We've finally gotten our photos from our anniversary trip/family visit to California. Be on the look out for lots of stories about food! I'll start with our first, and probably favorite, restaurant visit in San Diego. We asked the concierge at the hotel what recommendations he had. Naturally, he had been coached to share the restaurants labeled on the map of the Gaslamp Quarter. But at the last minute, he pointed out a spot across from Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
After visiting the yacht club and watching military craft pass by on the water, we decided it was time to eat and chose the less obvious restaurant on the map. The concierge didn't have the right intersection, but luckily he wrote "Basic" by the star he had drawn. We passed "The Park at the Park" on our walk there. Outside of the Padres stadium is a little grassed area with a path, benches, and a large screen TV for locals to watch on-the-road games. It was so beautiful and fun to watch.
We learned pretty quickly that the restaurant caters to the locals, and we loved that. From my seat at the table, I could see the baseball park. That means the restaurant is packed with a waiting line on game nights. I loved the bar side of the building because it had great garage doors that open up. San Diego has such amazing weather, it's a shame most other people don't "tear down the walls" and allow for all that natural breeze to flow in. What I didn't like the bar side was the bouncer walking around a guarding the door. It didn't feel as much like a great family-friendly restaurant. But I think the situation could easily be resolved by choosing a table more in the back of the restaurant.
Our waitress, Holly, and other staff members were amazingly kind. They were especially drawn to Nora. (OK, maybe it's cheating to bring a baby to a restaurant. You almost always get extra attention.) Still, the service was great and speedy. Always worth points.
The menu was really basic (no pun intended). You could have a white or a red pizza with or without mozzarella. Toppings cost extra. There were all the traditional toppings plus more unusual ones like mashed potatoes and cherry peppers. We ordered the only salad option, it was positively amazing--mixed greens, pears, gorgonzola, sweetened nuts, and a lime vinaigrette. The only changes I would have made to our experience was warmer walnuts and a touch more dressing on the salad. But these complaints are very minor and easily fixable. The pizza was unparalleled.
We could not have asked for a better "Welcome to San Diego and Happy Anniversary" dinner. We hope to repeat it again someday.