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Aug 6, 2014 12:16 PM

Table No. 10 (East Village)

I've been to Table No. 10 twice now. Once in the dining room, and once at the chef's counter - not really a table, but not really a bar counter, and if you've been to Ko, you'll know sort of what I mean.

And speaking of David Chang, the cocktail wizardry here is sort of a mini-me riff of Booker & Dax. Cocktail fans should take notice.

The dishes sampled on the two visits:

Crispy chicken skin - sort of like salt and vinegar potato chips, good and savory

Pig Rillette - this is what pork jam should be like (salty and unctuous) and made it great pairing with the sweet tomato mostrada that came along with it

Hamachi - good, but a bit fussy

Scallop and Pork Belly - not the usual surf and turf combo but it works here. And superbly.

Ceasar salad - not traditional, and if you don't like brussels spouts then pass (same if you're not a fan of crouton "dust")

Branzio (for 2) - this was ok, but the highlight of the dish was the warm dip that came with it (garlic and something else), which made the fish sparkle

Duck - flavorful, almost earthy, and very tender without being stringy

If you ask, the server will also pair their housemade cocktails for you, so you essentially get a "cocktail pairing" with your meal, which I highly recommend. Not totally a cocktail connoisseur, so I'm not exactly comfortable opining on their quality or inventiveness, but I enjoyed all of my adult libations.

Overall, I really like this place and it's first impressions are promising. It's expensive no doubt (esp. given the portion sizes of the "small" plates), and it'll be interesting to see if the denizens of downtown will pay upwards of 80-100/person (with drinks) for a meal here.

Table No. 10

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  1. Whoa...$82 for the dry aged porterhouse for 2. Yowza!

    I bet it's good, but that'll be sticker shock for San Diego

    9 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Oh, I dunno. That's the same as at Cowboy Star, and at Donovan's two 20 oz porterhouse steaks would be $110.

      1. re: DoctorChow

        Not complaining about the prices, but just eyeballing the ribeye, it definitely was not 40 oz (pre-cooked).

      2. re: DiningDiva

        I enjoyed my two times there.

        It's trying to do something different, but I dunno if the denizens in/around DTSD will find and accept them for what they aspire to be.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I took a look at the menu via the link you posted and there were certainly some things on it that I found interesting, and I thought most of the price points were pretty decent. The cocktail pairs sounded like they might be worth exploring.

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Portions are the small size, however. Even for tapas.

            So while the prices might look "pretty decent" ... looks can be deceiving.

            But whatever. DD if you go, let me know what you think.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            You mean the people who took 8 years to graduate a 4 year university whose career aspiration is to become the head bartender at Fluxx by age 35?...yup, demographics for this resto probably better suited for North County, but she shall see...I need to check this place out.

          3. re: DiningDiva

            Careful DD, the menu doesn't state how many ounces that bad boy is. That's usually a clue.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Hey DD, I used the exclamation "Yowza" somewhat recently and my husband told me that it made me sound "low-class", not that you would give a care to his opinion.

              It just has me confused. In my personal communications of all kinds, I do not employ the more common four-letter words at all. (Full disclosure, I may mutter them under my breath.)

              1. re: Gypsy Jan

                Your hubs and I must discuss this over fish tacos next time I'm in your area...

            2. Was the branzino with bagna cauda ? The dishes look a bit unusual for SD but a bit like they looked at some restaurants in other cities that work well and took a lot of very close inspiration (e.g. scallop and pork belly, crispy chicken skin, brussel ceasar salad). Might be worth trying, what's the ambience, noise etc. ?

              1 Reply
              1. re: honkman

                Yes, it was bagna cauda.

                Ambiance is very much in the vein of current DTSD restaurants, industrial-warehouse feel (think Juniper & Ivy). Bad acoustics, but that's ok if you're at the chef's counter.

                Oh, and you'll love this honkman, they apparently grow some of their own veggies on a rooftop garden. They'll also give you a tour of the entire restaurant if you ask.

              2. Tried Table No 10 for the first time last night and it is place with some promise but it also has a long way to go. The design is very much what you would expect from places in LA or SF and nice change from the typical SD gastro pub standard. The cocktails are very good and highly recommended. The food has a lot of amibition and interesting ideas but it also appears some times as the chef tries either too much or hasn't really thought through all the dishes. (pork belly and scallop dish for example needed something to connect the components and was just two trendy ingedients combined on a plate but not really in a good way).In addition the execution was just OK with some dishes too cold. Unfortunately the service was really weak and uncoordinated - many servers but not well trained, constantly bringing wrong dishes to the tables, running back to the kitchen because they didn't know where they should bring a dish, trying to turn tables too fast etc. - very, very amateurish and some of the worst in upscale SD. Overall a restaurant with potential but so far it has the ambition (and prices) of the big guys, like Georges, Juniper & Ivy, Cafe Chloe but not yet the quality but we will continue to go there to see how it will develop over time ( and we need more of such places in SD which are trying something new and outside of the standard SD menu)
                J St starts to become a nice place for some restaurant/bar hoping as we ended the night with some great cocktails and food at both JSix and Fairweather

                7 Replies
                1. re: honkman

                  I lower (stress, lower) my expectation with respect to service when dining in the Gaslamp or the East Village.

