I am way behind in posts so I apologize if some of the next few are kind of older. Life is so inconvenient. This one however, is from a visit only a few weeks ago with some out of town friends. Farmer & The Seahorse had always seemed like a place I would like. From the name, to the setup of the restaurant, it appeared to be my jam. Free parking, albeit a little packed is something that makes an eating experience that much better in my book. I hate driving around like a clueless out of towner trying to find parking. If you haven’t heard of it before it is another restaurant run by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey of Searsucker, and the newly opened and highly praised Herb & Wood in Little Italy. Farmer & The Seahorse is located just north of UCSD, across from Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Upon arrival, you come upon a large outside grassy area with a bright orange tank(?).
There’s nice seating outside too, with a fire pit and overhanging lights. I imagine the scene at night is quite nice.
We sat outside, in a semi-shaded area.
Part of the reason why I chose this place besides it being close to where my friends were staying and the easy parking, was they had lawn games like bean bag toss and hula hoops for the kids to mess around with.
I remember the first time I went to Searsucker and noticed their fancy water containers. I’m not sure why I think it’s so fancy with just the logo on it. Now only if I could drink some! Here starts my rant.
I came about five minutes after my friends had seated and it was a fairly hot day. We ordered and I asked for water to help with the crazy sun beating on me. I wasn’t paying attention when he brought out the bottle and I didn’t have a cup to drink it with. It took a while for our waiter to come back. I was dying! He finally popped up when the food arrived. The only thought on my mind was “need water.” So I asked he bring me a cup so I could drink this rejuvenating elixir staring back at me. As soon as he left and I was going to start eating, I realized I didn’t have a place setting. No napkin, fork, knife, nada. I probably should have noticed earlier. Perhaps I was woozy from the lack of hydration. What seemed like an eternity, probably in reality was about 25-30 minutes before I got a cup for water or a place setting. That’s fine.
I didn’t get pictures of everything we ate because 1) there were lots of kids and that distracts me, and 2) it was hot (remember the woozy factor?). But I did manage to grab a few. I ordered the crab cake club sandwich. Back in the day before Chef Malarkey was a big famous chef he used to be the Executive Chef at Oceanaire in downtown San Diego. I still remember their crab cakes and to this day they are my favorite crab cakes I have ever had. Unfortunately, ever since he left they haven’t been the same. So I had high expectations for this sandwich.
To start, the sandwich and fries came out warm, not hot. The crab cake itself was vastly different from the version at Oceanaire. I liked the Oceanaire version so much because it contained large lumps of tender, juicy crab. It didn’t have a whole lot of bread crumbs or celery or green onions yet still managed to stay together. The crab certainly was the star. Here, the crab was much more fine and there were more ingredients in the mixture. Besides the temperature, it was also a little on the dry side and could have used some sort of dipping sauce.
One of my friends got the grass fed burger. I contemplated getting the burger myself and wanted to see how it turned out. She ordered her burger medium rare.
It came out well done. That’s okay, maybe they can fix it. She asked our waiter if they could remake it.
After another 15-20 minutes another burger came out, cooked almost the exact same way. Now don’t get me wrong, mistakes can happen. But this is a $14.50 burger we are talking about here in a nice restaurant. That isn’t including the $4 side of fries. Our server wasn’t rude or anything, but almost indifferent to everything we were experiencing. It took him about 15 minutes after the second burger to come check on her. She politely told him it was still well done but that she was hungry so she’d deal with it. To fix the situation he gave her a carrot cake, also dry.
I guess that was the theme for the day. I asked my other friend how her fish was, and guess what? Dry. We came on a Thursday afternoon and it was not very busy. I don’t know what was going on, but I really wanted to love this place.
Hopefully this isn’t indicative of a “normal” dining experience. Along with the food, I felt our waiter just didn’t really care. We had to flag him down whenever we wanted anything. To top it off, we later found out they over charged our credit cards, almost double the amount of our bill. Overall, this was just a very confusing and frustrating experience. End of rant.
Update: I think they removed all the charges and reimbursed my friends for the entire meal. My friends let me know the charges disappeared from their credit card statement.
Farmer & The Seahorse
10996 Torreyana Rd
San Diego, CA 92121