I had lunch today at the new Farmer’s Table in La Mesa. It’s in the old San Fillipo’s spot and boy has it been renovated!!
On the corner is an indoor/outdoor bar that I’m guessing will be heavily used during the warmer Spring months and definitely the summer.
The inside is kind of farmer kitsch but it works. If you look at the wall of old wooden produce boxes you’re bound to find the ones with Stehly’s on them. The light fixtures are fantastic, do not forget to look up. What isn’t so fantastic is the noise level…lots of hard surfaces and not a lot to absorb the sound. The bar and the outside, sidewalk terrace appeared to be quieter
The place was PACKED for lunch on a Monday, we had nearly a 30 minute wait for a table. Now, whether the wait was because the place is brand spankin’ new or because today was a holiday, is unknown but time will provide the answer.
The brunch menu, which is served from 8 am - 3 pm is heavy on egg dishes and agumented with the usual pancakes and french toast along with a short selection of salads, sandwiches and flatbreads, which realistically, could probably more accurately be called pizza.
2 of us had the chicken pecan salad and were pleased with it. Our 3rd dining companion had the farmers salad and was less satisfied. The farmer’s salad was basically an arugula salad with some add-ins and fruit with a balsamic dressing. She felt they were a little heavy handed with the balsamic and the melon in the salad was not ripe. The pecan chicken salad was mixed greens with candied pecans, blue cheese, grape tomatoes and came with a pecan encrusted chicken breast on top. I thought it was good and enjoyed it.
For only being open a couple of weeks service was decent. There were a few problems, they tried to deliver another table’s order to us and when our order came one of the salads was wrong. It was all handled discreetly and professionally. The wait staff was slammed, no doubt about it, I think they did well. The kitchen at the back is open and I had a great view into it. The pantry station (i.e. salads and cold prep) was being worked by 1 guy and he was moving. There was plenty of staff and dishes were coming out of the kitchen with good regularity.
I know a couple salads doesn’t necessarily show off the kitchen’s abilities or flaws…but La Mesa doesn’t have anything like this farm-to-table restaurant and the salads and the dishes I saw going past my table were good enough for me to want to return to explore more of the menu.