Last month we attended the Grand Opening celebration of OB Warehouse, one of the newest Cohn Group restaurants in San Diego. We're already long time fans of their restaurants, particularly The Prado and Indigo Grill so of course we were interested! The grand opening required an online reservation and was only $15 for 2 drinks plus appetizers from 6-9pm. We figured that drinks alone were well worth the price!
We found the entrance without too much trouble.
You wouldn't expect it but as soon as you stepped inside, BAM! Bright retro comics adorned the hostess area before you headed up the stairs to the main restaurant.
The bar is on the right and super easy to find. The lighted drink sign is a big hint.
We started out with two of the included cocktails. The Handtruck cocktail (left), was made with Hendrick's Gin, fresh grapefruit juice, and basil syrup. There was a strong mint taste with a tinge of the grapefruit bitters. We also got the Workbench cocktail (right), made with Sailor Jerry Rum, the King's Ginger, and Luxardo maraschino cherry. All I could say was WHOA because it was quite alcoholic in taste.
They also included Crispin American Craft Cider with your choice of bottle or tap. Dennis and I preferred this over the cocktails since it was smoother to drink! I'm actually surprised they had logo'ed glass for the cider! It must have been one of the sponsors of the event.
The kitchen was contained by this huge metal structure, almost like a movie trailer RV or something! And in case you were lost, another "food" sign was there to help you out. For the event, a DJ was spinning jams nearby.
15-20 minutes into the event, the appetizer samples started to appear. Early on there was plenty of food but later you sort of had to stalk the food servers to get a bite since they were made fresh. Or, you could just have an extremely cool waitress like Nina hook you up with the ones you haven't tried!
We were able to try all four flatbreads they offer. The first was the Triple Crown Flatbread with shiitake, crimini and king oyster mushrooms. I really liked the super creamy and rich cheese with the nice chunky mushroom toppings. The second was the Chipotle Chicken Flatbread with tasty chicken, roasted corn and red onion. I began thinking about chicken wings when eating this.
The third was the Banh Mi Pork Belly with ingredients you'd typically find in banh mi, such as the pickled carrots/daikon and jalapeno. It was like my mom’s version of fish sauce on top because it has the fish sauce plus a sweetened vinegar taste. Of course I like my mama's cooking so I liked this too. The fourth was the Merguez Sausage Flatbread with oven roasted tomato, feta cheese and harissa. This had a tiny bit of spicy flavor to go with the succulent sausage and more of that ooey gooey cheese. The crusts were nice for all flatbreads and held up the ingredients well for the samples.
This was the Ahi Tartare. I could taste the sesame oil plus bursts of sweet from the citrus fruit. Avocado, chips and a light sprinkling of black sesame seeds rounded it this nice appetizer.
We enjoyed the Duck Confit Salad with the contrasting ingredients like the salty bleu cheese and the candied walnuts and mini explosions of tart pomegranate seeds. The duck meat was tender but shredded into tiny bits. I would hope the full appetizer has more duck meat.
At first, I thought they were chicken nuggets but these were really Crispy Artichoke Hearts. They had a lemony plus almost ginger-like taste. The sauce is tiny bit salty but artichoke itself was lightly battered, fried and tasty.
Here’s a sample of the Filet Frites. The orgasmic beef was seared almost raw like tuna slices. The fries did soak up the sauce quickly so weren’t as crispy as I would have preferred.
The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Oysters were buffalo style with a nice “skin” and topped with slices of shishito peppers. The accompanying corn was fresh with a good firm bite.
The Hoisin Chicken Potstickers were huge, bigger than the size of a golf ball. Unfortunately they had a very strong ginger taste so this was pretty much the only dish I didn't like. At all.
Their Mahi Mahi sample was so incredibly tender, better than any cooked version I can remember. On the other hand, the white sauce was so mild I didn’t even know what the purpose it served.
For desserts, which were also included, we started with the Tapioca Guava Puree. The cream part was like the buttery insides of creme brulee and it contained fresh fruit.
The Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding (seasonal flavors) had pieces of apricot on top. Inside it was soft and creamy with a brown sugar sweetness. Dennis suggested that it was churro flavored!
I really like the foods we sampled and am totally digging the neutral decor. Even the entrance to the bathrooms was intriguing with its shared central sink. The restaurant seems very promising! I can't wait until we get to try some dinner food!
4839 Newport Avenue
San Diego CA 92107
I've seen that place from the outside but have never gone in! It looks like its huge from the outside. I am sold on the duck confit salad, fried artichokes and super rare looking steak and frites :)
Hmm, it didn't strike me as huge but now that I think about it, the building IS tall (with the restaurant on the second story). I'm glad that these appetizers were tasty because bar food can be so blah. Hope they stay that way when you make it out here!
Ooo, looks like you sampled a little bit of everything! Those flatbreads look and sound so good (especially the mushroom one, om nom nom) and the Mahi Mahi almost looks like pork to me for some reason! Looks like a fun spot, I especially like the decor and the "FOOD" and "DRINKS" signs. Awesome!
We sampled everything they served! I didn't want to leave hungry! We plan to go back soon, especially since it's Cohn Anniversary Week (starts tonight Jan 4 until Jan 8) and restaurant week later this month.
Looks like a really RETRO interior design- the Food area looks like it's inside of an old Airstream trailer- very unique. I would head straight for the Pumpkin Pecan Bread pudding!
i loved the decor! the pumpkin dessert picture turned out really nice. i kinda wish i had some now!
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