they now call it Georges California Modern. I'm not a huge fan, but a lot of people really like it. I have also heard that La Valencia's Sky Room has been renovated and the menu updated.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Alice Q

        We loved Arterra and like Market, Cafe Chloe was fun and 910 is always pretty good. Where is Bite? Haven't heard of it.

        1. re: feed_me_please

          Bite is new - it's in Hillcrest, on University, where the Living Room used to be. It's Chris Walsh's new restaurant - he owned Cafe W and was/is involved with Confidential. www.bitesd.com

        2. re: Alice Q

          as much as I like Guild and I have been there a lot, I agree with you that it is not in the top echelon. that said, I would stil encourage "feed me please" to give it a try

          1. re: Alice Q

            Alice--i I agree with you on the food at the Guild. My friend raved about it..but she also eats Mcdonalds everyday..I drudgingly oblidged a glass of wine and an appetizer there with her. First...The menu said Wasabi Foam...I don't know who is cooking in that place, but I was served a bowl of Wasabi whipped cream over crystally frozen Tuna Bits drenched in Chili Oil. Is it proper to say that It made me want to become Bulemic...Here's a tip...If your friend raves about a restuarant watch where they eat everyday for lunch. Hey..at least it was prettier than a Mcdonalds.

            1. re: foodforthought

              Oh no! I thought that was the worst thing we had there. I did like their sliders and we had something else that was good, but I can't remember what it was now. I wrote about it on my blog a while ago. Have to confess I haven't been back, though I haven't sworn it off. Just too many other places.

              1. re: foodforthought

                that's pretty harsh for one trip and one plate...I've been there plenty of times and even if some dishes have not struck a perfect note, I am always interested to see what Melissa might be creating. as to wines, they have, IMO, a very good although small list.

            2. I can't say I enjoyed George's, but I had an unbelievable, incredible meal at Jack's (dining room). I'm very intrigued by Market, as I loved Arterra.

              1. guild is good, but not outstanding. we had the caprese salad, which subbed basil foam for basil. the tomatoes weren't ripe at all, which was disappointing and a huge mistake. we also shared beef sliders, which were really good and quite juicy.

                bagwhat - we've been to market, as we loved arterra as well. i felt like the portions even got a little smaller with the move to market, but were just as delicious.

                1. Been to Guild, been to Bite. Wouldn't bother to return to Guild, may never go anywhere else than Bite.

                  OK, I exaggerate. In my opinion, Guild is a place to go to be part of a scene, similar to Modus. I'm simply too old for that. And grouchy, too. And the furniture is built, I'm sure, to keep the tables turning. You're ready to leave shortly after the salad.

                  Bite is a place to go where the scene is comfortable and hip, but the food is the reason to go. Walsh truly has an understanding of food that allows him to create interesting, fresh approaches without feeling like he's shooting in the dark, hoping to hit a chukkar or something.


                  1. I just had my first (and last) experience at The Guild. Food was just OK, nothing particularly special or tasty, portions were very small, prices high. Crabcake plate entree comes with one small crabcake and mashed potatoes for $18!

                    1. update: it appears that Melissa is no longer with Guild, don't know the background. I wish her well as I think she is very creative. I'll still be hanging out there though as I like the menu and wines.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ibstatguy

                        Melissa was not in the kitchen when we went recently for the Fancy Food Show tour, but the sous chef did a great job. If that experience is any indication, the food shouldn't suffer too much.

                      2. Took the family to The Guild and based on our experience we will not return. Too many other great places in Sd to be bothered with a bad experience. Plus we got the vibe that the place is considered so "cool" now that they cant bother with you if you have a bad experience. Our service was terrible, dirty plates still on table when they brought 3 of 5 entrees. Another 15 minutes when by before 4th entreee came out -other entrees now cold since we didn't want to be rude and start eating without others having their food. Another 5 minutes passed before they said that the paper in the machine had tore off too soon so chef didn't know to prepare my daughter's mac and cheese. Now had to wait for her food to be prepared which was 35 minutes from the time we got first entrees. We had eaten by the time she had gotten her food. It was boiling hot so she had to wait until she could eat it. Our reward, they charged us twice for mac and cheese-I thought at the least they would comp it like a good restaurant would. Server never asked us if we wanted refill on drinks. When I asked for more tea, 20 minutes when by before I got it.

                        The place was also freezing and when I asked if they had any heat, they said no. So we had to keep on our coats. Plus they were doing construction upstairs so workers would walk by us with construction material etc.

                        Food portions are way too small for the price. As my son said, "mom is this the place from the Mastercard commercial that serves elf food." Also anything we asked for special such as no mayo was ignored by the kitchen.

                        Only redeming fact is that we had reservation to Market that night for restaurant week where we had an outstanding meal.

                        So if overpaying for food, freezing while you eat and having poor service is your thing, then the Guild is your place. I was dissappointed because I had high hopes for the place.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: vfromsd

                          That's too bad - I have had better experiences there and I think they generally do a better job than that. I definitely do think you should contact them and tell them how disappointed you were.

                          1. re: vfromsd

                            if you did not lodge a complaint while there, I concur with Alice. One of the owners is usually there and I am sure that they would have done something had you complained.

                            1. re: vfromsd

                              "Food portions are way too small for the price."

                              agreed! we had gone back for dinner a few months ago. although they say the menu is geared towards sharing, the portions are too small and expensive to really facilitate that. it was quite pricey. our dishes were also ill-timed.

                              we had ordered a vegetarian flight that was allegedly meant to 'share'. it came out as a doll sized cup of miso broth, 2 tiny carrots and something else that was not memorable. it was hardly enough for one person, let alone 2 or 3.

                              guild could learn a thing or two from AOC in los angeles if they're trying to play in the tapas style ring of restaurants.

                              1. re: beachbunnySD

                                It is hard for more than two people to share their dishes - they are very small plates. It's possible some changes might be afoot around there soon though, Melissa - the opening chef - just left a few weeks ago. If you want something more AOC-like (caveat - I haven't been so this is based on my impression) Try Bite - in Hillcrest.

                                1. re: Alice Q

                                  have been to bite and prefer it any day over guild! you're right alice, their portions are much better, and the pricing is fair. my gfriends and i really enjoyed our experience there.

                            2. I agree with both of you and am sending a letter to the place. After all if you don't tell them directly then how will they know there is a problem? We tried to give a gentle complaint when there and got a rolled eye look and since we were there to celebrate grandparents day, I thought I would bring it up separately with the owner.

                              By the way, Alice Q, I love your food blog and check it out before I eat out and I always recommend it to others. Thanks for doing it. Like you I am a foodie trapped inside the body of a lawyer.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: vfromsd

                                Awww thanks! :-) I have dealt with a woman named Linda there before - she was very helpful when we were doing the tours. If you talk to her I think she will probably help you out. Good luck!

                                1. re: Alice Q

                                  Just wanted to let everyone know that on feb. 6 I sent an email to Linda about my experience at the Guild. Unfortunately I have not received any response. I basically reprinted my posting from here and tried to be polite and positive. I've heard the chef left so things do not seem to be positive at The Guild. I would think 10 days would be sufficient for a response, plus I gave my telephone number if they wanted to talk face to face. I think a lack of response speaks highly of lack of customer service. Sad, I had high hopes.