The Patio on Goldfinch
Had an enjoyable lunch here today, arriving about 1-1/2 hrs. after they opened. The place was pretty much full, except for the area immediately adjacent to the sidewalk which was in the sun because the sun roof was open. That’s too bad, because at other times of the day it would be a great place to sit. The open ceiling adds to the very spacious feel of the place, though, and even though there were lots of people there, it helped keep the noise level to a very reasonable level.
I liked the look inside, especially the front/bar area; all that light and live potted plants on the tables add to the “patio” feel. I was intrigued by the cheese aging room in the back, which I was told may be a first in California.
There’s a big BW photographic mural of the way the west side of Goldfinch looked in the mid-sixties (I overheard a server explaining that to someone -- that’s before my time here). Covering the entire upper part of one wall, it highlights, in particular, the spot where (I guess) The Patio is now, which used to be a radio shop. (Actually, I very dimly recall the radio shop being there in the 70s, too, but I’ll leave the accuracy of those details to the neighborhood expert.)
Naturally, being as they just opened, service was a little slow and disheveled. But no worries, it was fun to be there on opening day. I'm sure that they'll pull those things together with time.
I ordered a Sculpin ($7) and a fish sandwich ($13), which came with fries. The fish was Alaskan cod (today), served on a single slice of toasted sourdough, with tomato slices and arugula. It had been nicely cooked, but really needed some of that tangy red sauce (that at first I thought was ketchup for the fries) that came on the side. On its own, the fish was lacking flavor.
No way to pick up a sandwich like this, so I had to use knife and fork. That’s OK, but then the paper underneath became a problem. It would have been easier to eat this from a plain plate. The fries were nice and crisp, perfectly cooked, but needed flavoring -- at least some salt.
I think this will be a nice addition to the MH area and will return to try other things on the menu. And I’m very interested in that cheese.
re: Beach Chick
Yes, just one slice. It was nicely toasted but that made it hard to cut with a regular knife (without squishing it and everything else). A steak knife would have worked better.
Also, as a passing additional comment, I'm pretty sure the menu said that the fish sandwich comes with aioli on it, but the spread on mine tasted more like simple mayonnaise.
pretty good...had the ahi/crab tower (OK, had better), fig bruschetta (good); short ribs app (very good and tender), charcuterie (good, not great) with the highlight of the night being the 'shared large plate" chateaubriand with potatoes that was very good....all in all, would go back....service was a little spotty, no surprise since it's the first week and something I'm used to here in SD.....nice ambiance.
Went for brunch this morning. They were very busy, but not slammed.
The good...the space is marvelous, liked it a lot. The upholstered chairs are super comfy (as opposed to, say, Cafe Choloe). The exhibition kitchen is gorgeous and there is a small bar with seating for 4 in front of the cold/pantry station. The kitchen appeared to be clicking on all cyclinders. The expediter station is actually in the transitional space between the front of the restaurant and the back. That dude really earned his $$$ this morning :-).
The not so good...sat at least 10 minutes before any of the waitstaff acknowledged us. As has been noted elsewhere, they're having service issues.
The food...I had the Patio Sandwich which was good, but could have been better. House biscuit, topped with a sausage patty, cheese, egg and frisee. Souffle cup of sausage gravy on the side. It was served in a fancy pie tin. The biscuit was very large, nice flavor, but the bottom was so tough it was impossible to cut all the way through it, thus making the sandwich a knife and forker. The pie plate also made it impossible to eat with a knife and fork, try cutting a sandwich while the plate is spinning around like a top all over the slick table surface. Frustrations aside, the flavor of the sandwich was actually quite nice.
My dining companion had the Patio Breakfast, which is the basic 2 eggs, choice of breakfast meat and side of spuds. This one came with one of those ginormous biscuits instead of toast. Toast probably would have been better. The biscuit was D-R-Y and there was nothing on the plate with which to lubricate it. Thick cut bacon looked promising, had a nice flavor profile but was a bit like chewing jerky, tough...and when was the last time anyone had tough bacon? That leaves the eggs, scrambled...with no seasoning and no s & p on the table. Salt/pepper were provided when requested.
The guy at the table in front of us complained to the hostess about slow service and suggested that they were paying too much attention to the front dining room at the expense of the back dining room. He may have had a point. There were either principles or management circulating through the dining rooms and they were very receptive to, and open, to comments and criticism.
In spite of the somewhat disjointed service and inconsistent food, I think the place has a huge amount of potential. I'm going to give them a few weeks to get their act together and try again. Besides, they've got a good selection of tequila - including infusions and cask aged - and that alone, for me at least, is a reason for a return visit.
Every time I pass this thread I can't help but remember my Aunt Aurora who had several goldfinches on her patio.