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Kemo Sabe or Terra

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stradacouple Nov 17, 2009 12:18 PM

Will be in town for Thanksgiving and wanted to scout out a place that I have not been. I would appreciate feedback on these 2 places. If both are a "no go" from the perspective of CH'ers. Thanks

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Kemo Sabe
3958 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

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  1. honkman RE: stradacouple Nov 17, 2009 12:28 PM

    Terra is actually a quite good restaurant which deserves a better reputation. It some how flies under the radar but delivers good food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: honkman
      DiningDiva RE: honkman Nov 17, 2009 03:28 PM

      Agree with Honkman here. One of the best meals I've had in San Diego was at Terra, and it's never really awful. It does tend to be be a little inconsistent alternating back and forth between good and very, very good. One of the things I really appreciate about Terra is that they do a nice job with vegetables. They are not an overcooked, afterthought on the plate and many of the vegetable preparations are interesting and unusual. Service is calm and reserved. Nice wine list with choices in a variety of price ranges.

      I've also eaten at Kemo Sabe, tho' not recently. The space is actually quite attractive but very, very noisy if it's full. The presentations are architectural and not in a good way. Totally overblown and over the top. Unfortunately, the food doesn't live up to the presentations. It's not terrible, but it's also not very good.

      Of the two, Terra would be the clear choice in my book.

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      Kemo Sabe
      3958 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

      1. re: DiningDiva
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        pickypicky RE: DiningDiva Nov 18, 2009 08:22 AM

        We agree on the constructions! When I got the body part first course, I thought someone in the kitchen was playing a joke. . .

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      pickypicky RE: stradacouple Nov 17, 2009 01:40 PM

      Kemo Sabe is the only restaurant in SD where I've eaten -- and laughed out loud when the food arrived. And not in a good way. My first course was not only poorly conceived in terms of flavors and ingredients, it was obscene in construction. (Think upright body part surrounded by shaved-vegetable hairs.) So short answer. KeNO Sabe.

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      Kemo Sabe
      3958 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

      1 Reply
      1. re: pickypicky
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        MrKrispy RE: pickypicky Nov 17, 2009 02:53 PM

        the only thing I can say about the ridiculous construction is that at least it is edible unlike many other places that try to make a similar mess on the plate.

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        stevewag23 RE: stradacouple Nov 18, 2009 08:40 AM

        Go to Terra.

        Kemo is Cohn Group. No dice.

        1. Dagney RE: stradacouple Nov 18, 2009 09:41 PM

          I have not eaten at Terra.

          I worked at Kemosabe back in my salad days...

          Kemo is a bit of a conundrum. Deborah's priority is presentation presentation presentation. She wants to dazzle the audience with magic and smoke and mirrors. I distinctly remember many a guest gasping with delight as they gazed at the "art" before their eyes. This is the kitsch of Kemosabe. The concept of consuming great art within the walls of an artistic room.... blah blah BLAHHHHHHH. But some people dig that kind of atmosphere.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Dagney
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            stevewag23 RE: Dagney Nov 19, 2009 12:40 AM

            "I distinctly remember many a guest gasping with delight as they gazed at the "art" before their eyes."

            It is easy to impress people from Cincinnati after a day in the sun.

            1. re: stevewag23
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              stradacouple RE: stevewag23 Nov 19, 2009 04:49 AM

              Thanks folks.......we are going to give "Terra a try". I'll report back.

              Thanks again!

              1. re: stevewag23
                Dagney RE: stevewag23 Nov 19, 2009 06:05 AM

                Ha! Yes indeed.

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