HOME > Chowhound > California >

Cafe Bleu (SD)

j
jessicah Feb 29, 2008 12:41 PM

I'm thinking of trying Cafe Bleu (formerly Crush) next week (mainly because I have a 2 for 1 coupon) and I was wondering if anyone here has eaten there recently and if you enjoyed it.

I've heard that the bouillabaisse is really good.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. b
    bethsd RE: jessicah Mar 3, 2008 05:08 PM

    I would use the coupon. I went for the first time a few weeks ago and enjoyed it- it is reasonably priced, has a good atmosphere, good service and good (not spectacular) food. I really liked that they had a nice wine list and you could order 2 ounce tastes of various wines. They also have a daily cheese selection with probably a dozen cheeses that you can order in groups of 3,5, or 7. Our cheese plate and our appetizer (some sort of small beef tips topped with gorgonzola- unbelievably rich and delicious) were the best parts of our meal. I had the bouillabase- it was good, but I would have enjoyed it much more with bread than with the rock hard crouton they served with it. My husband's lamb was actually better- and was cooked perfectly. 2 for 1- give it a shot!

    2 Replies
    1. re: bethsd
      r
      redvelvetpudding RE: bethsd Mar 29, 2008 10:11 AM

      I just went last night and as I've learned by living in San Diego for almost 2 years, I knew to expect nothing great and not to bother hoping for the best. I figured, though, a french place should at least serve "decent" french bistro staples. I ordered the onion soup and mussels with side of "frites".

      The onion soup and fries were not good at all. Now, I'm one to go ahead and eat something even it is not that good and I barely made a dent in these - besides eating all the cheese off the soup :) The onion soup had a very light broth (read: no taste) and the onions looked like they barely went through a sweat let alone being carmelized. I decided to let the waiter know that the soup lacked flavor and salt - so if it was a mistake the kitchen can spare someone else. He apologized and acutally took it off the bill which was a nice gesture. Not expected, but appreciated. (The service was good)

      The mussells were fine (a rather smallish portion for an $11.50 small plate) but had a decent broth, not as good as my gold standard of mussels from Cosette on 33rd St in NYC, but good enough where I wanted to soak it up. Luckily I saved some bread from the beginning, because, like Bethsd's meal above, they served the mussels with 2 long hard croutons. While fine once soaked, regular bread is just perfect for the task because the crust stays intact.

      The fries - which I was very much looking forward to dipping in the broth were extremely salty (did they over salt since I complained about the soup?) and had a lot of pepper. Not only that, they were "heavy" and not all that warm - probably loaded up with unnecessary oil or not cooked enough.

      My boyfriend had the canapes appetizer which he did like, but his lamb special was disappointing as well.

      We love trying new places, but love even more when we find one we want to go back to here. We won't be going back to Cafe Bleu, but Bleu Boheme is worthy of a return.

      1. re: redvelvetpudding
        Ms. Verde RE: redvelvetpudding Mar 30, 2008 08:43 AM

        Funny, how opinions vary. We went to Cafe Bleu just a couple of weeks ago and were very pleasantly surprised! We loved the French Onion soup--with a real homemade, thyme spiked broth. The cheese and charcutirie plate was great. I wish we had gotten more of the house-made pate. We WILL be back! Bleu Boheme got some negative reviews and we haven't made it there yet. Guess we'll have to check it out, too! Does anyone out there miss Piret's? Anyone found a substitute?

    2. jmtreg RE: jessicah Mar 31, 2008 12:26 PM

      I ate there on Saturday night using the coupon. My S.O. and I shared an appetizer of picholine olives, candied almonds and dates wrapped with bacon and stuffed with pecorino. All were excellent (though I would have used a blue cheese to stuff the dates. . .still ridiculously good).

      Then she had a scallop/shrimp saute with a mushroom risotto. Now, normally, I wouldn't mix mushrooms and seafood, but this was good. The scallops were sweet and tender, and cooked perfectly. . . I didn't get to taste the shrimp.

      I was jonesing for a steak, so I had the steak frites. As usual, I ordered my steak rare, and I got a rare, well seasoned, steak. It was tasty, juicy, but a bit tough. That may have been the cut of meat though. I also liked the fact that the steak was grilled, and there was good crust from the flames. The fries were pretty darn good. Not as good as the ones at the Ritual, but pretty good.

      My big problem is that Cafe Bleu doesn't go as local as it could. The mussels from Carlsbad Aquafarms are much better than P.E.I. mussels that have to be shipped cross country. And that steak would have been a lot better with Brandt beef.

      5 Replies
      1. re: jmtreg
        j
        jessicah RE: jmtreg Mar 31, 2008 12:41 PM

        I ended up going a couple weeks ago and to be honest, their bouillabaisse was sub par. Almost no broth and the shellfish/fish was mediocre. Plus they give you a crouton instead of bread. The person I went with have the steak frites and that looked good and this couple next to us had the Bleu burger, which I should have got.

        The service was lousy, though.

        1. re: jessicah
          jmtreg RE: jessicah Mar 31, 2008 03:34 PM

          Really? The service was pretty good when I went on Saturday.

          1. re: jmtreg
            j
            jessicah RE: jmtreg Mar 31, 2008 06:37 PM

            Yes, really. It might have been an off day but it was on a Thursday night and it took about 45 minutes for an onion tart to arrive and another 30 for our dinner to arrive.

            The bartender was very nice though

            1. re: jessicah
              honkman RE: jessicah Apr 1, 2008 12:29 AM

              Why do you think the service is lousy if the food arrives in a reasonable pace ?

              1. re: honkman
                j
                jessicah RE: honkman Apr 1, 2008 01:50 PM

                45 minutes for an onion tart that I could make at home in 10 maybe 15 minutes (basically it was just caramelized onions over a piece of puff pastry with a frieze salad on the side) is not what I would consider to be a reasonable pace.

      2. popandkate RE: jessicah Apr 1, 2008 12:05 PM

        We also went because of the "2 for 1" coupon and the tempting menu we perused on the internet. We loved our choice of seating on "Miss Scarlett"-like divans for lounging and seeing that the "happy hour menu" was still in play for most things under $10, we decided to go that route. It was a rocky road to say the least. The French onion soup tasted like someone dropped a jar of oregano in the pot. The crabcakes were mushy, fishy morsels and somehow the phyllo dought with sauteed mushrooms was grotesque (how do you mess up phyllo dough?). Needless to say the fried calamari is not the freshest order either. I hate to say it because the atmosphere was fabulous and our server was fabu. Maybe you'll have better luck with the entrees, but I would have been a lot more upset if I had spent $18 for a plate of the same quality. Go for drinks and cheese- they have a good wine selection.

        1 Reply
        1. re: popandkate
          j
          jessicah RE: popandkate Apr 1, 2008 01:52 PM

          The cheese menu looked pretty good. If we end up going back I think I might get a cheese plate.

        2. Cafe Bleu Hillcrest RE: jessicah Sep 23, 2008 12:08 PM

          Hello Everyone! Someone said that they love to come to our Wednesday "Half Price Wine Night" where all our wines are served at half price, but our "Half Price Wine Night" is every "Tuesday" night -- not Wednesday – please, make a note of it. On Wednesday, we serve our Wine Flight Nights!

          Our Happy Hour is 7 days a week (daily) from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM. :-)

          The staff at Cafe Bleu!

          Show Hidden Posts