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Gabardine--Pt.Loma Open Yet


Curious if the new Malarky venture in Pt Loma, Gabardine, has opened yet...if not, when?


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  1. According to Brian's twitter thingy, Gabardine opens this upcoming week -- doesn't say which day. Photos and more updates here:


    1. I live about a block away from the old La Playa Bistro, soon to be Gabardine, and from what I observe as I watch the ongoing work, it will take a monumental effort to open in a week. Possible, but not likely.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandiegomike

        That's what Gingham was like before it opened. They said they were going to do a New Year's Eve opening, which they did, but then they turned around and closed it for a few more days to finish up. That could end up being their modus operendi for all these places. Open for the investors on time, then close for a few days before opening for regular service

      2. They opened yesterday.

        1. Just got back from dinner there. Service is still a little green, and no liquor.


          The Snake Oil aperitif-based cocktail was something I'd never order, but was far better than expected, and I'll order that again.

          Shared two salads- a fried chick-pea thing that was very good and a green-goddess mixed greens that was pretty ordinary.

          But then- we each had a fish stew, mine Portuguese hers was mussels and all kinds of brothy stuff. Both were nothing like I've had here, and I thought both were fantastic. The other dishes I saw going by to other diners looked exellent as well.

          We will be back.

          **Note: I don't represent any of this food to be "authentic" nor do I claim to be an expert of any cuisine beyond that of the average drive-thru taco shop.

          12 Replies
          1. re: Fake Name

            Isn't it time that Ed Hardy started making Fedora hats?

            1. re: Fake Name

              Thanks for the report Fake Name.

              We went last week. I liked the decor but felt like it took me a few days to recover from the tinnitus - it was SO LOUD!

              Our food was kind of a mixed bag; a few things we wanted to try were 86ed. The yellowfin crudo had a nice sauce but the texture of the fish tasted a little off. The TJ salad was pretty average but there was a spicy salad that was great. We also shared a swordfish sandwich which was pretty tasty and a ribeye that had excellent flavor but was pretty skimpy.

              Overall I think it's a great addition to Point Loma. I'm definitely going to try the fish stew next time,.

              1. re: melee

                I'm usually the first to beeyotch about noise, but the room was not full when we were there, so I have no complaints.

              2. re: Fake Name

                Went tonight. Great stuff. Service is def. green. Our server told us we should get the black cod foie gras because foie gras will be illegal in CA in 2 weeks. I had to explain to her that was the kind from geese, not from fish.

                Pickled eggs were awesome. Very short cooking time leaves them with runny yolk in center. Served with bread pieces for dipping. Yum.

                Caesar was good, though not remarkable.

                Bacalao on corn bread w/ jalapeno jelly was really delicious. Recommended.

                Swordfish burger was also very good, as were the frites accompanying.

                Place is loud for sure, and very busy. I would definitely go again. Lots of the menu reads very well, and the plates going to the surrounding tables all looked amazing.

                1. re: Josh

                  lol, I would have asked her about the gavage of the fish.

                  Clever of them to call it foie - but it's not even ankimo..or monkfish. Beef liver might as well be called cow foie. DId you end up trying it?

                  1. re: Rodzilla

                    He was serving that at last years food and wine fest. Horrible. Hopefully they've gotten better at pulling that dish off but the big miss is cod liver isn't even close to the same ballpark as foie so the concept is fatally flawed from the get go. Im all for creative menu names, but labeling cod liver foie is basically lying to your customer IMO. Truth in menu.

                    1. re: Rodzilla

                      We did try it. I liked it, had a very interesting flavor. They do put it in scare quotes, so I don't really think they're trying to pull one over on people.

                      1. re: Josh

                        It seems to me like Chad is repurposing several of his dishes from Sea Rocket for Gabardine. Josh, is there a lot more to the menu that isn't so Chad-like? It's interesting because Malarkey is executive chef of all his ventures, naming chef de cuisines at some, but Chad has the exec. title, too. Two exec chefs? Further, Brian is supposedly the seafood guru and I keep seeing Chad's dishes mentioned, with non-seafood items mentioned that are evocative of Malarkey's other restos, i.e. Brussels Sprouts, salads, some other sides that are slipping my mind. So Malarkey brought the side dishes from his other places, and Chad some from his former menu. Sounds like an uninventive mash-up.

