Hawthorn's Restaurant Lounge
A few days ago was the “Bloggers meet and eat” event at Hawthorn’s in the old North Park Theater. Jim, the Brunch Master, had organized and invited several food bloggers to partake in this dining event. Fellow bloggers who were available to come included Scott and Linda from My Very Own Eating San Diego Blog, Cathy from mmm-yoso!!!, and Lynn and myself of Oh-So Yummy.
Our event organizer, Jim, has eaten at Hawthorn’s on many occasions. He raves about the “Old Chicken” and the Pork Chops that are served here. (Unfortunately, pork chops were unavailable today. Boo hoo!) He also said that the Crème Brulée here was the owner’s legendary and original recipe.
Appetizers: (1) Blue Lump Crab and Salmon Cakes, (2) Ahi Tuna Tartare, (3) Duck Spring Rolls.
Main: (4) Flat Iron Steak, (5) Hibachi Style King Salmon, (6) Fusilli Pasta, (7) Jumbo Driver Sea Scallops, (8) Stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast, (9) Spicey Seafood Fettuccini.
Desserts: (10) Crème Brulée, (11) Pumpkin Cake
The three appetizers were all pretty good. The crab and salmon cake was my personal favorite. It didn’t taste like traditional crab cakes because of the nice texture and flavor inside. I don’t know about anybody else but it seemed to have the texture of chicken or tuna salad. Very interesting!
The Duck Spring rolls were pretty good too, but they were a tab bit over flavored with sauce. The raw ahi tuna appetizer was refreshing, especially after eating the first two hot appetizers. I like it second compared to the crab cakes.
My main entree, the Flat Iron Steak was excellent. I ordered it medium rare and it came out tender and juicy. It was served pre-cut into multiple long slices and with cranberry sauce on top. The asparagus and carrots that came with the steak were okay. Theres really not much that can be done with it so it was fine with me. As for the mash potatoes, those were pretty good too, especially with the cranberry sauce to kick up the taste.
The crème brulée was nice. I’ve never had it before and it tasted quite sugary and creamy. I like this dessert but I usually don’t eat such sugary things.
For the appetizers, I thought the eggrolls were decent, with yummy tibits of duck, but they did taste a little greasy to me. Blame it on the whole ‘eggrolls are fried’ characteristic of them so that is to be expected. The crabcakes were firm and easy to bite into, but I could hardly tell there was salmon, other than a tiny flicker of pink in some sections. It looked more like a whiter fleshed fish was mixed in. My favorite had to be the ahi tuna one. They tasted so fresh and delicious, garnished with the saltier olive sauce and placed on a simple cracker. The avocado was a great accent to it too but I tend to stay away from them most of the time.
The hibachi salmon was one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever had. It was gorgeous on the platter. I loved how the salmon was moist in ever bite and melted in my mouth. The flavor was awesome and the vividly colored sides complimented the whole dish in both taste and appeal. I’ve been eating more bell peppers lately and these seemed to add a bit of zest to the overall dish. The rice and veggies atop the rich mandarin orange butter sauce mixed in perfect harmony and sometimes I didn’t know whether my next bite should be salmon or the sides (or maybe a bit of both)! I tried a few of the other dishes but this was by far my favorite!
As for desserts, I’m not a pumpkin fan, but the Crème Brulée was so good! The top was perfectly toasted and the cream inside was sweet yet not too buttery. I would have eaten more except that anything that tastes this good is probably loaded with calories! My few bites of heaven sufficed.
This place is romantic, full of activity based on the night, and has excellent food. One thing I didn’t like about this place was how we saw about 5 different people come by our table throughout the night, instead of just a single waiter. For tipping, I prefer knowing exactly who the tip is going to based on their service.
Thanks again Jim for introducing and treating us out to this fabulous restaurant! We had a fantastic time and would recommend this place to anyone else. Happy Eating! ^_^
Hawthorn's Restaurant Lounge
2895 University Avenue
San Diego CA 92104