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Nov 1, 2012 02:30 PM


NYT Reviewer Pete Wells has a lot to say about the life span of new restaurants now. How they have to stun right off the bat but then "slouch" into middle age before they're a year old. Back in the day, people gave a new place several months to get things right before they even tried it.

I was reminded of my recent sloppy experience at Herringbone and Salty Raisin's experience at True Food.

Any thoughts on new places San Diego-style? Is anybody still out for the long haul? Does any new place even still care to become classic?

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  1. I revisited Banker's Hill the other day- I had crossed it off the list. It had lost it's buzz, too loud, etc.

    Had a solid meal there- very good, perfectly cooked hangar steak. I think service was the "B" team, but it was fine. Low music- maybe somebody got the message diners were getting blasted away, and not in a good way.

    I think BH has had the arc to which you refer- very big opening, gradual slide, and now on the upswing.

    I think Urban Solace did the same- but maybe it's just my own habits. Best mussels in town there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Fake Name

      Shocking news Mr. FN. However, I must admit that after giving up on BH because of the noise level, we also gave it another chance about a month ago and had a very good experience.

      I think with the heightened (and celebrity) attention given to restaurants and food in general over the last decade, that urban consumers (especially in younger demographics) set their expectations at an unnaturally high level. It kind of changes the business model of opening a new place, many needing high-end investors who are impatient and pressure operators for a quicker return on their dollars.

      I look at Jay Porter, who operates at a pretty steady pace, knowing exactly how long it would take for each place to turn a profit, as one of the more old school type of restaurant models (even though his concepts were new and challenging).

      1. re: foodiechick

        I'm so glad to hear about BH. I had a good experience my first visit but we haven't returned. Must go back. Also, Porter is a good example of sticktoitiveness, as my granny would say.

    2. It sure sounds to me like a few of the places in the Fedora empire are in the "strike while the iron is hot" category.