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Oct 2, 2012 02:49 PM

Addison or Sky Room??

For a 20th anniversary dinner (just the two of us).



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  1. Had dinner at Addison a week or so ago- was very good, though I'll be honest, I'm glad someone else picked up the check. The quality of the food was quite good, though I've had better at that price point both on the west coast and elsewhere. They are clearly shooting to be a michelin starred level of restaurant, but the service feels quite forced and the food is interesting, though not incredible. If I'd put eleven Madison Park in NY near the top of the list of great fine dining this would be a few notches below it.

    Personally, I'd rather eat at George's twice for what Addison costs for the big tasting.

    1. Congrat's on your upcoming 20th!

      I would stay at either Grand Del Mar and dine at Addison or Amaya, which I like a lot...especially for their price point.
      The Lodge at Torrey Pines with dinner at AR love love everything about this place!
      La Valencia Hotel or Grande Colonial Hotel in LJ and dine at either Sky Room or George's for casual or the TBL3 and have late breakfast on the back patio overlooking the Pacific at La V..
      Then finish it up with a late lunch at Eddie V's.

      3 Replies
        1. re: Beach Chick

          I second AR Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. Beautiful setting, incredible wood architecture, and of course brilliant local food. Chef Jeff Jackson is obssesive about his ingredients and their preparation.

        2. We just had dinner at Addison last night for our 5 year anniversary.

          FLAWLESS service. Their staff is incredibly professional without being detached. Their style is extremely choreographed and deliberate. The food quality is the best available, thus the smallest parts of every dish (a sprig of fennel, a small cut of Bok Choy) are meant to be savored as much as the main players (John Dory, Salmon, Short Ribs were a few of our dishes).

          So, for me, Addison.

          1. I really haven't seen much on the sky room since the chef Change, and if you resort to yelp a bunch of first, second, third time reviewers seems a bit suspect..though I'd love to get a report.

            Addison seems to be the safer bet, but I'd like to see a report of that as well :D

            I don't know how price factors in for you, but...

            Sky Room full tasting 7 courses $95 + $55 for wine

            Addison Carte Blanche 7 course $165 +$ a lot more

            Happy Anniversary!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rodzilla

              Great post. Based on location, view and price .... I would go with Sky Room. Although I have not been there since the Chef change, I did have the opportunity to sample Chef's creative dishes at his former employ and I would say that they were much more creative. But, then again, some people prefer a little more predictable in their romantic, planned celebrations.

            2. Ate once at Addison. As long as Papa Doc, er, uh, Doug, owns it, will never eat there again.

              37 Replies
              1. re: pickypicky

                Curious, can you elaborate a bit.

                1. re: cstr

                  Not sure what picky's issue is with Doug Manchester, but all I know about him is that he's quite republican, owns the UT, real estate guy. I don't have any feelings one way or another about him other than the UT stinks as a food reviewing paper, if you can even call it a paper.

                  1. re: chetatkinsdiet

                    Owner of Grand Del Mar and Addison. Major force behind Prop 8. Proud dismantler of the little journalistic credibility the U-T and North County Times had left when he bought them. SD oligarch who believes he, not elected officials or citizens, deserves to chart SD's future because of his personal wealth. The kind of man who requires all who work for him to call him "Papa Doug."

                    If you truly do not know who or what Doug Manchester is, at least read David Carr's column in the New York Times.

                    1. re: pickypicky

                      First - thanks to everyone. Second - interested concept. The Prop 8 issue really rubs me the wrong way.

                      Has anyone tried Delicias since McCabe moved over? Should I be considering that? I really want to go somewhere new and got the hubby's approval for money no object.

                      1. re: domino1

                        Had a very good experience at Delicias a few weeks ago. Excellent food, efficient, friendly service. The lovely patio is more romantic and somewhat more quiet than the dining room.

                        1. re: domino1

                          If money is no object, you may want to check out points north too (on the LA board). Also, look at TBL3 on the George's website. It is their tasting menu and would be well on par with the Addison experience.

                          Quick aside, I can give a boisterous recommendation for the Beach Grass Cafe in Solana Beach for breakfast the morning after.

                          1. re: Dagney

                            Concur with Dagney regarding TBL3. Amazing experience and I like the setting even better than Addison. Maybe even check out Mistral or Peohe's for the view. Haven't been able to try Chef Patrick Ponsaty's food at Mistral, but I loved his food at El Bizcocho. He's a Master Chef of France, so I expect very good things.

                            I like Beach Grass (Solana), but think Claire's is a better experience all around for breakfast. Better food, more elegant building and deck, and you can't beat their house baked goods.

                            1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

                              Fiddlesticks. Chef is out of town that week - can't do the TBL3 dinner.

                            2. re: Dagney

                              I am intrigued and I am looking into it...

                              Also ditto on the BG idea! Unfortunately, we need to go to work the next day.


                            3. re: domino1

                              Had a really good 9-course tasting menu a few days ago at Delicias (Didn't have time yet to write it up) but would highly recommend it especially if you liked what he did at Kitchen 1540.

                              1. re: honkman


                                I get stomach acid thinking about a 3-4 hour tasting menu. Like, how much wine do you have to drink? Can it be maintained that long? It’s probably starts feeling like yom kippur services pretty soon.

                                “Squid Nuts with Cavendish” - strobe light or heat lamp, your choice

                                “Persimmon Lamb Rusk” - served while a fellow diner is bludgeoned to death in peripheral vision

                                “Segue in Broth” - movement, laughter, infinity

                                “Broadleaf Tartare” - no fork, consumed with edible chainsaw

                                “Islay Berry and River Fish” - server will paint your buttocks for you

                                “Sashimi of Bonobo Clitoris” - sustainably harvested

                                “A Punch In The Fuc*ing Face” - just like it sounds


                                  1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                    It's ironic and not surprising to hear such complains about long (not only tasting menus) meals mainly (but not only) in the US. Ironic as in the land of the absurdly oversized portions most "simple" meals in highly popular restaurants as Cheesecake Factory etc will have much more calories and actual food than most tasting menus. Not surprising as the US is still the western country where people spend the least amount of their income on food and on average still see food way too often as "fuel" and not as "joy" and an important part of every day. I can't remember when I had dinner with relatives in southern Europe and the meal took less than 2-3 hours with many differen dishes and a lot of food. But I can't remember ever anybody complainig that it took too long as having long discussions/talks on a daily basis is considered normal and important not annoying. Of course that requires not only doing small talk or looking on the smart phone every few minutes which at least based on weekly experience seems to be nearly impoosible in a the US.

                                    1. re: honkman

                                      Our extravaganza 5-year wedding anniversary dinner at Addison last Tuesday took the full four hours they were open for business. The only silence occurred when we were sipping one of the beautifully chosen wines. The entire evening was flawless; a brilliant marriage of conversation and food. Our relationship was quite literally built over many a long dinner and washed over with many a glass of drink. Addison's dining experience strengthened that glue.

                                      1. re: honkman

                                        Hey, those lederhosens sizes are getting betting bigger as well.

                                        I do agree with most points you made though, and it's true that a lighter tasting a la TBL3 is going to be far less calories than the typical family outing at Bucca Di Beppo

                                        I was ready to respond as well, but I was going to take it in the direction of different strokes for different folks. I understand tasting menus won't appeal to everyone, but for someone interested in culinary technique, presentation, service, etc. they're hard to beat. Coupled with the right company they're great experiences.

                                        1. re: honkman

                                          That's not really the point of the article though. He's not against the tasting menu per se. I have to agree with Pete Wells' opinion - a good tasting menu should have a narrative. It gets really tiresome when you are served an endless procession of food that has no connection to one another, leading to a disjointed mess of an evening.

                                          1. re: shouzen

                                            My comment was directed towards SR first paragraph. Like with every meal there are obviously good and bad tasting menus. The article is too much black/white description. There are many different kind of tasting menus (costs, length, "story",price etc). IMO this is a quite weak article

                                            1. re: honkman

                                              I think you CAN make it black/white - all factors aside, at the end of the day (subjective as it may be), you can classify a meal as either successful or unsuccessful. I've certainly experienced (and I'm sure you have as well) every single point he has brought up. At least ordering a la carte allows you to escape before dessert. I have been "trapped" at tasting menu dinners before, served by people who turn out to have no business doing it in the first place. Ugh.

                                              1. re: shouzen

                                                Whoops, I guess I'm violating my oath of CH silence by posting in this thread, so I'll zip it up again. Adios amigos.

                                                1. re: shouzen

                                                  Bless you shouzen for speaking up. I concur entirely. There is show. And there is substance. And sometimes, with luck, one gets both.

                                                2. re: shouzen

                                                  I agree that in the end it only counts if a tasting menu (or meal) is either successful or not. But Wells is giving only the impression that tasting menus are only 10+ course stories which have to cost at least (>$180) but that is just a small subset of all available tasting menus. There are many good tasting menus available that are somewhere in between (in terms of costs, time, "story" etc.) an a la carte menu and an "high-end" tasting menu at Alinea, TFL etc. like Commonwealth, Bistro LQ, Blanca, Delicias. This paper way too hard tries to paint a picture of tasting menus as only some detached dreams of some chefs and foodies which are just for the show and don't care about the food (and there are some examples but they are just the excpetion not the rule) which hasn;t much to do with reality. I think it is not surprising that the paper appeared now with the ongoing political discussion about middle class, poverty, economic crisis.

                                                  1. re: honkman

                                                    "You can’t eat a meal like this with a passing acquaintance since you’ll be together for hours, but you can’t go with somebody you really want to talk to, either, since there’s little time between courses for sustained conversation."

                                                    This is one of the funniest quotes in the article. Who is the author talking about? I can't eat a tasting menu with someone I want to talk to? Uh, okay. But FYI, I JUST DID THAT.

                                                    I wonder of the author of this article has ever actually sat down to enjoy (truly enjoy) a tasting menu. We are by no means the "elite" he writes about, but we love a great fine dining experience, so for special occasions, we break out a couple of duckets from savings. Methinks the author is just bitter and has an affinity for bread baskets.