                        1. re: Granite

                          There were meat items like a lamb porterhouse, a rib eye steak. I can't say the food reminded me that much of Sea Rocket. At Sea Rocket, for example, when I had the black cod foie it was served on a slider, melted into some grass-fed beef. Here it was on a pancake with some fruit compote on the side. It was quite an odd combo, but I thought it worked.

                          I haven't been to any of Malarkey's other places, so I couldn't really speak to that. I am a fan of a lot of Chad's dishes, so my inclination is to give him the benefit of the doubt here.

                          Some of the items on the menu sounded pretty interesting, there was a shrimp and grits with sea urchin that I really wanted to try.

                          1. re: Josh

                            I've had the shrimp and bacon grits at Searsucker several times over (consistent and delicious), and the shrimp and oxtail grits at Gingham were divine. You should definitely try any rendition of 'em.

                            Fake name- I have not been, which is why I said "sounds like." I don't want to spend full price when a place is working out its soft opening kinks. They haven't posted a menu yet- that tells me it isn't finalized. And what I have heard (sardines, cod liver, uni ice cream, fish stew) sounds like Sea Rocket. Sue me! :)

                            I want the place to do well, and I'm a fan of the other restaurants (and both chefs). I'll check it out in the next couple months.

                            1. re: Granite

                              When I talked to Chef White about the venture, he said he pretty much had complete creative freedom on the menu. I think this basically means he comes up with all the ideas and then the other guy may get some final veto/modification powers.

                              I'm sure the other guy does most of the "controversial" naming of the dishes too

                        2. re: Josh

                          Turning liver into a foie like product is a process. For me quotation marks don't excuse that since the word itself implies you are getting a type of ingredient that was fashioned in a certain way that in reality you are not getting. Good to hear though that at least now it is palatable. At the fw fest, it was not.

                  2. I went to Gabardine.

                    I ate the food.

                    It was good.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Fake Name

                      That seems sufficiently anodyne to pass muster.

                    2. I had dinner there this past weekend. The four of us could not hear each other talk - it was uncomfortably loud. The sashimi was really good. The brussel sprouts were better than Bo Beau! We had the bacalao which by itself was great. However the thing that tasted like a cold soggy coconut macaroon underneath was inedible. My fish was so-so and so unmemorable I can't even remember what I had. Others at the table ordered the ribeye which they thought was good, not great. I think I am just over the fabric-named restaurants. The vibe is really fun but the food in general is hit or miss and forget about carrying on conversation with anyone other than yourself.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Seasong789

                        Not a surprising report. I always found the food at Sea Rocket to be inconsistent at best. Seems the trend continues here as well.

                        1. re: mjill

                          I live close by and can't wait until they get their liquor license - sounds perfect for cocktails and apps. Going to Searsucker tomorrow night but my husband hates downtown.

                      2. Chad White says via FB, "At this time Gabardine & I have decided to part ways, my time there was fabulous..." We just tried it for the first time this weekend and loved it. Sorry to see the split.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: foodiechick

                          That's really too bad. We've really enjoyed his Portuguese stew, peel & eat shrimp, mushroom toast and those donuts with the chocolate sauce. He did a really good job of making all the guests there feel really welcome. I'll miss him!

                        2. Great move in my eyes, I was intrigued by the Gabardine menu but never wanted to go because it was still a Malarkey place.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Rodzilla

                            Too bad you didn't go- it was very good.

                            Still might be.

                            1. re: Fake Name

                              Malarkey told me the fish burgers were better at The Counter so I could never bring myself to go ;)

                          2. And this just in from today's U/T. The last couple of paragraphs should be of interest to some of the denizens of this board


                            8 Replies
                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              So in the end, Point Loma really isn't all that different than La Mesa or San Carlos?

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  I guess driving around the airport is simply too difficult.

