Best Things I Ate This Month: August 2018
Smoked salmon rillette at Addison, Tangerine Express IPA Nutista at Stone World Bistro & Gardens, and the tuna melt at Royale
Smoked Salmon Rillette with Osetra Caviar @ Addison
Addison is another planet. The big experience. Maybe it’s executive chef William Bradley, or chef de cuisine Stefani De Palma, or cocktails man Ian Ward, or wine director Rafael Sanchez and the army of certified sommeliers on staff (it’s ridiculous, more than any one restaurant has any right having). I try to go annually, but it had been three years since my last visit. Life and such. So I went back for the 10-course tasting menu, each paired with wine from their world-class cellar. It’s a pleasure marathon. In a meal like this there’s always one dish that blows your mind, and the smoked salmon with caviar was it. Underneath that beautiful roe rubble is the salmon rillette (cured paste), spread on one of the most delicious pieces of bread I’ve ever tasted (buckwheat brioche topped with nori). Paired with Lilbert-Fils Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Champagne. I don’t get to dine like this often, but when I do, I don’t fail to appreciate how lucky I am. And this dish altered me.
5300 Grand Del Mar Court, Del Mar
Greg Koch is not an unbusy man. Most know him as the beer Jesus of Stone Brewing, the craft beer icon he built with his partner Steve Wagner (and many, many, many other people). He’s also a huge health food nut and tinkerer, growing all sorts of food at his home. One of the things he got obsessed with was nut butters. He’d invite friends over to try them. One of those friends said, “Hey, do you mind if we help you make a business out of this?” And so they did. And this Tangerine Express IPA (Stone has a beer of the same name, so go ahead and pair it with that) is phenomenal. It’ll make you look askance at that store-bought peanut butter you’ve got lamenting in your fridge. The ingredients are blanched almonds, dry roasted peanuts, dry malt extract, tangerine, pineapple, brewer’s yeast, and Himalayan sea salt. No added sugar, no added BS. It’s got a sweet citrus flavor. You can buy it at Stone Company Stores, Seaside Market, and all Jimbo’s Naturally stores.
2816 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station; 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido
Tuna Melt @ Royale
Everyone talks about their burgers, and rightfully so. But tuna melts are underappreciated, especially at Royale. It’s like a 1970s casserole that mom made between toasted bread. And since San Diego was the tuna fishing capital of the world for decades, it’s a classic San Diego dish, too. No better place to get one than here, where it’s assaulted with a tarp of melted cheddar and put on buttered, toasted sourdough. The flavor of their fresh-caught tuna is excellent and comes through all that cheese. Royale’s a great little diner-esque joint in a classic San Diego neighborhood, on the border of Point Loma and Ocean Beach, right next to the legendarily intimidating Catalina Lounge. They’re doing food and drink right, with craft beers and cocktails at the bar.
4204 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach/Point Loma