Thanks to Gayla's post, I did go to the Marine Room last night. Without a doubt it was one of the best $30 meals I've ever had. The food, service, and atmosphere were all excellent.
To begin, things started out badly when they said they didn't have my reservation. However, they seated us immediately anyway--nicely done. The only menu is RW, so this eliminates any issue of the staff trying to push the regular menu and rolling their eyes when you say you want the RW menu.
Beautiful ocean view; I think from most seats in the place. Started with a glass of Pinot Noir--although $11, generous pour of at least the equivalent of 1.5 glasses. Generosity, in fact, was why I think I liked the whole experience so much. I really felt that they were totally into the spirit of trying to show off their kitchen and the depth of new San Diego cooking.
We both had smoked salmon--delicious. Likely house-smoked with delicious slices of tempura-battered avocado and a buckwheat pancake. My only minor quibble--the elements were delicious individually but didn't exactly harmonize.
Filet Mignon cooked to desired doneness. Tender, buttery, with a very nice, surprisingly light, wine-based jus. Beautiful vegetable accompaniments--asparagus, carrot, pickled onion, and "potato cake" (which was actually mashed potatoes shaped into a disk--if you're expecting something like a gratin, you'll be disappointed).
Shrimp/Scallop Combo included a huge lightly breaded prawn and a giant seared scallop. Both were delicately sauced and served with a nice little pistachio risotto along with similar vegetables to the filet. Quite satisfying.
Chocolate "candy bar" cake--very rich and decadent, nice chocolate flavor in 2 separate layers of mousse and crunch.
Plantation Pie--actually really a gourmet mud pie. A giant piece of coffee ice cream pie gilded with caramel sauce, chocolate pieces, etc. This was a killer dessert and is the one that I'd pick again although, interestingly, the waiter said that he thought it was the weakest of the three (the other is a lemon tart, which we didn't try).
My advice, call immediately and try to get a reservation for tonight or tomorrow. It may not be the best meal you've ever had but, as Gayla pointed out, it was about the best $30 that I've spent recently.
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