Herringbone Restaurant – La Jolla

Recently, we tried Brian Malarkey’s newest restaurant Herringbone. The experience, from beginning to end, was a total disappointment. We originally made a reservation a week early for four people. When we called two hours before our reservation to ask if we could add one extra person, we were rudely told they would be unable to accommodate us. Instead of calling back, I went on Open Table and made a reservation for the exact same time for five people. Awful.

When we arrived, the place had a few people, but was nowhere near busy. Nonetheless we were kept waiting for our table, even with a reservation, for 15 minutes. There were no less than 10 open tables in plain view. While looking over the menu, our waiter hovered uncomfortably staring at us until we ordered.

For starters I had a spinach salad and we ordered arancini balls for the table. The arancinis were tasty, but the spinach salad was overdressed and rather plain.

Kathleen’s dad ordered Salmon and instead was served a salmon pizza. I ordered a flatbread with pancetta, egg, lamb’s quarters and fontina. It was underwhelming and came to me luke warm. The chef did create a nice vegetarian dish for our friend, which was probably the only halfway impressive dish of the night.

While we were big fans of Malarkey’s work at Oceanaire, and have had a couple of good experiences at Searsucker, this is the second straight disappointment we have had at Malarkey/Brennan’s newer restaurants. We were also underwhelmed by Gabardine in Point Loma.

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Best Burger in San Diego?

On New Year’s Eve (photos to be posted soon) we went to one of our favorite spots – Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant. Even on a special occasion, and while everyone else chose more refined menu options, I opted for the burger…my favorite in San Diego…

Who makes your favorite burger in San Diego?

The Night Before Thanksgiving

For our 11 1/2 readers and one subscriber (thanks Ryan) we just knew you couldn’t wait until tomorrow to learn our Thanksgiving plans…well, we are hosting and cooking for 12 people (oddly enough half of whom are our loyal readers).

We started cooking tonight and we will be up early again tomorrow morning to get going. Here is the menu, check in tomorrow to learn about any disasters…and if you were here to experience the disasters, well then screw you for rubbing it in!

1. Assorted Cheeses (thanks to Vennisimo Cheeses and the Coughlan parents)
2. El Indio Chips and Siesels Feta Dip
3. Spinach Salad with Cranberries + Candied pecans (Ben)
4. Homemade Pumpkin Curry Soup (Ben and Kathleen)
5. Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble (Ben)
6. 15lb Turducken (Ben)
7. 10lb Turkey (Jenny, Mark and Robert)
8. Honeybaked Ham (Babe + the Honeybaked company)
9. Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Ben)
10. Cajun Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage (Ben)
11. Old Fashioned Stove Top Stuffing (the Stove Top company – some things are just good as is)
12. Roasted Honey Dill Carrots (Kathleen)
13. Chilled Broccoli Salad (Joe and Cynthia)
14. Homemade Cranberry Sauce (Joe and Cynthia)
15. Green Beans Provencale with Pearl Onions and Toasted Almonds (Ben)
16. Homemade Raspberry Rhubarb Pie (Kathleen)
17. Homemade Pumpkin Pie (Kathleen)
18. Apple Crumble Pie (Babe)
19. Raspberry Jello Surprise with Cream Cheese and Marshmallows (Leslie)

A bit ambitious? Maybe. Lots of leftovers? Definitely. If anyone leaves here hungry they are not human.

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Dinner at Home – November 1, 2011

Tonight Kathleen had her first GMAT class and I had trial team until nine so it was a late dinner at home…we had rotini in a red wine and ricotta sauce with vegetables. Simple and tasty.

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Dinner at Home – October 31, 2011

Ben prepared a Halloween stay at home dinner…Tonight we had a Moroccan spiced rack of lamb with a blackberry red-wine reduction. Our sides were toasted pine nut couscous and balsamic glazed green beans topped with feta cheese.

The wine was a burgundy. A 2005 Domaine d’Ardhuy Hautes Mourottes.

For dessert Kathleen made spooky eyeball cupcakes which were served with vanilla ice cream topped with Pedro Ximenez 1927 Solera Sherry.

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Dinner at The Prado – October 30, 2011

Two years ago today I proposed to Kathleen at the Glen Ellen Inn in Sonoma. To celebrate we went to dinner at The Prado at Balboa Park and then saw the Old Globe’s production of Rocky Horror (which was great).

At dinner we shared a Stone Fruit Farmers Mix Salad with Midnight Moon cheese and caramel cider vinaigrette for our appetizer. We also shared a pitcher of Sangria. For our main courses we shared a Pan Seared Halibut and Clams Cassoulet and a Pork Prime Rib with Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes. We also had a side of Marscapone Polenta.

For dessert we stuck with cocktails: Kathleen had a thin mint martini and I had a hot apple cider and cinnamon martini.

Thoughts: The Cassoulet really stole the show. The clams were wrapped in salty ham and the broth was absolutely delicious. It was a most traditional cassoulet prepared perfectly. The broth and white beans were so good one could almost forget about the perfect pan seared halibut swimming in the middle. The Pork Prime Rib was cooked to a perfect medium and was paired with a beautiful goat cheese mashed potato. However, the undressed and uncooked spinach seemed out of place and unnecessary. The Stone Fruit salad was delightful, particularly the caramel cider vinaigrette which was a great take on a light fall dish. Kathleen’s thin mint martini tasted just like a thin mint cookie, while I found my apple cider martini a bit too sweet…oh, and the show afterwards was fantastic.

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