Sunday, June 17, 2007

Review - Taste of The Gaslamp

This past weekend, San Diego hosted the Taste of The Gaslamp in the historic Gaslamp Quarter downtown. This is a yearly event described by the Gaslamp Quarter Association as an “urban dining safari and dining adventure” and that’s a perfect description – ticket holders were able to roam from each participating restaurant to another, while nibbling on samples from each spot’s menu. Cuisines included Indian, Irish, American, Mediterranean, Southwestern, Mexican, Thai, seafood, and more. It was a great way to check out the ambiance, menu, and flavors of Gaslamp restaurants as well as sample different cuisines for only $25 per person! If you didn’t make it this year, I definitely recommend keeping your eyes peeled for the event next year – it’s a really fun and rewarding couple of days of dining. My gal pal, Shayne, and I volunteered our time to the Gaslamp Association for the event on Saturday, and were able to make the rounds tasting some of the goodies offered by local restaurants gratis, as a reward for our time. What a treat!

At Chive, one of my absolute favorite spots downtown (try the Mandarin Sparkler, a fantastic champagne cocktail), Shayne and I accepted tickets and tallied the amount of individuals coming through the doors for tastes of Chive’s fantastic cuisine. We experienced a little misunderstanding of how long our break was supposed to be, but had a blast working the door, watching and greeting participants, and representing the beautiful restaurant. We also helped distribute Chive’s amazing taste sample – Crab Mac and Cheese. It was light, flavorful, and filling… I’m definitely a sucker for any style of macaroni and cheese. I’m 31 years old and it’s still my favorite food! My favorites in San Diego include Dussini Mediterranean Bistro’s Lobster Mac and Cheese, Gaslamp Strip Club’s White Truffle Mac and Cheese and Chive’s Crab Mac and Cheese.

Anyway, I’ve digressed! If you've never visited Chive, I recommend it highly - it’s a fantastic place to have a light dinner for a night out with the girls or before an evening of carousing downtown. They serve small plates of great foods which include ‘Bloody Mary’ Mussels, Black Miso Marinated Tuna, Crisp Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, Crab Mac N’ Cheese, Brandt Farms Beef Tenderloin, Feta Fries, and Marinated Olive Sampler. Desserts served are simple and delicious there – and portions are equally as reasonable, so it’s not something that will weigh you down later!

Chive has two sister restaurants, which I highly recommend, as well – Kensington Grill (on Adams in Kensington) and Laurel (in Bankers Hill). Take a look at their site and see what you think: Meanwhile, if you get a chance to check out Gaslamp Dining Week from June 17th - 21st, you should. Over 20 restaurants are offering 3 beautiful courses for a price fixe of $30 per person. For more information, check here:

My next review will be of Richard Walker’s Pancake House – instead of taking one of my clients to lunch this week, I’ve opted to treat him to breakfast, so I can check out this little gem downtown. Richard Walker’s has only been open for about 6 months or so, but I’ve heard fantastic reviews so far. Stay tuned!

Hope you all have a great week! Love, Mer

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