HOME > Chowhound > California >

Kensington Grill-San Diego review

maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 03:48 PM

I know this is not a new restaurant, and probably been reviewed a million times but I just wanted to share my experience from this past weekend.

We went on a Saturday night early, I think 5:30. They were very accomodating without a reservation. I would guess this was because the restaurant was near empty at this time of day.

While waiting for our friends we ordered a Sangria and the french fry/sweet potato fries combo, with a trio of dipping sauces (remoulade, spicy mustard, and ketchup). The sangria was refreshing, though it had peach vodka, I'm not a huge fan of peach alcohol. The fries and dips were very tasty, nice and hot.

When our friends arrived, we ordered several appetizers. We had the seared ahi, the bruschetta, the calamari, and the duck spring roll.

The seared ahi was very good. Nothing incredibly original, but it did have a nice cucumber avocado salad with it.

The bruschettas we had were the spicy baba ganoush, salmon/cream cheese, brie with mango, and shrimp ceviche. They were all good, but the brie one was a little dull. It needed some spice or acid or something.

I liked the calamari, it was different than I've had before. It was mixed with some veggies, or cabbage or something, and it had a sweet/sour sauce mixed in with it.

Duck spring roll was very good. A little small, but that was ok since we were trying several items.

Next we ordered tomato bisque and mac and cheese (this is the big finale, we didn't order entrees).

The tomato bisque was ok. It was probably fine, but it had the misfortune of being tasted after the mac and cheese. Nothing could stand up to that mac and cheese.

The mac and cheese is served in this little pot, right out of the oven. It has a crispy parmasean crust. It's a saucy M&C, not try at all. Very flavorful (so many M&C's end up being dry and dissapointing don't they)? It's made with white truffle oil, I believe there is some garlic in there. I think it's the best mac and cheese I've ever had. I've tried the ones at Chive (bland), C-Level (ok), Parkhouse Eatery (pretty good), but none of them compare. As you can tell I was pretty happy with it.

The service was excellent, by the way. Very friendly and attentive.

That was my experience, I will definitely be back.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. DiningDiva RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 04:42 PM

    If you like mac 'n' cheese then try the version at Cafe Chloe. My friend and I split it along with a salad and are always satisfied.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva
      Alice Q RE: DiningDiva Aug 12, 2008 12:59 PM

      second that - it's the real deal, and Urban Solace also has a good one.

    2. PolarBear RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 05:16 PM

      And one would find the KG in...... Temecula, Bishop, downtown Huron? ; >P

      3 Replies
      1. re: PolarBear
        DougOLis RE: PolarBear Aug 11, 2008 05:36 PM


        1. re: DougOLis
          oerdin RE: DougOLis Aug 12, 2008 11:16 AM

          I was going to say that. ;)

        2. re: PolarBear
          Cathy RE: PolarBear Aug 11, 2008 05:45 PM

          an area close to downtown San Diego

        3. m
          maggersmagoo RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 05:25 PM

          Thanks DiningDiva, I will put Cafe Chloe on my list. Have you tried the KG mac&cheese? I'm wondering how the two compare.

          SassyPolarBear, I have edited my topic title ;)

          6 Replies
          1. re: maggersmagoo
            PolarBear RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 06:29 PM

            Well, I guess that's how clueless I am, didn't even realize there was an area in SD called Kensington. Of course given the growth rate of the southland, there must be a new burb every week or so? OTOH, absolutely love a well done Mac 'n Cheese.

            1. re: PolarBear
              DiningDiva RE: PolarBear Aug 11, 2008 08:56 PM

              Actually, Kensington is one of SD's older, very established neighborhoods :-)

              1. re: PolarBear
                oerdin RE: PolarBear Aug 12, 2008 11:18 AM

                Kensington is actually a very old railroad suburb built just after WW1. The idea was people could have larger yards and then ride the trolley into downtown for work or shopping. It's actually a very walkable neighborhood compared to modern suburbs.

              2. re: maggersmagoo
                DiningDiva RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 08:57 PM

                My last experience at the Ken Grill several years ago was less than satisfactory and included items that were literally inedible. Haven't been back since.

                1. re: DiningDiva
                  mikec RE: DiningDiva Aug 12, 2008 10:19 AM

                  Yeah, DD, KG went through a spell where it was less than great. However, I believe they got a new chef about six months ago and it's been very good the couple of times I've been there recently. The calamari appetizer and cheese plate appetizer were both very good, IIRC.

                  1. re: DiningDiva
                    keena RE: DiningDiva Aug 12, 2008 11:06 AM

                    They've gotten a new chef since then, Hanis Cavin. I've been to a couple of his cooking classes at Great News as well. He's quite good and KG is quite good now too, IMO.

                2. foodiechick RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 06:12 PM

                  We love Kensington Grill, it seems that there was quite a bit of dissatisfaction for awhile, but judging by what we have experienced I think they have made a definite comeback. And here is my throwdown (ducking for cover), we are absolutely convinced that they serve the most delectable burger and fries in the city.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodiechick
                    Alice Q RE: foodiechick Aug 12, 2008 01:11 PM

                    I have always liked their burger - even though generally we disliked KG so much that I think we probably ate there twice in the three years we lived in Kensington. I hear it's improved a lot since Hanis took over though.

                  2. w
                    Wino RE: maggersmagoo Aug 11, 2008 07:26 PM

                    We just ate their recently as well and thought it was better than reported.
                    We had the mac and cheese along with the duck spring rolls and were very pleased. We brought wine and were treated well with the bottles we brought.

                    We did have entrees, I had the duck confit with the duck breast. The confit was delicious and the breast was perfectly rare, like it should be.

                    We added a cheese tray for dessert and were happy with the cheese choices, they worked well with the wine.

                    Al in all, I'm more than certain that some people would have realized that they had been to a better restaurant in Paris and would have been unable to appreciate it but by and large I thought the food was cooked nicely, nothing was done blatantly wrong and there were a couple of nice surprises and our service was exceptional.

                    Honestly, we had never been, for whatever reasons we had managed to miss this spot up to now. We would go back!

                    Show Hidden Posts