                  This includes favorites like Jsix and Basic.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I agree that lowering your expectations in SD (unfortunately not only Gaslamp) regarding service is important but yesterday Table No 10 not even come close to meet these already very low expectations. You could even see other tables laugh and discuss about the chaos by all waiters. You could get the impression like it was the first night all of them ever worked in a restaurant. And with these prices one can expect some level of experience

                    1. re: honkman

                      Again, I ask a simple question.

                      Why is it so difficult for San Diego restaurants to attract decent help? I think I know why, but I'm listening for other reasons first.

                      1. re: RB Hound

                        I'd also add why is it so difficult for SD to have restaurants that offer respectable chow, with good service at a price point that is commensurate to the quality of chow and service. This is what's so disturbing with the dining scene in SD. Why settle for less.

                        1. re: RB Hound

                          This is a very transient many other cities you have professional, 'career' waiters who have been with their restaurants several years or longer, if they don't end up opening their own restaurants...with a why rush, be happy bordering on manana attitude in San Diego it's no surprise...heck, in some other cities where, like elsewhere, not everyone becomes an attorney, CEO, doctor, engineer or whatever professional, they still strive to be the best bank teller or waiter they can be--not here more cases than not. Then again, in NYC, Chi, or SF a top waiter can make $120-150K/year so they have more incentive and the half ass ones who cannot cut it get weeded out. Just a fact of San Diego IMHO--you do have your fair share of no getters instead of go getters....and this opinion is shared by friends of mine who own food establishments here and share a common complaint--it is difficult finding reliable help.

                          1. re: El Chevere

                            I think it's a combination plate of many factors. Like El Chevere said, transient town, a casual-ish "beach" approach to most tasks; but I'll add a lack of training as well. AND a lack by employees to seek training.

                            Blue Point had pretty regular training for wine, cheese, and scotch when I worked there; pretty much every Saturday afternoon was dedicated to some form of education. But that was the exception, not the rule for the rooms where I waited tables in San Diego.

                            Our dining scene/clientele does not demand good training, (save for our little crew in this board). This is a town in which Cheesecake Factory rules the roost. In a place like Washington DC, where the dining scene is more aggressive, the wait staffs are well educated on the food, where it came from, growing seasons and trends, etc...

                        2. re: honkman

                          That scenario, a major staff overhaul, may well have been the case when you visited. My experience, the one time I was there, was very different than yours.

                          I completely agree that at this price point, a higher level of service and a higher level of consistency are to be expected.

                    2. Went last night, will be back, BEST yes I am saying BEST Porterhouse in the city, and who said it was for 2 :) It was nice to have a real waiter, one who had a belt on to keep his pants up, and no shinny things stuck in his face, what i mean is, A REAL WAITER, a pro, one who was spot on,
                      I,m going back again and again, BTW did you know they have a buy out table for 10, at $100.00 a pop for a 12 course meal? Anyone wanna go? I,m gonna book it, Mr. Fakey dude maybe?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: bluefin2na

                        Especially after last night having "real" waiters at Georges who could actually answer questions about the food and knew all parts of their job I still think that the service is the weakest part of Table No. 10 (I couldn't care less what they are wearing as long they know what they are doing and know what dishes they are serving)

                        1. re: honkman

                          It was nice to order a porterhouse steak and not be asked how i wanted it cooked. He knew how it should be cooked. :)

                          1. re: bluefin2na

                            But did they bring the dish to the correct table and didn't have to ask several tables if they ordered the dish...and did they make sure that every component of the dish was actually on the plate. At least for us it was morea comedy version of good service.

                          2. re: bluefin2na

                            You buy it out, and I'll drink your wine pairings for you.

                            1. re: bluefin2na

                              I'm in but it'd have to be next month. Email me if you actually do it, email is (my CH username)

                            2. Any recent updates for Table 10? Husband and I are going to dinner tonight for a pre-New Year's Eve dinner. The food looks promising, but I really do not want to be waited on by Mitzy from the local cheerleading camp.

                              We are also looking at Tadokoro, Comun, Safehouse, Bueno Forchetta, and what the heck, Juniper and Ivy.


                              Edit: also looking at Starlite and Okan

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Dagney

                                Go to Juniper & Ivy for the kitchen counter and enjoy the food and work in the kitchen

                                1. re: honkman

                                  You might need to start by washing dishes or bussing tables before working in the kitchen.

                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    That was Fake Name...he'll be here all week folks, thanx for joining us at Howard Johnson's lounge......

                                    Tadokoro it is! Reservation at 8:30.

                                  2. re: honkman

                                    Honk, you're missing just one word: a "the", between "and" and "work".

                                    Adding "going on" after the word "work" would help as well.

                                    With those little changes, FN would come to understand the True Inner Meaning of your post...or not.

                                    But of course you already know that.