I was sitting at DFW airport yesterday afternoon killing time after finding out my flight home was massively delayed. One of the things about traveling and being "stuck" somewhere is that it gives me (at least) an opportunity to catch up on my reading, especially the trade publications. I happened to have the March 28th edition of Nation's Restaurant News tucked in my carryon, so I pulled it out and began flipping the pages. (NRN is a weekly that prints all the industry news)
In every issue there is a section called "Culinary Currents" and one of the usual features is "What's HOT in (fill in the name of a city)" Usually, 5 restaurants are listed along with a few of their key or signature offerings, number of seats, price range, address/phone, and who chef and owner. I was, to say the least, jolted out of my boredom when I saw the "What's HOT in San Diego" headline.
Here are the 5 restaurants that NRN listed as being HOT in San Diego. My questions to my fellow Chowhounds are - Do you agree? Why or Why Not?
1) Bud's Lousiana Food Shoppe
2) Cafe Chole
3) Homefire Grill
4) LG's Steak House
Bud's and Cafe Chole have been discussed on this board previously. Homefire Grill is on Sports Arena Blvd. and alledgedly serves eclectic American cuisine; I don't think it's been commented upon here. LG's Steakhouse appears to be on the fringes of Hillcrest/Banker's Hill ???, and given the recent discussion about the merits of various local steak houses, I'm wondering where this one rates as it is spendy.
And finally, Oceanaire. There have been inquires about the local unit, but no one's posted a meal review yet. I was in Dallas for the IACP conference (International Association of Culinary Professionals) and the dallas Oceanaire was featured in the opening night's "Taste of Dallas" walk about. They were featuring a Tea Smoked Hawaiian Striped Marlin served with Lemongrass Oil and a small salad garnish of sugar snap peas, corn kernels, and daikon sprouts. Devine and sensual are the descriptors that come to mind. I chatted with the chef for a few mintues and discovered that the chef for San Diego's branch of Oecanaire had trained with the Dallas chef. I'm hoping this bodes well for us. The folks in Dallas were very high on the San Diego outpost, so now I'm also very curious as to how it measures up.
So, San Diego..........are these really the 5 HOT restaurants in San Diego at the moment?