Edit ModuleShow Tags

Crush

The new restaurant and lounge wakes up the culinary scene in Solana Beach


Published:

With the demise of Blanca, and its ongoing culinary black hole, Solana Beach has been in dire need of new eateries, so the arrival of Crush was highly anticipated and, now, much appreciated. The tired interior of the old Pacific Coast Grill has been transformed into a modern lounge and restaurant with savvy details like Hillcrest artisan Gustav Rooth’s fabulous chairs and tables, stylishly handcrafted from wine barrels, a clear nod to the restaurant’s moniker and thoughtfully curated wine list. A fireplace cozies up the lounge, while the bar area sports a 30-person communal table for convivial daily happy hours both early and late. 

The creative team has concocted a few keen sippers like the El Patron, smooth reposado mingling with lime, strawberry, basil, and PatrÓn CitrÓnge—a lively little ode to tequila. Organic “skinny” cocktails, like their mojito (at 120 calories a pop), blend organic Crusoe rum with mint, fresh lime, caramelized pineapple, and coconut water for imbibers determined to keep their svelte figures. 

Chef Jason Colabove delivers Italian coastal cuisine. The food may not be mind-bending, but he’s created a solid menu overall. Requisite cheese and meat boards, fritto misto, and ahi tartare are no surprise as appetizers, but an intriguing original appears as 500-year-old “ancient grain” polenta served in a mason jarand laced with herbs, garlic, and mascarpone, and further jazzed with a balsamic reduction, truffled mushroom nuggets, and Parmesan. Giant roasted mussels bathe in spicy tomato broth, flamboyant and afire with fennel, caramelized shallots, and garlic aioli. Mom’s Meatballs nestle in roasted tomato sauce, but the pork, veal, and beef orbs lack pizzazz. 

For salads, the gorgonzola “chopped” seems overdressed and messy, while the burrata “handmade” feels more refined and elegant—a pretty collage of roasted beet chunks, avocado, and tart vibrant citrus. Old World pasta-lovers will appreciate the simple bolognese tagliatelle, with its hand-cut, perfectly al dente ribbons in a coat of six-hour simmered ragu with Gioia ricotta and a smattering of herbs. The slow roasted Duroc pork, Colabove’s signature, is tender and competently prepared as the chef opens the shoulder and rubs it with herbs, fennel pollen, and olive oil, then ties it up so it can sit overnight for an immersion of flavor. Marinated prime hanger steak, with notes of sherry vinegar, garlic, basil, and parsley, is another safe bet, while the swordfish special felt overpowered by the red bell pepper sauce.   

Burrata

As wine is the name of the game, the California dominated list has over 160 choices with standouts like Orin Swift’s Saldo and The Prisoner, and other interesting boutique wines like Hudson Vineyards’ Chardonnay, a Belle Glos Meiomi and Abigail Adams’ Cameo Pinot. Service runs the gamut from old-school pro—ask for Patrick—to the not-quite-so-polished-verging-on-cocky-types who need a little more schooling in the wine list.

Despite the pervasive butterscotch pudding trend on dessert menus across town, their budino is a devilish enticer—creamy, rich, and comforting layers of chocolate and butterscotch with the magic of sea salt at play. Sticky toffee pudding is another sugar fest that’s making a major comeback and Colabove’s is worthy of the calories. 

While live music fills the space Wednesday through Saturday, the Larry White jazz trio lends too much of a grown-up La Jolla-esque feel, with its renditions of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass standards. The vibe calls for an ambient groove and a DJ spinning unobtrusive tunes to appeal to the younger bar set. 

solanabeachcrush.com 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Point Loma

Historic landmarks, seafood eateries, and hip boutiques are at the heart of this coastal community

Things to Do in San Diego: May 29–June 4

Here are 11 local events to get you through the week

Mama’s Day 2017 Raises $178,000

San Diego Charity News for May 29, 2017
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Jason Mraz Is Growing Coffee on a Farm in Oceanside
    We spoke to the musician about all the whys — why food, why farming, why Oceanside, why coffee?
  2. The Best of North County 2017
    We scouted the greatest, buzzworthiest things to do, see, sip, and taste north of the 56
  3. A Beer-Lover’s Special (and Very Limited) Beer Alternative
    Cidre Brut, a Génépi-infused cider created by the US Grant Hotel, is a one-of-a-kind taste experience
  4. 89 Things to Do With Your Kids in San Diego
    Camps, classes, and activities for San Diego’s youngest—and perhaps busiest—residents
  5. 10 Scenic Hikes Within an Hour of San Diego
    You’ve mastered all the trails in your area—now plan a Saturday to get outside for a hike and enjoy the views just a bit farther afield
  6. San Diego's Best Boutique Fitness 2017
    We've sweated through the top yoga, barre, Pilates, and boot camp classes, and are rounding up our favorites
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

9 Reasons You Need a Better Barber

Get the look and service you deserve at this East Village salon

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags