Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Stuff


Published:

MIDNIGHT SUPPERS do not characterize San Diego, but downtown, there seems to be growing interest in afterhours gastronomy. The redoubtable Rainwater’s on Kettner for years has valiantly maintained a policy of seating until 11 p.m. weeknights, midnight on weekends, but in the Gaslamp Quarter, post–last call munchies meet their match at Brian’s Eatery & Drinkery at 828 Sixth Avenue, which actually serves around the clock Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Cool—as is a mountainous plate of eggs Benedict at 3 a.m. . . . Rice, the dining room at bar-cum-hotel W, recently hired A.J. Voytko as chef and installed a Friday-Saturday menu that commences at 11 p.m. and lists creative, bizarrely named specialties (Brie and tapenade dress the “Garbage Burger”) . . . In the adjacent Magnet, the new “Recovery” Bloody Mary Bar is open 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as an acid jazz–fueled “interactive party” at which guests buy 2-ounce vodka shots and build eyeopeners from assorted hot sauces, mixers and garnishes.

 
SEX AND THE CITY OF LIGHT (read it and bleep!): In central Paris at 1 rue du Mail, Chez Georges draws French media types and savvy Yanks with solid bistro fare, and I gladly dined one sultry night in June. The salade frisée of curly lettuce, poached egg and warm bacon dressing arrived as Georges himself, clad as ever in chef’s garb, seated a nice-looking American couple next to me. Side-by-side tables make for overheard conversations, and my neighbors mistakenly assumed that my French chatter with the server denied fluency in English. An involuntary eavesdropper (really!), my ears perked when the guy said, “I think it’s time we become snobby art buyers.” Snotty described his tone of voice, which he might have lowered before saying, “We can’t travel to Ireland, I take my wife there.” Oh! Mention of his role as chef-restaurateur cemented my attention, and when he outlined his pre-kitchen career, I realized I had written about him long ago. He bragged, “I’m a rich kid, straight off the Mayflower,” just as Georges grimly returned with his no-good credit card. So she paid the bill—as Georges asked about my dinner in English. Uh-oh! The guy stared at me, blanched, blurted, “Are you the food writer? You better not be!” and ran from the room. Sorry, no names.

IN OTHER GOSSIP, Julien Hug has taken over dad Bertrand’s spot as manager and host of Mille Fleurs, on the Rancho Santa Fe landmark’s 20th anniversary . . . Gordon Hattersley, who restored the Scripps-Britt House in Bankers Hill as a luxury bed-and-breakfast, has bought the adjacent Mandarin House for “future development,” but for now, the kung pao continues . . . Chef/proprietor Carlton Greenaway has built a new “chef’s table” in the kitchen at Escondido’s 150 Grand Café. Deemed “interactive,” the by-reservation-only Chef’s Tasting Menu costs $65 . . . Hash House A Go Go reportedly will open a branch in Las Vegas . . . Eel Parmigiana? Get it at Mission Hills Bistro on West Washington Street . . . The brilliant “fruit sushi” at Just Fabulous Kensington must be seen (and tasted) to be believed . . . Says Joe Busalacchi, whose new Crudo on India Street opens this month, “Cooking is all love. The simpler you make it, the better. Anybody who gives me a plate of pasta with al dente vegetables doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Side Dish
Wreaths for Laurel

I HAD MY DOUBTS about the wisdom of paying a reported million bucks for Laurel, the once-celebrated Bankers Hill eatery that by 2004 seemed too pooped to pop. So I was wrong. Tracy Borkum, whose Kensington Grill and Chive have been solid hits, shelled out the cash and invested more in what she calls a “swinging London-Paris luxe décor.” Mod for the modern generation, it milks fun from details like banquettes upholstered in pinstriped suit fabric, deconstructed chandeliers that string rows of crystal prisms on metal hangers, and curvy mirrors that, a couple of martinis later, may appear to reflect Austin Powers. Chef de cuisine Amy DiBiase oversees a menu written by executive chef Fabrice Poigin, whom Borkum hired away from Bertrand at Mister A’s to supervise all her kitchens. The double-sided menu opposes the titles “Traditional Dining” and “Grazing,” an old idea that evidently is new again. Possibilities include a pricey-but-worth-it heirloom-tomato salad with Fleur du Marquis cheese, fine oysters topped with ginger-cilantro-lime granite (a sorbet variation), crispy sweetbreads that melt on contact and an elaborately presented Moroccan-spiced rack of lamb. The scales howled the morning after the butterscotch pot de crème, but its memory lingers sweetly.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Cowboy Star Has the Ultimate Holiday Drink Experience

Sip a Scandinavian classic gone wrong out of a gnome head

Wanted: Millennials Who Love the Arts

Fine art institutions have found creative ways to court a new generation of donors.

Help Wanted: Where to Volunteer in San Diego

Use this handy chart to decide where to volunteer!
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best of Baja 2016
    46 ways to relax, dine, drink, and play the Mexico way
  2. Stop Killing Restaurants, California
    Raising minimum wage without a tip credit is dumb, dumb, dumb.
  3. Vintage San Diego: How Our City Has Changed Since 1876
    Before bottleneck traffic and the modern housing crisis, San Diego was a swath of undeveloped land, horse-drawn carriages, and dairy farms
  4. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  5. Why Our Veterans Keep Quiet About Their Service
    From misconceptions about the military to reticent heroism, San Diego veterans share the many reasons they often keep mum about their service
  6. FIRST LOOK: The Grass Skirt
    San Diego's tiki boom continues with this new spot in Pacific Beach
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

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home to Age-In-Place

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments anyone can make, and it’s only natural to want to live in your own abode for as long as you can.

CraftHounds - Craft Beer Delivery in San Diego

Craft Beer Delivery - The Best Gift Ever?
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags