San Diego Restaurant Week is back! From September 25 through October 2, over 150 participating restaurants around San Diego are offering prix fixe lunch and dinner menus that showcase their signature cuisine. This year, I had the opportunity to preview the SDRW menu at 1500 Ocean, located at the Hotel del Coronado.
1500 Ocean is quite a beautiful restaurant, with sleek and classic décor. We were presented with the SDRW menu, which features a 3-course meal for $50 with some items requiring a surcharge. I also took a look at the regular menu and was happy that all of the items featured for restaurant week are the exact same as the regular menu!
Our meal started out with some nice warm bread and butter – there were regular dinner rolls as well as pumpernickel.
Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Tart
We were then treated to an amuse bouche, a mini tart with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and chives in a phyllo dough. I loved this delicate little bite that was full of flavor – a perfect amuse bouche to whet my appetite!
Hamachi Crudo [+$6]
My dinner date chose the Hamachi Crudo for his appetizer. Slices of raw yellowtail, accompanied by black radish, serrano chilis, coconut, and a carrot-tangerine puree. The flavor combination was quite creative, though I felt that it was just a tad heavy and overpowered the delicate hamachi a bit. Still though, the fish was excellent quality, and we both enjoyed this.
Market Oysters [+$6]
I chose the plate of oysters for my appetizer – the selection that day were Kumiai Oysters, which are on the smaller side but with a sweet finish. They were served with a strawberry mignonette, which provided a wonderful acidity to balance out the flavors. I enjoyed these a lot!
Throughout our meal, we were pleasantly surprised by a few extra items that the kitchen sent out for us to try! After our appetizers, we were treated to a “bonus” course of some of the restaurant’s favorite items.
Dungeness Crab & Squid Ink Tonarelli [+$6]
I actually have a mild crab allergy that I developed when I was 21, but I didn’t have the heart to tell our waiter and send this back. Plus, crab was one of my favorite shellfish… So I had to have a few bites. (Obviously, don’t be like me and give in to temptation if you have a serious allergy to anything!) The squid ink pasta was cooked to a nice al dente and topped with Dungeness crab, roasted red pepper, asparagus, and scallions, and served with a yellow Thai coconut curry. I was initially skeptical about the pairing of squid ink and crab with yellow curry, but surprisingly it was quite nice. I’m also happy to report that the few bites of crab that I had (which were delicious, btw!) didn’t cause any skin reaction! Hooray :)
Seared Foie Gras [$23]
The other dish that we were treated to was the Seared Foie Gras, one of the restaurant’s signature items (and unfortunately not part of the RW menu). Seared Hudson Valley foie gras is paired with a fig cornbread pudding, greens, pickled onions, onion jam, and macadamia nuts. I loved this dish – the seared foie gras was rich yet not overwhelming, and the fig cornbread pudding was simply amazing. The flavors were really well-balanced – sweetness from the fig, cornbread, and onions, tartness from the pickled onions, bitterness from the greens – all worked so well together with the rich and decadent foie gras. My date, who is very wary of liver, actually raved about this as well which definitely says a lot (even though I was kind of secretly hoping that he wouldn’t like it so that I would get more… hehe).
Now onto the entrees from the RW menu:
Seared Day Boat Scallops