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Vagabond (San Diego) report

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Vagabond (San Diego) report

Josh | Mar 3, 2007 06:57 PM

Finally tried this place tonight, after hearing many positive things (and a few negative ones). I was pretty impressed. Definitely will go back.

There were a couple of things that struck me right off the bat. One was that the menu has very detailed descriptions of the items. Two was that the bread was served with an awesome saffron aioli. I ate far too much bread dipped into far too much aioli, but the saffron, garlic, and olive oil combo was just too addictive for words.

We started with an appetizer that we spied at a neighboring table. It was a Vietnamese summer roll, paired with three spring rolls. They came with the requisite lettuce, mint, basil, and cilantro for garnishing, and the standard dipping sauces. I was surprised at how good these were, while not being wholly authentic.

The spring rolls were very crisp, not greasy, and filled with a vegetable mixture strongly flavored with mushroom. The summer roll was filled with tofu, rice noodles, and veggies, and was cool and refreshing.

I ordered the paella (which I'd heard was good), and my s/o had the halibut special. Her fish was very fresh and well-cooked, though there was too much sauce, which kind of overpowered everything.

I was quite happy with the paella. It had a generous amount of chorizo seco, rabbit, sausage, and shellfish, and the rice had a wonderful flavor and texture. Lots of saffron, good olive oil. The only complaint was that a couple of bites had broken mussel shell in them (ugh).

Despite the two minor issues, we were very happy with our meals and will definitely return. This is a nice addition to San Diego's dining scene, and isn't really like any other place I've been in town.

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