                                                    1. re: Dagney

                                                      Wells is not writing about a mere tasting menu. This is food spectacle. The New Yorker did a eye-opening profile of Eleven Madison (about the same time as Well's review) which might interest anyone here who cares about the future of fine dining and the restaurants who provide it. Specifically, the NYorker addresses the economics of chef-owned establishments. Of course, we are in SD, so whatever happens in NYC is 25 or so years from us.


                                                      1. re: pickypicky

                                                        Not sure what is so eye opening about the NYorker article. Every cutting edge restaurant in some way tries to reinvent themselves on a regular basis by changes of the menu, space, cooking style or other "special" features. Many don't help to achieve better revuenue and will be dropped in the future, that is a rather regular change in many restaurants of that exposure, e. g Spago in LA currently. It's also not the future of fine dining but merely a look into the near future of EMP, there are many articles who predict that the time of tasting menu is over which clearly shows that nobody knows how the future of fine dining will look like (and will be certainly very different from restaurant to restaurant, region by region etc). Also shouldn't you at least try the restaurant before you claim it is "food spectacle". In addition the Wells article uses EMP but is also about tasting menus in general and appears to written, as Dagney mentioned, from somebody who seems to have little interest in tasting menus from the beginning and very uninformed.

                                                        1. re: honkman

                                                          We clearly did not read any of the same articles. Wells clearly states he "enjoyed" his course-by-course narrated, homilized, and dramatized $195 tasting menu, including the new and famously publicized Card Trick performed by every server to replicate a piece of New York history at each table, to conclude the meal .


                                                          Salty sure stirred the pot. Really this has nothing to do with a table full of Europeans eating lunch or where Domino1 might eat in San Diego-- except in how local figures like Malarkey and Manchester may decide to copy such dining spectacle.

                                                          1. re: pickypicky

                                                            The experience we had at Addison was unique to their house, completely different from other restaurants (of the same caliber) we have visited. Addison has not copied anything, they have created a great dining experience.

                                                            1. re: pickypicky

                                                              My first response was mainly based on SR first paragraph and his very different opinion about tasting menus and length of meals. As mentioned before the Wells paper has the EMP tasting menu as one of several examples and is more about tasting menus in general and in particular (but not only) the last three paragraphs show a strange understanding of tasting menus. I also don't think that some of the leading restaurants in SD who offer tasting menus, like Georges, Delicias need to copy anything from other restaurants

                                                              1. re: honkman

                                                                Dear Honkmann,

                                                                I think you imagine me picking at my Macro Prawns Lumbago in Sauce Orientale Platter over at the Cheesecake Factory, distractedly updating my Facebook profile, silently glaring at my dining companions. While this is a pretty good projection of your id onto my character, it's your super-ego that needs a bit of tweaking: I propose that you and I have one of my famous seven-hour luncheons that friends have lovingly called "Stalinesque" and "Inner Journeys Through the Collective Food Experience of Man In Nature." But really, I have no issues with long, drawn out meals with good friends and company accompanied by the tinkle of silverware on good china, laughter and sometimes, yes, intrigue on a sun-kissed afternoon somewhere in southern Europe. It's just Tasting Menus that conceptually repulse me. Rodzilla was more on track with his "diff'rent strokes" comment.

                                                                Pickypicky and I agree- the Wells article is not an indictment of tasting menus (though my thoughts and pretend menu were- I assume a sense of humor in the Chow readership), but a criticism of some of them and their current trendiness. I'll just be even more over-the-top next time so that nobody gets confused by my "strange understanding of tasting menus."

                                                                Chow did a thing on the article too. It's pretty good:



                                                                1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                  (...I assume a sense of humor in the Chow readership)

                                                                  Well, there's your problem.

                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                    Ok Fake Name, you're on the list for my next Endless Supper. Bring your unitard and pet gibbon. Featured item on the tasting menu: chili con brown butter sediment, forest lichen. My friends say it really tells a story about the Eisenhower Administration.


                                                                    1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                      "chili con brown butter sediment, forest lichen. My friends say it really tells a story about the Eisenhower Administration."


                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                      They have a much better sense of humor in Berlin.

                                                                    3. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                      Classic. I'd love to bronze this post and put it on the mantle next to my baby booties.

                                                                      1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                        'I propose that you and I have one of my famous seven-hour luncheons that friends have lovingly called "Stalinesque" and "Inner Journeys Through the Collective Food Experience of Man In Nature." - I would actually be quite interested to meet some of the people of CH in "real life". Internet has the disadvantage to be a flat medium.

                                                                        And just out of curiosity - is there such a big difference between a long "non-tasting" meal and a tasting menu ?

                                                                        1. re: SaltyRaisins

                                                                          Salty, my man...bringing humor and Stalinesque theory all in one post (no Orwellian)...had to throw in some Eisenhower for good measure.
                                                                          Cognitive theories never looked so good.

                                                                          Out-frigging standing Salty!

                                              2. re: pickypicky

                                                So sans your political differences, he's just another Malarkey, rught?