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Alchemy: So close yet still slightly unsatisfying

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Naomi Wise's review this week of Alchemy pretty much sums up my several experiences there:

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

I really want to like this place. There aren't many options in the Park 'hoods for flavorful meals and fun atmospheres.

But somehow Alchemy misses the mark for me. The descriptions of the food turn out better than the actual tastes. Although everything I've tried is GOOD, I have yet to eat something there that makes me want to come back for more.

And yet I've been back, approximately 6 times, expecting something different. The definition of insanity, right?

I'm wondering what my fellow Chowhounders think of this place after recent experiences.

Cheers.

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  1. I like Alchemy, but I don't go expecting to be wowed. I generally stick with the appetizer menu.

    I saw Naomi's review too in the Reader. I've eaten many of the same items but didn't experience them as being as substandard as she did.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DiningDiva

      I feel the same way about not expecting Alchemy to blow me away with their food. Because it's a neighborhood joint, I like the intimacy of the place, expecially if I'm dining with a small group of friends. Then afterwards, you can walk over to Hamilton's for a drink.

    2. I often liked her reviews but more recently I often have completely different opinions including Alchemy which is getting better and better over time and one of our favorite restaurants in SD for the price of the dishes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: honkman

        Honkman, do you have favorites there?

        I haven't tried eating at the bar, maybe I should for something different.

        1. re: globocity

          They are changing from time to time their menu from large plates to small plated and back. From their current small plated we always pick 8-10 dishes and a few glasses of wine or cocktails and sit, eat and talk for a few hours. For us most dishes are good (lengua taco, elote, pierogi etc) but we always also liked their large plates, e.g burger, fish in general. The food doesn't have a wow factor like Blanca or Kitchen 1540 but for us it is in general very enjoyable comfort food

      2. Their lingua street tacos I crave. Not too much other stuff but I could go there for those anytime.