The day I first encountered Chef Brian Malarkey’s cooking was at Oceanaire, before his Top Chef days. The crab cake there was hands down the best crab cake I’ve ever tasted in my life. After Top Chef, he’s blown up in San Diego and seems like he has his hands in every new restaurant opening in town. I went to Gingham for Restaurant Week and for the price, the food was very impressive. But this visit Anh and I went to Searsucker in the Gaslamp district of downtown San Diego to check out this joint for Sunday brunch.
What a chill place to go eat! I was surprised by how big the space was. There’s a neat open sitting area with couches that welcome conversations with anyone willing to talk it up. There’s a bar off to the side as well if you want to grab a drink while you wait. There’re even large tables that appear to accommodate parties of 10 or more. The artwork and decor are fun, modern, simple, and vintage all at the same time. But we did come here to eat right? So take a look at the menu with me for a moment.
There were a few items on the menu that looked safe, but you can’t ever order food just to be safe. There’s definite reward at the end of the risk tunnel, so we ventured slightly into the unknown. See the “one foot in the grave” item on the right hand side of the menu under “&’s”? It was calling us, so order it we did. The description should be called “everything BUT one foot in the grave.” Look at this thing. Onion rings, a huge tater tot (they call hash browns), cheese, sour cream, and green onions. The only thing left to make it worse for you was if they added bacon (I bet they thought about doing that!). But no fault to them we were the ones that ordered “one foot in the grave”…and I’m glad we did! Soooo good. It’s everything you’d imagine it taste like and maybe even a little more. I thought the ratio would be off with the sheer size of the potato component, but everything seemed to work together. My only complaint was the cheese hardened after a little while. Unless we Kobayashi’d it, ahem, sorry, Joey Chestnutted it…I’m assuming most people would encounter this as well. Even still, it lived up to the name and impressive it was.
Anh got the eggs scramble with lobster, chorizo, and manchego. This was yummy as well. They loaded the plate with another hash brown and bread to top it off. I think we hit our carb limit before we even started this meal. This one was decent. Something seemed a little off with the chorizo but the lobster and the eggs themselves were cooked just right and it came out nice and hot. Some people like a lot of cheese but I think many restaurants overdo it. The amount here was controlled and we thought it was executed nicely.
Lastly I ordered the cowboy. I think early on we threw out the idea of eating light or healthy and just went all in. As long as you don’t go overboard too often and make it a habit I guess we’ll be fine. As you can see from the photo the beef was cooked perfectly. It was tender and everything tasted great together. Eggs, hollandaise, potatoes…this was my dream combo right in front of me. I was watching Top Chef the other day and Chef Colicchio was ripping Paul for not having a purpose for adding arugula to one of his dishes. This reminded me of that. What was that green thing doing in there!? But what did I know. I just ordered “one foot in the grave” on top of the cowboy. I am still alive and kicking, ready to chow down once again to another memorable meal.
Searsucker was a really great experience. Even the orange juice tasted fresher than fresh squeezed, and the water tasted like they had a pristine river flowing in back. I didn’t really have anything negative to say except why the heck did it take me so long to get over there? Go try it; and after we try to keep pace with all Chef Malarkey’s restaurants opening, maybe we can rank them all.