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Jun 16, 2011 04:11 AM

I was wrong about Searsucker. It's not (consistently) good.

First couple of visits were promising. Not everything worked, but enough did that I thought it was a place worth visiting (if you were eating out in the Gaslamp, with a party of four or more to share small plates, wanted a lively place, etc.).

I was wrong.

Dishes that were once worthwhile (pork butt with peaches) were overcooked. Side dishes (e.g., mushrooms and burrata) were overly salty. Friendly waitress was nowhere to be found, when it mattered. Sadly, after the dinner tonight, I wouldn't send my best friend here.

611 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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  1. "Friendly waitress was nowhere to be found, when it mattered."

    Not surprising at all really.

    My question is:

    Can you count on Malarkey to consistently wear a fedora in a San Diego magazine hype piece photo shoot?

    4 Replies
    1. re: stevewag23

      I sure hope so. Otherwise how will San Diego Magazine survive?!?

      The broader question: is there a single restaurant in the Gaslamp worth recommending? Cafe Chloe, Cowboy Star, and Jsix excluded, for reasons of geography and to provoke a discussion...

      1. re: CTDub

        Good question--I think I would recommend Neighborhood and Zanzibar. Not enthusiastically, but I would.

        1. re: SunandTea

          Neighborhood and Zanzibar would both fall outside the Gaslamp.

        2. re: CTDub

          "Otherwise how will San Diego Magazine survive?!?"

          Funny. I didn't mean only San Diego Magazine.

          I really meant any of the San Diego magazines. Hype is all around.

      2. Word. Food is not consistent at all.

        1. Yeah went with a friend ...wine was corked and I ordered Cowboy Caviar kitchen took way too long and they did send a free app ..Pork belly witch was good. would I go back.... no. I would say 5 out of 10. With other establishments in the area like Cowboy Star there are better choices.

          1. Malarkey has a certain media focused style which makes him prone to certain comments as in this discussion. On the other side I haven't seen a single restaurant in San Diego or anywhere else not delivering dishes on some days which weren't perfect but I haven't seen somebody immediately starting a discussion about those restaurants (Cafe Chloe, Cowboy Star, Urban Solace etc. etc.).

            5 Replies
            1. re: honkman

              Is Brian your buddy or something, Honkman?

              Seriously, the OP is not about one or two "imperfect" dishes; this sounds like a bad experience all around. And if one the other places above turned something like that out, they'd warrant a post as well (in fact, I do remember seeing negative reviews of all the places you mention).

              1. re: RB Hound

                There are critical posts about those restaurants but hardly ever anybody started a completely new discussion because there was one mediocre visit after several decent ones. It just feels people are hoping/waiting to have something negative to write about him. (And no, he is not my buddy and I haven't eaten at Searsucker yet but had several other occasions when I had his food and found it to be quite good.)

              2. re: honkman

                "On the other side I haven't seen a single restaurant in San Diego or anywhere else not delivering dishes on some days which weren't perfect"


                I have been to plenty of restaurants that are consistent.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  Consistent over 5-10 visits for every dish and service ? Than you had more luck than we have.

                  1. re: honkman

                    Sure, definitely places come to mind outside of San Diego.

                    But even in San Diego, many taco shops are very consistent.

              3. First off, let me say I haven't been to Searsucker. So skip my comment if that matters to you. The older I get, the more I care about consistency of quality and less about what's new. That's why we tend to frequent the same places rather than fork out for new places until they've been around for while. What the youngster chefs will have to learn is how to grow, maintain, deliver, and survive or they'll end up cooking in retirement homes or hosting a minor channel reality tv show. Cheffing has always been one of the most arduous professions. Just read Gabrielle Hamilton's brilliant memoir. . .or tell me what's up with Mario or Rocco these days. (and yes, Honkman, I've read plenty of threads posted on restaurants that weren't delivering. Blind Lady is the first that comes to mind.)

                611 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101