Full Review with PIctures here
To start Servers came by providing a 3 different amuses each prepared by a different member of the Evolve team.
A. Green Strawberry White Balsamic Gelee
C.Tempura Beef Shank - Chile, Mustard
My favorite was the tempura beef shank from Sheena Villegas. I thought of it as a nod to San Diego’s many Japanese eateries where patrons are given chicken karaage to start the meal. So if you like that type of fried chicken – try fried beef. The additional sweet mustard and mild spice from chili threads made this a opening bite one that I’ll remember for some time.
1.Uni - Flan, Gonads, Uni Sugar, Pineapple,
Our first comprised dish was the favorite of many. Along with a fresh piece of local San Diego urchin, each component carried some essence of the delicately briny, sweet flavor.
2.Roasted Corn Broth, Cabbage crusted Wahoo, Crema Spheres
What was originally going to be yellowtail ended up being a a great piece of Wahoo (an even better choice for a play on fish tacos). What made the dish for me was semi-spicy guacamole moderated by a cool crema sphere, and additional crunch from the radish chip. Another one that many called favorite.
3.Bacon Cheeseburger - Brioche, Grassfed Beef, Eazy Cheese
The smell of this dish immediately brought a Big Mac to mind, and I mean that in the most fondly nostalgic way. My best guess as to where that came from is the horseradish/white cheddar mixture inside the brioche giving me a sense of special sauce. Conceptually, I think this may have been the best dish of the night.
Pomegranate Mojito Sundae
Our intermezzo was another palate annihilator from Mike Yen. I thought the cuisine was involved, until I got the ingredient list for this cocktail. You will will wipe palate clean with one of these, and you’ll have fun doing it.
4.Cali Burrito - Shrimp Fries, Fizzy Tomato, Potato
This course was the naming controversy I alluded to earlier. Apparently you HAVE TO HAVE CARNE ASADA in order for it to be a California Burrito. After tasting, I wouldn’t have cared if it had been called spaghetti & meatballs, it was still my favorite. I’ll take a tortilla filled with Barron’s cilantro potato espuma and crispy shrimp against any filled with carne asada and fries. Shoot me.
5.Short Rib - 72 Hour Sous Vide Beef Cheek, Flank threads, Smoked Tomato, (Matt Gordon collaboration)
The short rib was collaboration with a dish created Matt Gordon. My personal preference is still for Matt’s more traditional prep, but a number of diners noted just how similar the flavors were to the beef cheeks being served at Urban Solace. A worthy dedication, just not a replacement.
6.Cupcake - Chocolate, Raspberry, Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting
The cupcake proper had a similar composition to my last Bonilla Dessert. My favorite components this time being the chocolate cremeux, raspberry sorbet, and the tiny Bunch-a-Crunch like chocolate spheres.
The food is good. It’s inventive, fun, and most importantly tasty. But aside from cooking technique, what really distinguishes Evolve Cuisine events is the atmosphere they provide. The food is refined, but there’s no pretension. The same people making the dishes are serving them, and if your dining companions weren’t already your friends at the beginning of the evening, they likely will be by the time you leave. I’m really enthusiastic about what the Evolve team is doing, and can only see them getting bigger and better.
*so for the CHers, I'm not promising flawless execution on every dish, but overall the food and experience is make these worth checking out. Especially at these price points. I got to meet Josh at this last one, it would be really cool to start seeing more of the CH members around town.