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Kensington Grill, San Diego

Gayla | Oct 27, 200402:13 AM

Chilepm and I had dinner at the Kensington Grill last night. Not bad, some hits, but some misses as well.

We shared a carmelized onion tart starter. This was very good. A crisp disk of puff pastry, about the size of a personal pizza, had been topped with guyere cheese, a generous helping of caremlized onions, sun dried tomatoes, a few kalamata olives and some crumbled goat cheese. Delicious.

Both of us chose the sea bass crusted with horseradish and served with mashed potatoes, fried leeks and a chive sauce. The fish was good, but there was no discernible horseradish flavor at all in the light crust. The fried leeks were super, and the mashed potatoes flavorful, although the serving of potatoes was far too large. Unfortunately, the chive sauce lacked much punch. It was a beautiful shade of green and provided some wonderful adornment for the plate, but that was about it. It added nothing to the dish other than some eye appeal. The sea bass was, as noted above, very fresh, and very good, it just didn't taste much like what had been described on the menu.

The real misses were the desserts. Pat ordered what was billed as a chocolate custard with orange. What she got was neither chocolate, nor orange, and I'm not even sure it was custard. It lacked any kind of creamy texture and the consistency was more akin to bread pudding than it was to custard. The dessert (whatever it was) had a heavy dose of cinnamon to the point where it masked whatever chocolate may have been in it, and the kitchen may have waved an orange over the top, which is about as close as any orange got to this dessert. Pat had 1 bite, I had 2, neither one of us could do much more than that, nor did our waitress enquire as to why we had barely touched the dessert. This particular dessert was a dismal failure and one of the few dessert failures I've had at any restaurant in San Diego. And those of you that have shared a meal with me know that I will almost always do dessert.

I ordered the Apple and Pear x 3 dessert, which was a trio of 3 small desserts. The first was an apple/berry cobbler, which was quite tasty but too sweet for me. The second was a roasted pear tart with caramel sauce and a small scoop of ice cream. The pears had been set on a small round of puff pastry, which had been anchored into some of the caramel sauce. The sauce, pears and ice cream were wonderful, the puff pastry was tough. The 3rd dessert on the plate was a porfiterole. I will admit it, I am a push over for porfiteroles..........but not this one. First the pate choux had been over cooked making the porfiterole very brown and very tough. Then instead of being filled with ice cream, it was filled with an insipid pastry creme and whipped cream. The plate presentation was gorgeous, but each of the 3 desserts needed serious adjustments. The cobbler and the tart had some relation due to the fruits, but the porfiterole had no relationship at all to the other 2 desserts on the plate.

Service was attentive and in spite of the miscues with the food, I would go back. The room is very attractively decorated and the ambiance is nice. I also know that Monday night in restaurants usually are not the best night, so I can cut the kitchen some slack and try again on a busier night. I actually wasn't going to post about this meal because we'd eaten on night that is traditionally not a stellar one, but there were enough flaws in our meal, some of them serious, that I thought it might be prudent to mention them.

1 appetizer, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, 1 glass of wine and 1 capuccino, plus tip came to $88 for 2 and that is FAR too much for the quality of the meal we were served.

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