The Patio (Pacific Beach)
Today we were invited to have lunch at The Patio in Pacific Beach. We arrived upon a very lush, earthy, yet cozy restaurant.
There are three main areas to drink and enjoy the culinary creations from Chef John Medall. The main area which I would consider the patio portion, is small and quaint, yet didn’t feel overcrowded or stuffy. Since it has been so windy over the past few days they had a covering over the top to keep stray debris from flying into our food. Still, there was plenty of natural light and we were able to enjoy dining outdoors on a nice sunny day.
In addition to the open air seating in the main area, there are two other areas you can relax in, one above the main floor up a few stairs, and one behind the main patio area. Both have roofs above and provide a slightly more isolated, and comfortable vibe.
As you can see, there are many different options to chose from, including gluten free and vegetarian. I couldn’t help but notice that almost half of the menu was vegetarian. I always feel bad when we’re at restaurants with people who don’t like to eat meat, because there’s usually only one or two options for them to chose from. Here they can go crazy! Anh and I got a few small plates to share and opted to go for the Locals Who Lunch combinations.
Here we have the Shaved Asparagus and Mushrooms. Each piece was carefully chopped and pleasant to bite into. If the asparagus was larger, or the mushrooms weren’t shaved as thin it would have some textural problems. Kudos to them for making sure everything worked together. The truffle oil added a nice elegant touch. My only gripe was the salt being a little heavy handed. That being said, alongside the almonds and pecorino romano cheese, it was one of our favorites of the day.
The other small plate we shared was the Tabbouleh. It came almost like a lettuce wrap, with fetta, tomatoes, red onions, bulgar wheat, herbs, and cucumber, with a little bit of pine nut butter on top. I asked our server how we should eat this dish. He said many people just use a fork and eat around the lettuce, while others like him, prefer to eat it like a lettuce wrap. Having tried it both ways I have to say I prefer eating a little bit of the lettuce with each bite to help balance out the strong flavors. This tabbouleh version was not as herby or fragrant as others I have tried in the past, nor was it as lemony. But it did still pack a punch. You guys will have to try it and let us know what you think. I’m on the fence on this one.
Onto the main courses! Anh chose the Patio Melt. Basically we have a refined, tricked out ham and grilled cheese sandwich, coming with swiss and cheddar cheeses, tomatoes, avocado, all on an asiago crusted sourdough bread. A generous portion of each component ensured immediate satisfaction and eventual food coma following not too far behind. Again, the individual ingredients blended together forming a great balanced bite of food.
Lastly, I ordered the Kobe Burger. I was worried after I took a million pictures the burger would be soggy, not warm, and would lose some of its appeal. I was wrong! After cutting into it and sampling my first bite, I noticed the juices running and miraculously it was still very moist. The Locals Who Lunch options come with a salad (side of balsamic dressing) and mini dessert as well. The dessert kind of reminded me of a strawberry shortcake, except substituted with raspberry. It appeared much more tart, being very light and airy. A nice way to complete our meal.
Our server Manny asked us if we wanted to check out something out back. To our delight, we got to see their garden outside where they are growing many amazing ingredients like swiss chard, chives, and basil. I’m glad he took us back there because we would have never known what was going on behind the scenes.
A few last thoughts on The Patio. Service was great. Each person seemed very gracious, and genuinely happy to be there. They not only allow dogs, but encourage them to dine alongside their owners. Chef Mendall cooks up special dog biscuits you can let your four legged friends chow down on. That wraps it up! Special thanks to Michele over at Luv Surf for inviting us and everyone over at The Patio for a great lunch.
4445 Lamont St.
San Diego, CA 92109