Red Card Cafe


The Location

We were recently invited to dine at Red Card Cafe and it immediately looked familiar when I arrived.  Anyone know what this used to be?

This was the former restaurant, Kitchen 4140, which I used to frequent for a delicious brunch.

The location is nestled in an unsuspecting business park just across from the Costco on Balboa Ave.

Red Card Cafe has taken its place over the past year and doing it’s best to impress with their fun sports themed atmosphere and a fresh menu.

Red Card Cafe

I brought along my good millennial friend, Mr. Albert, to help me sample their menu.  But, he did even better than that… he helped me to capture some amazing shots this evening.  Look at this sunset!


Here we are getting settled in at the bar area.


Initial Impressions

There is a really cool outside patio too, but it was a bit brisk this evening.  I would be a fantastic option if you’re here for brunch.


Inside we found a mixture of industrial-chic decor and soccer related art.  It was a nice theme to walk into.


Here’s the bar we sat at.  It has a great view straight into the kitchen!   Chef Alfonso Arellano is working his magic.


Beers on tap are easy to see up on the wall.


They also had a fascinating wine cabinet in the back.  Albert was mesmerized by the led lights.


If you are a soccer player, you’ll appreciate the red card reference.

Anyhow, we were taken care of by the manager, Jordan, this evening.

The Food

We dove straight into his recommendations and selected some fresh and popping-hot chicharron ($6).


It was dusted with some herbs and seasoning which made these suckers go quickly!


We also ordered their pork buns appetizer (which I always seem to gravitate to).  There were tasty.  It’s pretty hard to go wrong with stuffing a Chinese steamed bun with sweet/savory meats.


I’ve been trying to eat more balanced meals lately, so I convinced Albert to share a Kale Caesar salad ($8).  I love the freshness of kale and the dressing was good.  My only criticism was there was too much salt in some of the bites.


For my entree, I chose Mary’s Chicken ($18) with whipped Yukon, and mushrooms.

It was decent, but the flavors weren’t quite as rich as I was hoping for.  I did appreciate the ample reserve of gravy, however!


Mr. Albert selected the steak ($20).  He asked for it medium, which is was for the most part.  However, if did wish the outside wasn’t seared quite as much.  He really enjoyed the chimichurri on top.

The fries were pretty delicious (Parmesan Duck Fries).  I kept sneaking a few off the plate.


Did we save room for dessert?  Of course!


This was their Pot de Chocolate ($9) which we both enjoyed thoroughly.

They use a combination of Valrhona chocolate and Mexican chocolates that paired nicely together.

It kind of had the texture of pudding, but the taste was much richer… yum.


Albert wasn’t sure if we’d be able to finish this off.  But, we did!

After dinner, Jordan walked us around the rest of the space.


There’s a pretty cool long dining table for groups.  The surrounding areas are comfortable and have a loungy vibe going.

They also have some TVs to cover any special soccer games or sporting events that may be going on.

Final Thoughts

We definitely left feeling satisfied.  It’s a really cool space and has their food has excellent potential with a couple minor tweaks.

We could tell Jordan took pride in Red Card Cafe and the service was fantastic.

Prices were reasonable.  They also have some weekly specials, like fried chicken, Monday!

So, check ’em out and let us know what you think.

Disclaimer: As noted above, we were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary.  No further compensation was received and our opinion remains our own.


Red Card Cafe
4140 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117




About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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