Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Girl and a Grill

It's Restaurant Week here in San Diego again. Which makes this one happy Thatgirl. It means I get to try a new restaurant or two. Usually the restaurants we try during Restaurant Week are highly anticipated and either exceed expectations, or fall a little short.

I've been dying to try Kensington Grill for a while now. It's in an area of San Diego that is really coming into itself and becoming a great place for restaurants, neighborhood markets, and that kind of vibe you get from bigger cities where you can actually walk to everything you need.

Kensington Grill is run by the same people who run Cucina Urbana - our pick for last restaurant week! But Kensington Grill has a very different vibe. It actually reminds me more of the now defunct Laurel...which was owned by the same people. Dark, with clean lines and linens, wood, and organic shapes.

Unfortunately it was a night of hits and misses.

Hit: Thatboy loves absinthe. I think it has something to do with the fact that it used to be taboo. So he loves when restaurants serve it. We had an entire absinthe night last time we were in New York with all different concoctions. This one was just straight up.

Miss: The Bliss. Cocoa infused Rosebud Vodka, mixed with strawberry and champagne. Sounds great right? Actually, it was pretty good with the exception that there was no cocoa flavor at all. Pretty good for a strawberry champagne vodka, no so good for soemthing chocolate flavored.

Miss: Lamb spring roll. Okay, this might just be a miss for me because I thought it was duck for some reason and it really tasted weird for duck. I'm also not used to lamb having Asian flavors. It was an interesting mix of sweet and ....ummm....spiced? Not spicy, just a lot of spice.

Hit: Foraged Mushroom Gnocchi! Thatboy took one look at it and said "those gnocchi look storebought." Then he took one bite and said "those gnocchi are definitely not storebought." Pretty good. Not as good as the gnocchi at Cucina Urbana, but not bad. And I LOVED the red chard. Is that weird? Probably.

Miss: Pork Oso Bucco. This was actually too rich for me. Not what I'd usually say about pork. The sides were fantastic though - brussels sprouts roasted with pancetta and mashed potatoes with apple confit. Both played with a mix of flavors, bitter and smokey, sweet and savory....

Hit: According to Thatboy at least. He loved this wild game meatloaf, made with veal, wild boar, and venison. But he's a meatloaf person. I'm not. He thought the gorgonzola mashed potatoes were a little too cheesy. I don't think such a thing exists.

Hit: Banana Bread Pudding. Thatboy thought it was going to be banana bread, made into bread pudding. It was actually bread pudding with bananas, but nevertheless it was heavenly.

Hit AND Miss: Depending on who you ask. A trio of sorbets - blackberry, peach champagne, and orange. Thatboy loved the blackberry, it was his favorite. I think the blackberry sorbet I made this summer is better. He didn't like the orange or the peach champagne. I actually really liked the lightness of the orange and the peach champagne. So really, everyone won.


  1. Bah. Hits and misses -- that's tough. I guess at least there were hits?

  2. We enjoy your foray into the local restaurants.

  3. absinthe just always sounds so mysterious and OG to me. maybe i need to give it a try. haha!

  4. Jim tried absinthe in Vegas last year and while it was a fun experience, I don't think he cares to repeat it any time soon. ;)