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1973 San Diego guide to a year of restaurant reviews

Small bites

Small Bites From A Year’s Feast of Reviews

The Blue Man

“...This tiny French restaurant, located in the unlikely town of Lemon Grove, is the most exciting one I’ve discovered in the four years I've lived in San Diego. This is a restaurant straight out of the best of bourgoise France. For those who think that the famous, and expensive, Auberge in La Jolla is the best place to eat French cooking, try The Blue Man: it's the poor man's Auberge."

Kathleen Woodward. October 5, 1972.

The Greenery

“...I thought of the famous eating scene in Toni Jones where Tom and Jenny Waters eat a magnificent meal as a prelude to — or part of their making love. Although The Greenery certainly doesn't have the robust exuberance of the old English inn at Upton, it does share one important characteristic with it: it's a good place for lovers."

Kathleen Woodward. October 19, 1972

The Fontainhleu at the Westgate Plaza Hotel

“Like the decor, the service is truly aristocratic, not colored by condescension. The waiters wear white gloves, hand your napkin to you, and deftly warm brandy glasses over a gas flame which is wheeled to your table. A piano and bass

play smooth music from another time and place — ‘September Song,' ‘I Could Have Danced All Night.' And you begin to think you could be Zelda and Scott Fit/gerald at the Plaza Hotel in New York in the twenties.” Kathleen Woodward, October 26, 1972

The Korea House

“I wanted a real Korean dish, so I asked the waiting person for a small bowl of Kim Chee soup. She would not at first give it to me. ‘It’s too hot. Ahhg. It's too hot.' I asked again, and again, and she left it on the table with a shrug and a grimace."

Jeff Weinstein, November 23, 1972 The Shanghai

“...I decided to dictate and order what I alone thought would be the perfect Chinese meal-of-the-moment (for two) at the Shanghai: sea-weed soup — in a fine egg and chicken broth, very mild: a bottle of cold dry Riesling, or something like it: some plain broiled duck, served in small pieces with no sauce: peapods and mushrooms; more wine; Shanghai lobster — a wonderful creamy dish: a pause: iced lichee nuts — which are the most sexually suggestive fruits I know, with texture like moist skin, slightly nauseating to the taste; cognac. After which we reeled out of the red room, satisfied and hap-

py and poor.”

Jeff Weinstein, December 7, 1972

Guilio’s and Figaro’s “But tomato sauce is not Italian food, and least two restaurants — Guilio’s in Pacific Beach and Figaro’s on Washington Street do not depend on it at all.”

“Next scene: a very small comfortable restaurant, on Washington Street. We enter, and see two people we know, vegetarian ‘gourmets'. We were accosted: ‘No! You will not review this wonderful place, (now pleadingly) Oh, please, it's the only place we have left.” Jeff Weinstein. December 21. 1972

La Paloma

“It's a long drive to Encinitas from San Diego, but it's worth it. La Paloma is low-key and low-pressure and somehow entirely natural, and it goes one perfect step beyong La Jolla's Unicorn — it has film, books and food.”

Kathleen Woodward, January 18, 1972

The Poop Deck in Oceanside “...we realized just how uniformly thoughtless cooking can ruin perfectly good food. To list: the salad was soggy (left too long somewhere), the rice had small bits of raw grains (or jujubees?) hiding maliciously, the baked potato must have sat plump in the oven since the restaurant opened (they can be over-cooked) and had skin like an old wetsuit, the trout (frozen, from Idaho) was dry and flavorless, covered with slivers of burnt almonds which looked very much like cockroaches...”

Jeff Weinstein. February 1, 1973

Chiki Hai in Tijuana “Also, the people who come in to play guitar for ‘couples’ are sometimes good, certainly better than the drunken clientele who sing along. Their main menu is a wonderful list of dinner entrees ranging from about two to three dollars, perhaps 20 to 25 items, some that are repeated daily and some special ones that appear as the food is available or as the cook chooses, like Spanish quail. Which, by the way, is stewed quail in a burgundy wine sauce, very sloppy and tasty..."

