Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lunch at Iris

We had lunch at Iris Del Mar yesterday.  A white tablecloth restaurant in a lovely setting, near Torrey Pines beach.  We sat on the patio, and waited.  And waited.  No waitress for oh, 20 minutes.  Two busboys, wandering around without a clue.  They wandered around aimlessly, handed out menus, and poured drinks.  Finally, the waitress shows up. The waitress was overworked, since the busboys didn't do much. The patio is jammed.  We were served some rosemary bread, with some nice unsalted butter.

The waitress recommended the pizzetta as an appetizer.  The pizzetta had pumpkin seed pesto, duck confit, figs, and gorgonzola cheese.  What a mess.  The flavors all clashed, and ultimately, it didn't have any taste.  I had the crabcake sandwich, with the biggest crabcake I've ever seen.  The crab was fresh, but it needed more flavor.  It was served with red pepper puree, fairly blah, and a giant hamburger bun.  The bun was huge, not fresh, and not flavorful.  The fries were nothing special, either. The grandson had the half-pound hamburger, a tasteless exercise in meat.

I had a small house salad.  Their salads are very good, and what they are known for is their fried chicken salad.  Anyway, on the house salad,  they take a slice of brie, put crushed walnuts on it, and throw it on the grill, then they put it on the salad.  Delicious.

All in all, after spending $160 for lunch, I was disappointed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lunch at Claire's on Cedros

Today, we had lunch at Claire's on Cedros.  It was awful.  Let me tell you how. I walk in, and the decor is very rustic.  Cute, but you can't eat the decor.  I sit down. They emphasize the fact that they are a bakery, and that they bake all their bread on-site. There are rolls on the table.  I split and butter one. I bite in, it's been microwaved.  Eww.  Well, after one bite, I give up. Eventually, our waitress shows up.  I order the steak sandwich.  It's skirt steak, along with cheese, onion jam, arugula, and tomato.  It was awful.  The sandwich was served at room temperature, the meat was tough, bland, and mostly gristle.  Not only that, the roll was doughy.  All in all, a ripoff.  My mother had the duck confit salad.  A standard spring mix with a vinegary dressing.  The small piece of duck was tough and under-cooked.  Also, there was nothing confit about it. 

Epicurious.com defines confit thusly: This specialty of Gascony, France, is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) whereby it is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The cooked meat is then packed into a crock or pot and covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative. Confit  can be refrigerated up to 6 months. Confit d'oie and confit de canard are preserved goose and preserved duck, respectively.