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Nine-Ten in La Jolla

Hello,
I ate at Nine Ten for lunch-- they have a $24 three course menu, which is quite a steal relative to their usual prices. If you sit outside on a sunny day, it's a really nice ambiance.
Overall, my friend's and my experience was mediocre. I started with a parsnip soup, which was the highlight of the meal. For my entreé I had the duck confit with shredded apple and fennel and an apple pureé, and a side salad of arugula. This was the low point of the meal-- my first bite of the duck tasted gamey, and though the rest of it wasn't so, it still didn't please my tastebuds fully. The shredded apple and apple puree was a very bland, strange taste paired with the duck-- I wanted something more savory and flavorful. And I would never pair a salad with duck confit-- I think that such a warm, greasy entree is better with a warm side.
My friend had the salmon with vegetables for her entree. This was also disappointing-- the salmon was farmed, not fresh water. It was a bit overcooked, too.
For dessert, I had the half-baked chocolate cake. Very good-- if I go back to Nine-Ten, it will be for that dessert.
Lastly, the service was pretty bad. We ran out of water numerous times, each entree took a very long time to get to us even though there was only a couple other tables occupied. Finally, we waited for at least 20 minutes after having our dessert plates taken away and still no check, so we had to go inside and ask for the bill. I usually stick around and linger for a bit at dinner, but during lunch it's understandable that people need to be out soon after their meal is done.
So my consensus is that it was very good in some areas and pretty bad in others. I would much rather go to Tapenade in La Jolla, which serves absolutely exquisite food for the same prices...

Feb 23, 2009
emslice in San Diego

Black Manhattans: A Good Drink Made Even Better

Why you all dissing the Fernet-Branca? I can't get enough of the stuff!

Feb 07, 2009
emslice in Features

21st Birthday in San Diego

Just wanted to say that I thought the duck quesadilla at Roppongi is absolutely delicious.... trust me.

Feb 07, 2009
emslice in San Diego

Beast - PDX

Indeed, I ate at Beast for dinner in September. It was pretty damn great. I didn't have any complaints for any of the five courses. We did the wine pairings with our meals and they were fantastic, though dangerous: 5 glasses of 4 oz. pours made little-old-me quite tipsy (I think they claim they're 3 oz., but they hook you up). The concept of the restaurant makes it even more of a hit: the fact that they are able to switch up their recipes and ingredients weekly and still make solidly exquisite food is impressive.
I hope, though, that they never get rid of the foie gras bon bon, because that was phenomenal.
Hope you enjoy it/have enjoyed it...

Feb 06, 2009
emslice in Pacific Northwest

Define Californian Cuisine

My roommate from Mexico City asked me yesterday: What is Californian cuisine? And assuming I just knew this kind of thing, being a California-native, I tried to give him a definition. It occurred to me I have no idea how to define Californian cuisine. I have an idea in my head of what it is (I'm thinking California benedict, avocado avocado avocado, strange yet delicious and fresh concoctions in general), but no concrete definition. What's your interpretation?

Jan 28, 2009
emslice in General Topics

Range report

I recently ate at Range for dinner and it was a bi-polar experience. The appetizers did not impress me (with the exception of the chicken paté, which was good). As I recall one was just a piece of raw hamachi with a couple of blackberries placed on top-- obviously needed more flavor, or something. However, the entree I had-- duck confit with house-made sausage on a bed of leeks.... absolutely phenomenal. Best entree I've ever had. I would certainly go back to give the appetizers another chance and I do recommend Range based on the fabulous-ness of my entree.

Oh, and I should mention-- if you're in the mood for some fine wine, try the Soliste pinot noir. It's about 100 bucks but wholesale it goes for 70, so it's a steal for its kind.

Jan 28, 2009
emslice in San Francisco Bay Area

What was your Best Meal ever?

A duck confit dish with house-made sausage, all on a bed of leeks. Had it at "Range," a one michelin star restaurant in San Francisco. Phenomenal dish-- it has yet to be topped!

Jan 28, 2009
emslice in General Topics

Question about a Particular Carr's Biscuit

YES! I LOVE Carr's whole wheat biscuits, too! My grandfather used to feed them to me, and pretty much restrain me from gobbling up the whole box. I haven' t had them in years and I'm on a mission to track them down myself, so thanks for all the info, everyone!

Oh, and I've just called my local BevMo, and they have Carr's whole wheat crackers in stock! Hopefully your local one does, too...

Jan 26, 2009
emslice in General Topics

Cafe Japengo in La Jolla/UTC

I ate at Cafe Japengo last night and thought I'd contribute my two cents, seeing as it hasn't been reviewed yet by chowhounders.

This is the kind of place where the decor and the service commands the prices, not the food (and this is never an acceptable situation). While the food is certainly decent, I would only pay for it a second time around were the prices cut in half. 30 bucks for some fair chicken teriyaki doesn’t do justice, in my humble opinion.

Also, if you do ignore my condemnation and decide to venture into Cafe Japengo, take note: it is the nucleus for the most done-up beautiful people in the San Diego area. Provides added scenery, I guess…

Anyone else eaten here and had a better/similar experience?

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Cafe Japengo
8960 University Center Lane, San Diego, CA 92122

Jan 25, 2009
emslice in San Diego

Best Restaurant Reviewers

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a good restaurant review website other than zagat and yelp. My usual process for deciding whether to eat at a restaurant or not, is to check zagat first, then if something is decently rated, to consult the yelpers. Yet I would like a more accredited source than yelp.com as my second-man to zagat--- maybe some kind of website that collects various restaurant critics' reviews and displays them nice and neat for me? Anyone know of something of the sort? Or even just a website that isn't so general as yelp and is more directed to foodies as reviewers...

I'm excited to know what you know. Thanks!
Emily

Dec 19, 2008
emslice in Food Media & News

Inexpensive version of Global knives

Hello,

I am interested in buying some decent knives and I have my heart set on Global knives. However, my wallet isn't so smitten, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of some less expensive Global-esque type of knives. You know-- similar weight, design, material, whatever.

Thanks!
Emily

Dec 04, 2008
emslice in Cookware