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Aug 6, 2009 02:11 PM

Urban Solace is a class act

Went to Urban Solace for lunch today. Hadn't been in a while.

Great combination of atmosphere, music, food, wine and Service.

Very professional.

It really feels like you are in a different city when you walk through those doors.

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  1. I've eaten there three times and was disappointed every time. I must have ordered the wrong things.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Maybe they weren't hyped enough for your liking.

        1. re: stevewag23

          Burger, chicken salad sandwich.

          1. re: Josh

            Try some real food at US not just burgers and sandwiches ;)

            1. re: honkman


              I was trying it at lunch. And seriously, if you can't get those two things right I'm not optimistic about anything more ambitious.

              1. re: Josh

                Ha. I was going to say the same thing as honkman.

                Although I do agree with "if you can't get those two things right I'm not optimistic about anything more ambitious"

                The problem with eating burgers (unless a place really "claims" burgers like Zuni Cafe, and I dont think US does) is that you compare it against every burger you have ever had.

                Makes it hard to be impressed.

                I had a shrimp with corn cake dish and duckaroni.

                Both very respectable.

                1. re: Josh

                  I've eaten at US for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and for some reason, the lunch items, which seem the simplest, have been the least satisfying for me. I've found dinner and breakfast good to very good.

                2. re: honkman

                  2nd that, sometimes basic offerings are on the menu but, are not their recommended specialties or best. Flutter those wings and expand your palate Josh!

                  1. re: cstr

                    These were items recommended to me very highly by their staff, FYI.

                    As far as expanding my palate goes, well, I don't know what to say to that other than you clearly don't know me very well.

                    Checking out their dinner menu, I see nothing that isn't based around meat, and I don't see any indication that they use something other than commodity meat.

                3. re: Josh

                  Try the jidori chicken next time you're there, it's pretty damned good. other things I've had that I've liked: the tomato & watermelon salad, duckaroni, meatloaf, beef cheeks

                  1. re: DougOLis

                    I agree with your recommendations, but I believe only the salad and duckaroni are available at lunch. I have had the same experience as Josh at lunch when they serve mostly sandwiches and the oddly flavored burger. The dinner menu is much more successful and worth a try (especially the brined jidori chicken).

                    1. re: DougOLis

                      Anything called duckaroni would be difficult for me to order. Almost as bad as the lobstermato.

              2. US is nice and has decent food but I am not sure if I would hype it that much. Their food is OK to good (but the menu doesn't change often enough and they have from time to time a bad day in the kitchen which shouldn't happen this often), service ranges from good to horrible but often very unprofessional. We went recently a few times to Alchemy which has more creative food in the same price range and much better service.

                4 Replies
                1. re: honkman

                  I'm a little surprised at your report of bad service. I've been many times and had good service every time. Maybe I'm lucky. I like the menu, the prices, the room and the Bluegrass brunch. I do agree that some specials or menu changes would be nice.

                  1. re: eatemup

                    One of the issues with the service (but not the only one) is that quite often they bring you the appetizer and a few minutes later your entree. (The record was 3 minutes). Somehow this only happens in San Diego that there is is no real coordination in the kitchen regarding when to fire up a dish and in additition there seems to be no communication between server and kitchen. This happened quite often at US and there is hardly anything I dislike more in terms of service in a restaurant when they really want to turn over the table as fast as possible and don't care if you just started eating your appetizer. Linkery and Cafe Chloe are two other restaurants where we have had the same problem (but not as often).

                    1. re: honkman

                      I know what you mean, but it happens to me all over the country, not just SD. Heck, it happened at Picasso in Las Vegas, had to send the entree back twice! I don't recall having that experience at US, but could have happened once. Busy places trying to turn tables, I guess. Not that that's an excuse.

                      1. re: rotie77

                        That's disappointing with Picasso. I like the restaurant even though I still don't understand how it could get two stars. My wife and I tend to do many, many weekend restaurant trips over the last 2-3 years to LA, LV, SF etc. and we never had a single issue with restaurants trying to turn tables but have it quite often in San Diego.

                2. Okay, I'm sorry, but who hacked into steveway23's account? ; )

                  I was wowed by their meatloaf once. I would like to go there again someday. That is all.

                  1. Love their Sunday brunch, damn good biscuits and gravy.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rotie77

                      Good topic. Just had a 5 course tasting lunch today with my buddy. We sat at the bar, had beers and the food was fantastic. Bar started getting slammed but we had no issues getting more drinks. Food was great - braised lamb riblets were awesome! - and the Chef came out and chatted with us for a few. Very nice time. I always recommend sitting at the bar and eating, in my experience always a better time than at a table.

                    2. Well, husband and I have dined at US many times and have always had a good experience, but last night, they were WAY off.

                      The greeting from the hostess was fine, nothing special. She told us the wait was 15 minutes, but she did not ask if we preferred indoors or outdoors.

                      Several minutes later the hostess seated us outside at a small, rickety, metal table. The patio is uneven, so the table was not solid, and my chair had at least two inches of uneven space under the legs. The weather was slightly cool, and I was wearing short sleeves, the heater was off, and the table was located directly next to a large gathering. Having spent many years working as a server, I knew this was arguably the absolute worst table in the house.

                      We asked to be moved inside because I was cold. Then in her infinite wisdom, the lovely hostess sat us a a table NEXT TO THE DOOR. I thought, oh dear, I am about the lowest maintenance person in the world, and here I am faced with having to school this young lady on the finer points of the dining experience.

                      We were getting hungry, so I said the table would be okay. And yes, I know, I should have demanded a decent table, (the quiet, intimate section in the back was completely open), but I wanted to move forward.

                      The silverware appeared cloudy and almost, well, dirty. I did not see actual pieces of food, but it looked like maybe their washing machine was not functioning properly.

                      The service was pretty flat. When we dine, we tell the server to bring one glass of whichever wine they will be appropriate for our dinners. Upon this request, a server always questions our likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. (The night we dined at Farmhouse, the server had a 20 minute consultation with the chef over our wine). This young, server only replied, okay, and then brought us two glasses of (the same) red wine. Not a total disaster, but certainly not up to par with our usual US experience.

                      The food was excellent thank goodness. We split the Chop Chop. I had the beef cheeks and husband had the hanger steak.

                      All in all, pretty "C grade."

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Dagney

                        Sorry to hear that.

                        I almost exclusively dine at the bar. Everywhere.

                        I think table service in San Diego, you are rolling the dice.

                        1. re: stevewag23

                          Yes, and it's so frustrating because excellent service is actually easier to provide than bad service.


                          1. re: Dagney

                            Just remembered, when the server took our appetizer plate away, she said, "Oh, go ahead and keep you fork." So disappointing.