Searsucker (Del Mar)
For my birthday last year, Dennis planned an outing with friends at Searsucker in Del Mar. We've had lunch in the downtown location during San Diego Restaurant Week a while back so this was our first dinner experience. This Searsucker replaced Burlap which we had visited a couple of years ago.
The waiting lounge is sort of cowboy to me, maybe because I see that cow skin!
Here's the bar area with the popularly used "eat" sign! They have a happy hour from 4:30-6:30 on Monday through Friday plus all day on Wednesday.
The restaurant wasn't too busy that Saturday night so we were seated quickly at our table. We were handed menus to browse.
Fries - duck fat / prosciutto dust / chipotle ketchup
To start, our friend ordered these fries to share as an appetizer. The word "duck fat" generates a lot of interest but I wasn't that impressed with the outcome. They were slightly mealy and dry but at least it wasn't over or under salted or oily. The side of chipotle infused ketchup was a positive and had a tiny bit of heat.
Dennis ordered the Rye Guy, which uses Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey (initially discovered at Brooklyn Girl Eatery), Ferrand Dry Curacao, and chocolate bitters. It had a powerful but non-lingering burn that went down hard. He enjoyed the different flavors and I could sense the presence of chocolate from my little taste.
My sister-in-law ordered me an Achilles Peel, which uses a mixed berry vodka, St. Germain liqueur, pressed lemon and orange juice. Oddly it smelled like grapefruit but carried a slight sweetness from the oj and some citrus notes. Nice girlie drink for me.
Chicken Lollipops - piquillo pepper sauce / bleu cheese / arugula
I decided to order the pre-fixe meal and chose this as my appetizer. These were a spin on the typical meatball. It had a crust to it and was a bit asian-y in flavor. Think of a meatloaf but with a little sriracha. I wouldn't have minded if the crust was a little crispier. The bleu cheese dressing was nice with the greens.
Salmon - beans / tomatoes / salmoriglio
This was my entree for the pre-fixe meal. This salmon was cooked medium rare so I was a fan. Dennis let me eat most of it too! It was paired with a light lemony and savory puree though the kidney beans were a little more firm than my liking.
I sort of forgot that the melt in your mouth seabass I love is only a certain species so this whole seabass was not quite as expected. It did have a nice crispy and well seasoned skin to it though picking out bones is never a fun task. I'll try to remember to order the right fish next time though. The side of broccoli tasted like roasted brussel sprouts, at least in my opinion!
Panna Cotta - vanilla bean / buttermilk / oat crumble / berries
My pre-fixe dessert choice. Too bad I didn't really care for the panna cotta dessert... maybe I'm not a fan of the texture or something. Though, I've had limited experience with panna cotta and haven't been wow'ed before. Dennis has never tried it before so at least it's under our belts now.
Instead, I would always always always pick the Princess Cake from Champagne Bakery, my favorite cake in San Diego. There's a location in this same plaza which was very convenient for pickup. Also, no cake cutting fee here even though the kitchen cut it for us!
Since we were in a group, it was our duty to *quickly* take pictures of other people's food. The first pic is the Duroc Pork Chop ($26) and the second is the Braised Short Rib ($28). Neither meat was as tender as I prefer but friends seemed to like it enough.
Another friend ordered the Butternut Squash Soup ($8?) which was creamy with a light nutty taste. She also ordered the Poke ($14) that came with avocado mousse, soy, and sesame but I found out recently that she got food poisoning that night, most likely from the fish. =*(
Another friend ordered the Smore's Bar (caramel ganahe / choc mousse / marshmallow) and Risotto (butternut squash / mushrooms / pecorino) from the pre-fixe menu. I did not try either so hopefully it was good.
Our server was attentive and it was easy to converse because it wasn't busy. Foodwise, some of the items here were better than others but there were no standouts for me. Maybe there's some other items that we should have ordered but being in the company of good friends makes everything a little better. Thanks to friends for joining me on this occasion!
Searsucker (Del Mar)
12995 El Camino Real
San Diego CA 92130