There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from in San Diego, with new ones popping up daily, however, being from San Francisco, I’m used to eating some damn fine California cuisine and we never really have considered San Diego as part of California’s culinary scene. However, after a week of dining out 3…okay make that 4 times a day, I had a few surprisingly delicious meals that would definitely put S.D. in the line-up. Here are my faves:
1. Our first (and tied for one of our best) dinners was at JRDN, an oh-so hip restaurant located beneath the oh-so hip luxury boutique hotel Tower23.
I was prepared to dislike it intensely after I found out that the restaurant’s name was pronounced, “Jordan,” Saaay what?? Now restaurants are too cool to use vowels???
All I can say is, Yup, it really is that cool with a very chic private party-vibe happening.
First off, it looks like only gorgeous people are allowed to work there, but they won me over by being extremely personable and well-trained, and when asked, provided really thoughtful suggestions, not just pointing to the most expensive thing on the menu as so many waiters tend to do.
The location is perfect-smack dab on the boardwalk overlooking Pacific Beach. The inside reflects the view with a clever sculpted wave wall background which slowly changes color. There are many different dining areas, depending upon your mood, you could choose the lively bar scene, a slightly more sedate sushi bar, the main dining room, the romantic outdoor fire-pit area, even the private wine room.
Chef David Warner,(an adorable bundle of enthusiastic energy who looks about 15 years ol, but actually sports some serious culinary chops) offers the best of contemporary steak (all-natural meats from Meyer Ranch) and the finest seafood harvested by sustainable methods paired with locally grown and organic produce to create modern California Fresh Cuisine.
His menu also reflects a “have it your way- we want you to be happy” feeling. First page has the “Way Cool” selections, followed by the “Getting Warm” page. We opted to fill out our own sushi check list and were delighted with the freshness and quality. The “out of control” seafood roll was outta this world!
Pencils in hand, we also filled out the Jrdn salad- made to your specfications page, you check off your choice of greens, sauce and five goodies. (The miso vinaigrette was the perfect choice following our sushi.) From here our party split with half selecting from the “Pure Sizzle” entrees and others going for “Burning Up” where you choose from over 15 different cuts of beef or seafood, add: A Rub, A Sauce, and Two Sides ( with very creative choices such as “marrow and cheese mac”) Everything was DELISH!
My only minor quibble was with our desserts—the Napolean was tasty but impossible to cut, and the goat-cheese tart had a rather off-putting green sauce dribbled around it. Get a new pastry chef and JRDN can teach some of our San Francisco restaurants a thing or two.
Hot tips: JRDN generously provides complimentary valet parking and gorgeous sunsets-also complimentary.
In Pacific Beach San Diego, CA
723 Felspar Street
Pacific Beach, CA 92109