A San Diego Restaurant Week Trifecta, 2010

 In September, San Diego Restaurant Week once again celebrated the culinary arts.

The format featured restaurants in $20, $30 and $40 categories, each offering three-course dinners. Over 180 dining establishments participated.  As those who play the ponies know, the trifecta is successfully betting on three winners in a race.  My trio of restaurants paid off.
Pizza Fusion in Hillcrest has been open for a year and a half and it is unique. It is environmentally designed, using recycled, reclaimed and renewable building materials. They print their menus on recycled paper and use energy saving lighting (including solar), plus special ovens and equipment.  Their commitment results in 30%-40% less energy use than comparably sized restaurants.  For carry-out, they deliver in hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles.  This all adds up to their well deserved platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.  75% of the menu features organic food and it’s fresh and terrific. There is an abundance of vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free items. The three-course menu featured an interesting variety of salads, pizzas and homemade desserts. My wife and I shared two salads; pear and gorgonzola and roasted beet and feta.  Our pizza selections were the four cheese and sundried tomato combo and a classic sausage. Desserts included a homemade brownie and chocolate chip cookies. Fresh ingredients, a commitment to a green environment and good food made this the winner in the $20 price range.

Pizza Fusion in Hillcrest

In the $30 class, we picked the venerable Shores Restaurant in La Jolla.  In my opinion, there is no better ocean-view dining in San Diego.  The fact that the food is also wonderful makes this a special place.  For our first course, we chose the blue crab cake and the chilled heirloom tomato soup. Our entrees, pistachio butter basted lobster tail and the five peppercorn crusted filet mignon, were outstanding. For dessert, we chose the lemon tart with almond crust and a chocolate mousse cake. For an additional $10, a wine flight complemented each course.  All of this was topped off with a round of applause from the diners when the elusive green flash was seen at sunset (no additional charge). It was winner # 2 with attentive service, great food, creative presentation and a spectacular view.

The La Jolla Shores Restaurant


George’s California Modern at the Cove in La Jolla was our pick in the $40 category. They offered three-course dinners with an interesting twist.  For a few dollars more, depending on the item, one could order anything from their “regular” menu.  We started with the Chino Farms corn soup and the Dungeness crab cake roasted pepper salad.  Our main course preferences were the grilled prime hanger steak and basil crusted salmon.  A chocolate soufflé cake with bittersweet fudge sauce and a Mexican chocolate pot de crème finished off the meal. There are good reasons why George’s is always at the top of “best of” lists; impeccable service, creative food and attention to detail. It was winner # 3 in our San Diego Restaurant Week trifecta.

George’s California Modern


San Diego Restaurant Week is next scheduled for January 17-21, 2010. For additional information go to www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com.  This year one of the major sponsors of the event was Fresh Express which introduced a new line of Seasonal Salads.  San Diego’s own TV chef and food author, Sam Zien AKA Sam the Cooking Guy, invited local writers to his house for lunch using the Seasonal Salads.


Sam the Cooking Guy In Action


Sam the Cooking Guy’s recipes can be found at www.thecookingguy.com. Fresh Express information, coupons and recipes can be found online at www.freshexpress.com
Make a Reservation!

Pizza Fusion                           The Shores Restaurant                          George’s California Modern
3827 5th Ave                           8110 Camino del Oro                                                    1250 Prospect St
San Diego, CA 92103                    La Jolla, CA 92037                                               La Jolla, CA 92037
1-619-278-0057                           1-858-456-0600                                                        1-858-454-4244
www.pizzafusion.com                   www.theshoresrestaurant.com                    www.georgesatthecove.com

Safe travels and enjoy the journey…

Howard Hian

Thanks to the various websites for information and photos.  Before you go please check details, dates, rates and availability; some restrictions may apply.

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