                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                    Ugh - it pains me to say this but there is a contingent of my fellow Point Lomans rarely venture out of the 'hood to eat (North Park is SO FAR!), and those same folks think that the menu at Gabardine is "weird." The uni ice cream freaks some people out! Keep in mind that this is a community that has kept Old Venice going strong for years. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with Old Venice, but the food isn't outstanding, It's just the atmosphere, proximity, and familiarity that keep the folks coming back. I really wish Chad all the best and hope Brian makes a go of Gabardine because I happen to really like it and it would be really exciting for our neighborhood to offer something new and different, that's actually a dining destination and not a place that just happens to be decent and nearby.

                                    1. re: melee

                                      Old Venice sucks.

                                      I always thought Chad White's cuisine would likely prove too adventurous for that area.

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        You're right on both counts.

                                      2. re: melee

                                        Nailed it melee!

                                        As a former La Playa resident for many years..its extremely conservative and loved the ' Keep in mind that this is a community that has kept Old Venice going strong for years'...so true...remember the best dive bar next to it?

                                        Anyway, I wish them all the best!

                                2. re: DiningDiva

                                  Yep, pretty conservative part of town...on many levels. I really did wonder why they chose this location in the first place. I hope the menu redo does not prove to be too provincial, I really liked what they were doing.

                                3. Malarky's enterprise is about big volume/big business; lots o $$ churning. He has to recoup the large outlays quickly. This all makes me respect Chad White more, and I'll definitely seek him out wherever he lands. Instant success is not the only form of success. Sometimes success has to build slowly. Except if you're spending large and fast. Then success has to come large and fast. A hat tip to White who sounds professional in the interview, and I hope he can create his own business model for success.

                                  1. Revisited Gabardine this evening. I was a fan, but I did think the parting of ways with Chef Chad White was a mistake on many levels.

                                    So Malarkey has relocated to Point Loma and is "cooking" and in the kitchen now to "save" Gabardine. IMHO he has dumbed down the menu and atmosphere. Any imprint of Chad has been erased and the menu has become a simplified version of oysters, salads, and non-working seafood dishes (both fish dishes that we tried were cooked to infinity of doneness, even though we requested medium-rare). Atmosphere: piped in "classic rock" but mostly Beatles tunes (must be skirting the law on royalties) at a horribly loud level (there were only two parties in the second room, including ourselves, and we could barely carry on a conversation.).

                                    I was a fan at first, and not that he (or anyone else cares), but I am breaking up with Gabardine and Brian Malarkey. Why does this eliminated Top Chef contestant get so much cooking props in San Diego? Clearly the Judge's table didn't think it was deserved.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: foodiechick

                                      Malarkey gets press because there are no legit food critic in San Diego. Everything is paid for ( which is why you always hear about the Cohn Group, Malarkey etc and not some of the actual good restaurant in this town ).

                                      Malarkey has never done anything for San Diego and does not deserve any credit in my opinion. His restaurants have no substance, no soul and it is all about the vibe and the trends. Searsucker and that place in La Mesa are the only two that stands a chance.

                                      1. re: jaysurf12

                                        It's easy to have a concept. It's work to make it work. And those who do stick it out and make it work often do so in a formulaic way ala the Cohns. Places like Farmhouse and Tender Greens-- and you can think of others-- represent the challenges a real chef / real management team face to keep a place fresh and thriving, year after year. Any real chef will teIl you what a slog kitchen life truly is, and yet, that's what it takes.

                                        Malarkey and his investors will make back their money and cash out. They don't give a damn about food or us.

                                      2. re: foodiechick

                                        Sorry to hear your break up...do you think before a Chicago concert at the Hump that we would be better served at the beloved Bali Hai or Brig for happy hour instead of Gab?

                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                          I don't know Chica, Bali Hai recently lost their new, talented chef. ;(

                                        2. re: foodiechick

                                          I had this complaint about Malarkey at Oceanaire. I could not get a piece of fish there that was not overcooked. I liked the restaurant but gave up ordering anything cooked....stuck with the raw stuff.