Jeff Weinstein, February 15, 1973

Mom and Pop's Soul Food Square “Now. way back in my heritage is a German strain which carried through to my mother in the form of her ability to cook oxtails, usually in a stew. But my Mom's got nothing on this blue-waitresses-dressed Ma. And this black Mom’s a lot quicker. Five minutes is maximum till you've got a plate full of beans, rice, collards and meaty oxtails that are lively, spicy, and whose full flavor reflects a day of careful simmering. Plus you get a side dish of sweet, buttered corn-bread pancakes.”

Brandon Wander, March 1, 1973

The Auberge in Del Mar "The sweetbreads were fine, but the tomato was stuffed with little canned shrimp and bottled mayonnaise, which, compared to the sweetbreads, was insulting... The steak was fair, sitting on a sodden piece of ancient eggplant, but my salmon pie was gorgeous, surrounded by a beautiful fluted crust of browned potato."

Jeff Weinstein, March 15, 1973

The Prophet

“...it (the Prophet) seems to have a

subculture following of many

different San Diego people, and since recommendations of good eating are few, I thought I’d try it... We had an apetizer of hummus (which, if I remember correctly, is a paste made of garbanzo beans and spices) on pita (Syrian bread) which was not particularly well-prepared but O.K. I asked for a dinner of stuffed mushrooms, and was served a visually beautiful dish of dark circlets sitting in white glistening sauce, out of which bean sprouts grew like hair..."

Jeff Weinstein. March 29, 1973

Lourdes Filipino Restaurant “...as the plump girl from the kitchen began setting the steaming plates of adobo and squid down, the sight of squid tentacles sent a chill down my spine. “Well," I forced a look of confidence, “here goes.”

H. Phelps Jones, April 19, 1973

La Cantina Ventura “...Jack in the Box may mix soya beans in its tacos, but not Jose. Shredded beef. What really convinced me of the authenticity of the food here is the inclusion of a few ugly green peas in the servings of rice. I don’t like the peas, but since I'd been served them before in Mexican homes, I got the feeling La Cantina was not a hoax."

John Martin. July 5, 1973

Notsom Flotsom

“Over the cackling and creaking we could just make out the KPRI-type music. ‘I'd take tourists here,’ said my friend, ‘this place is just as much Southern California as a colonial restaurant is New England!' ...‘Apple and cherry pie tonight,’ the waiter reported, ‘and the cherry’s real good — I just had some myself.' We had visions of

him dipping his finger in the pie, but took his recommendation.” Kathleen Woodward, August 2, 1973

The Happy Frenchman “...the turnover of tourists who just ‘adored' the place was astronomical. The ladies’ room, just a little bit larger than an airplane toilet, was jammed inside w ith a line of seven waiting outside. One lady tourist advised me to try the asparagus sandwich. ‘It’s, you know, gourmet,' she said, ‘It's French, but you might like it.’ ”

Kathleen Woodward, August 16, 1973

Mandolin Wind

“Besides the usual steak and fish. Mandolin Wind offers such intriguing entrees as sweet and sour bones (prime ribs broiled in a sweet and sour sauce) and peyote chicken (a spicy sweet and sour sauce without peyote).”

Phyllis Wilson, August 30, 1973

Grant Grill

“But all this... doesn't mean that the Grant Grill is just another phoney Hotel Circle-Shelter Island

restaurant. It’s not, it's not at all. It’s a real restaurant, a big city restaurant with white tablecloths and napkins nicely folded on your bread-and-butter plate, wood paneling such as you’d find in a gentlemen's club. Silver Springs water, red velvet drapes, high lighting, large black leather booths, a Ponce de Leon poster, and the inevitable aquarium that forms part of a window.”

Kathleen Woodward, September 13, 1973

Jack Slattery’s

At Jack Slattery's, a five-month old Solana Beach restaurant, you can eat “The Feast,” a mammoth meal for two or more, if you call 24 hours in advance. We did, and the night we were there, we weren't the only ones. Near us a group of 23 — attorneys, they told us — had their feast (the bill: over $200) carried to them on planks the si/e of small stretchers.

Kathleen Woodward, September

77 1077 —

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