The Marine Room (San Diego Restaurant Week)
Hello foodies. Restaurant Week just passed a few weeks ago and I only was able to go to a couple places. One of them was the elusive Marine Room. I hadn’t gone there before and neither had my girlfriend so we were excited about what the night would have in store for us, celebrating our anniversary! The wait wasn’t long with the reservations I had made which started us off the night right. There were a ton of people waiting both by the hostess desk on the steps below and at the top waiting area. Right when you walk in and look down onto the restaurant you can see the great view of the sandy beach and ocean. It was quite the sight. There’s something about dining near the ocean that has a special place in my foodie heart.
First appetizer! Fiji Macadamia Spiced Baja Prawns: Red Quinoa Tabouleh, Eggplant Pate de Fruit, Harissa Aioli, Lilikoi Pisco Emulsion. Typically the reviews on SDF are not of the fancy flavor. And all these words describing food make my head spin sometimes. But then I take a bite and the anxiety goes away into food bliss. I hadn’t the slightest idea what some of these items were. The quinoa was a little bitter and bland by itself but when you combined it with the aioli and the shrimp it was very tasty. The texture of the quinoa was that of grainy rice. The shrimp itself was cooked nicely and coupled with everything on the plate I’d say this dish was a success. The presentation as you can see was exquisite and I almost didn’t want to touch it at first. But my belly had other intentions.
Next up was some sort of mushroom and crab bisque. There were chives, mushrooms, and popcorn in this! I’d say in general I’m a fan of mixing some of these ingredients in fine dining, but for me the popcorn didn’t work for this soup. Some of the popcorn kernels were actually a little tough to chew and swallow. Go figure. The overall flavor of the soup was a little odd and took a few sips to really enjoy the flavor profile. But it was too much for me to handle for the entire bowl. It had an overpowering and heavy aftertaste. My girlfriend seemed to like it and didn’t mind polishing off the bowl.
I can’t really speak too much about this one. Salmon is one fish that I’ve never learned to appreciate. I thought it was alright and my girlfriend liked it but I’ll leave it at that. Apricot Pistachio Crusted Pacific King Salmon: Multi Grain Timbale, Fennel Tart Cherry Salad, Avocado Butter, Lemongrass Jasmine Essence.
Meat! I do like seafood, but the turf was what I was looking for at the surf. Western Center Cut Filet Mignon: Tartufo Potato Mash, Preserved Pear Chutney, Bleu D’Auvergne, Late Harvest Zinfandel Sauce. The one was pretty straight forward. Meat and potatoes. Okay maybe a little nicer than that and some preparation went into putting this together. But besides the base and the pear chutney, it pretty much was just that. The cut wasn’t evenly cooked unfortunately but the sauce was delicious. The timbale tasted like something I’d get at Surati Farsan Mart in Mira Mesa. This particular bleu cheese wasn’t very potent which was great for me since I don’t like my cheeses too overwhelming. Pairing it with the pear chutney provided that spark the filet needed to make this dish worthwhile.
After the main course I had noticed my cup of water, or what used to have water in it had been empty for about 15 minutes. I know it was busy but it was a little ridiculous. Hadn’t they known I had just consumed a large portion of sodium and I needed water to take my mouth back to the equilibrium it so yearns for? They did not get the memo and it would not be filled another time the entire duration of our meal. Lose. Oh well…once we break out of this joint we can go drink ocean water. Yum.
And then there were three…desserts that is! The Mango Togarashi Sorbetto, Chocolate Kahlúa Tart, and Amarula Pot de Crème. The sorbetto had a little spice to it and wasn’t very sweet at all. If I had it by itself I’d want it sweeter, but then after tasting the other two desserts it was right where it needed to be because they were in the sugary sweet galaxy out of this world. If you like coffee you’d like the Amurula Pot de Creme. If not, you might as well go for the orange slice underneath it. I do like that coffee taste and the texture was that of a light, creamy custard which was pleasant to consume. But it was too much cafe for my taste. The favorite of the trio was the Chocolate Kahlua Tart. There was a large concentration chocolate here however, the portion was the right size to keep you satisfied but make you want more. Overall a good mix and I’d eventually venture back to the Marine Room, just as long as I bring my Kirkland bottled water with me next time.
The Marine Room
2000 Spindrift Dr
La Jolla, CA 92037