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Meze Greek Fusion is celebrating FIVE years of business in the gaslamp quarter! We still remember when it used to be on the corner of 6th and J street and were completely blown away by the spacious new location one block away. The color scheme was gorgeous with a trendy yet comfortable ambiance and more than triple the capacity. After admiring the new setup, we were quite eager to begin the media wine and food pairing experience for that night.
Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus (left) and Baba Ghanoush (right)
The signature item was the baba ghanoush and right away you notice there's something very special about it... the intense smokiness! The eggplants were grilled to give it that unique but addictive characteristic! The hummus was more gritty in texture but surprisingly not too spicy! Dennis was a big fan of these appetizers and went to town dipping pita bread into both. Everything was made in house except the pita bread.
The wine pairing provided the opportunity to explore Greek wines. Very few places offer these and it was our first time trying anything from that region. We sipped on Little Prince White with the dips, Bosinakis Mantinia Moschofilero with the flaming appetizers, and Argyros Estate Atlantis Mandilaria for the skewer entrees. Everyone's favorite was the second wine, fruitier but crisp. Cheers!
Fiery Feta - Feta Cheese, Roasted Red Pepper, and Garlic
This was not originally in the tasting but after Dennis mentioned this favorite from the old location, the staff brought it out for everyone to try! The blend was strongly feta with a slight bell pepper accent. Despite the name fiery, it wasn't spicy which was a huge relief to me. We saw a Mac and Cheese version on the menu which we plan to order on our next visit!
Something unique was the Saganaki, a pan seared Kasseri cheese flambeed in Metaxa Brandy. It was amazing to see the flames climb up, reaching 2-3 feet high, lingering longingly before dissipating. We loved this rich gooey hot mess with the seared crust! The zest of lemon was apparent too, squeezed in right after the fire show.
Shrimp & Ouzo Saganaki - Jumbo shrimp pan seared with garlic, tomato, green onion, feta cheese
The shrimp was dressed up with Ouzo, an anise-flavoured aperitif from Greece. Five pieces of plump shrimp were dressed with a heavier garlic flavor, feta and newly roasted vegetables. I licked my fingers after savoring this shrimp bite.
Chicken Souvlaki - marinated and grilled chicken skewers served with basmati rice, sauteed vegetables, and tzatziki
The main courses were brought to the table with enticing aromas and beautiful grill lines. The thick cut chicken had a slight earthy tang to it and the veggies were crisp tender. A beef version was exactly the same other than the meat. My section of beef was really tender and flavorful but Dennis thought his required a little more chewing.
Loukoumades - The Greek Donut! Rounds of crisp, fried dough tossed in cinnamon & sugar, drizzled with greek honey and sprinkled with walnut crumbles.
Last item of the night had to be a dessert. These donut hole style bites had crunchy edges and were drizzled with honey. Even though Dennis hates Greek yogurt, he admitted that this tart taste paired surprisingly well with donuts.
Here's yet another view of the restaurant from the second floor. Pat, one of two brothers who owned the place, told us that they have Greek dancing on the weekends. Staff holds hands and customers are welcome to join in this traditional jig. The party is over within 10 minutes so it doesn't cut into your dinner conversations for too long. A weekend visit is a must so we can view this mini celebration of culture!
Besides having great meze (which means appetizer), the entrees were on point too. This place is definitely on my downtown eats list! Thanks to Marie Daniels PR and owners Pat and Raymond for hosting us. We met Sondra from Happy Healthy Hip and Estefania from Cocoa1Sparkle who added extra charm to our night in downtown San Diego. Besides this small group, it looks like Josh from A Better Bite SD has also visited Meze Greek Fusion.
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our food and drink was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.
Meze Greek Fusion
345 Sixth Ave
San Diego CA 92101