Invited to a dinner at the Grant Grill in US Grant Hotel, downtown San Diego. Thought it might be useful for some to have a review of the food.
Our dinners consisted of warm bread, amuse of minted green cold soup, wedge salad and tomato salad, fillet and halibut mains, and chocolate mousse desert.
The bread, a warm round polished with egg wash, flavored with garlic and highly salted; warm inside, nice texture, comforting with butter, though the salt and garlic distracted a little from the better qualities of texture. Felt it was a nice idea that was excessively tarted up.
The amuse, served in vodka shot glasses, was nice and raised my hopes for the meal as a whole. Somehow, the cold soup had a savory flavor without being too salty, almost like a meat broth, with no beefy flavor.
The salads were all right; but the tomatoes were small and disappointing, though dressed adequately, the “heritage” fruits were a little tough-skinned and with no more flavor than standard non-heritage versions. The wedge was served with an egg/blue cheese dressing, no iceberg, and was ok, but didn’t blow me away.
The halibut was sauced badly, the balsamic not reduced adequately, much too salty and rather unpleasant. The fillet was decent, but tasted of brisket somehow and the potatoes, labeled as marrow, were served on a marrow bone but not much taste. Both mains had some carrots included on the plates, carrot “balls” actually, a little cold and mushy.
The desert, a chocolate mousse served in a coffee cup and a couple biscotti, was nice; but the chocolate was too pudding-like, lacking over-the-top, arresting richness. Some orange zest (or something) was needed to add some sexiness, but not here.
So this was nice food, better than standard banquet fare, but probably should have been better, especially the halibut.
This was a saturday night, and there was some music and the bar was hopping; so the atmosphere was lively, but the food was not what it might have been.