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Whisknladle (SD)--What Did I Miss?

After a wonderful happy hour at Nine-Ten, hubby and I decided to try Whisknladle. We were craving shellfish, and I figured the latter restaurant would have something of the seafood sort. Sitting at the bar, I became turned-off by: the loud (not overly strident) dance music and the $30,000 millionaire clientele. Did we mistakenly stumble into Jack's of La Jolla?

We purused the menu and were greately disappointed by the options. Looks like we should have stayed at Nine-Ten. The bartender recommended an off-the-menu skillet shrimp dish that sounded pretty amazing, and so we hungrily obliged.

Let the disappointment continue. The wine menu, at least the wine by the glass choices, was paltry. Pinot Noirs from NZ but nothing from Oregon or even Napa Valley? Really?

Oops, our bartender reports, the kitchen is out of the chili oil needed for the shrimp. Can't make the skillet shrimp, sorry.

I have to admit, the cheese plate from Venissimo sounded pretty tasty. Too bad we had already snacked on goat's and cow's milk cheese at Nine-Ten.

Nothing on Whisknladles menu sounded appealing, even for two hungry and wine-buzzed foodies.

Underwhelmed and undernourished, we stumbled out.

I'm not ready to completely dismiss this place. What dishes on their menu are really tasty? Their atmosphere, just like Fresh's before it, was pretty uncomfortable and annoying.

It won't be the aesthethics that bring us back, but I know that Chowhounders have raved about this place, so I'd like to give it another try if the food is worth it. I can find the previous posts on this topic, no need to refer me to those. I am requesting a recent recommendation or comment.


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  1. You should have stayed at Nine-Ten or maybe also hit the HH at Clay's and compared them.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cstr

      I think you're right. Next time, I will trust my hunger instincts and stay at a way better spot like Nine-Ten. They have a fabulous happy hour, by the way. And a much more impressive wine list.

    2. We went their once and overall it is not terrible bad but very overpriced for OK food. The idea behind it is not bad (fresh local food) but also not very unique. Unfortunately if you go with this concept of seasonal, local food which can be sometimes limiting in terms of which ingredients you can use it is even more important that the kitchen really knows how to work with it which isn't the case with Whisknladle. All 4-5 dishes we had sounded nice but weren't executed very good.

      1. "$30,000 millionaire clientele"

        Do these people still exist? I thought they were finished off.

        I agree, I have looked at there menu three times, and never gone in.

        Nothing on their menu seems appetizing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stevewag23

          Steve, that clientele is still very much alive. See for yourself at Jack's La Jolla, Zenbu, Cafe Japengo, Whisknladle, any bar and/or sushi restaurant in south Scottsdale....

          After reading these comments and talking to foodie friends, I'm going to skip Whisknladle and stay with restaurants that churn out quality food, in a comfortable setting, with consistently good service. Nine-Ten meets those criteria by far.


        2. The times I have been there I have really enjoyed it. I sat on the patio, where the music did not even enter my senses. Our service was almost excellent; nothing bad happened, I just don't give out top ratings easily. Our server was knowledgeable, friendly and helpful and I should give the one extra points for dealing generously with a group of 10 women who all wanted to pay separately. I haven't been since summer, so the menu is a little different now, but at the time, the pork belly was excellent, as were the sweetbreads and my friend had a tasty lamb. There was something else that we were all dying over, but I can't remember it now. Also, their cocktails are inventive and tasty. Sorry you had a bad experience. But, the place does have its merits!

          1. Alright, we went in for lunch a while back.

            We were seated, there was only one other table seated at the time, we sat for 10 minutes and nothing happened (meaning no server), so we left and went to Girard Gourmet instead.

            1. You missed out on well prepared Bone Marrow, Scallops, Chorizo stuffed dates, the flat bread, carving board would be good for wine buzzed foodies. I agree the wine list needs some work, but there are some jems on the list (bottles). As for the clientele, you were in La Jolla not sure what $30,000 millionaire clientele is. What were you expecting wife beaters and trucker hats?

              9 Replies
              1. re: stevuchan

                We have had dinner twice and lunch twice and everything was really good at each visit. At dinner the pork, the bone marrow, the steak all get high marks. At lunch the tuna melt was great as is the ubiquitous Caesar salad. I am a little surprised at the negative comments because our experiences have all been so positive. Stuff happens, I guess.

                1. re: stevuchan

                  "What were you expecting wife beaters and trucker hats?"

                  I think there is a happy medium between the "millionaire" clientele I referred to and the one you mentioned. I guess the term I used is lost on you.

                  I don't eat pork or beef, so the bone marrow and chorizo are out.

                  Nine-Ten seems to be the best option in the Cove area, and I'm sticking to that.

                  1. re: ginael

                    Perhaps you meant to phrase it as "the clientele included everything between $30,000 a year working stiffs and millionaires" in your original post?

                    1. re: ginael

                      "Nothing on Whisknladles menu sounded appealing, even for two hungry and wine-buzzed foodies". You forgot to add “I don't eat pork or beef". The negative review seems kind of harsh, considering bartender recommended a dish that the kitchen could not make, seems like he/she was trying to be helpful and it did not work out. What is also harsh is the "What Did I Miss" title; the true answer is "everything" since you did not eat anything. Not trying to be confrontational, but at least give a place a chance, I for one would not bash a place with one visit where I did not consume any food.

                      1. re: stevuchan

                        FWIW, I also thought the op was pretty harsh in criticizing a place he or she didn't actually try the food from. Not that one can't have an opinion about the breadth or depth of a menu, but I would never start a thread to complain without trying the food first.

                        1. re: juantanamera

                          Yeah, I guess my post is a bit too negative considering I didn't try anything. I guess the slant I should have taken was that I didn't find anything on the menu apealing.

                      2. re: ginael

                        asking for input and being snotty about it isn't going to help anyone (for anyone wondering, 30k millionaire is someone that doesn't make a lot of money but lives extravagantly)

                        that being said, a place that lives on a "fresh local" concept should have more than a few seafood items to choose from, that is unfortunate.

                      3. re: stevuchan

                        "What were you expecting wife beaters and trucker hats?"


                        What ever happened to just plain old Classy people?

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          Steve, my thoughts exactly. Thank you.