Wednesday, November 10, 2010

San Diego Searsucker

I try to make the most out of every journey, even when it is to get a root canal. I have been going to Washington Dental in Tijuana for all my dental work since my BFF told me about the place three years ago. It still amazes me that such modern, clean, and professional dental work costs only about one third of the US price. I have never had a crown fit perfectly on the first try until I came here, and I have never seen a dental office as sterile in the US. For those of you who missed my earlier post on this place read it here.

I would not go anywhere else especially after this last trip since I thought I needed a root canal (and was prepared to pay for one), but after an xray and exam, they found my tooth was healthy and suggested that I try Colgate Sensitivity toothpaste for a few days (no, I am not being paid by Colgate!). They only charged me for a cleaning ($20) with the toothpaste and when I left the office I was already 70% painfree! After three days of brushing with the toothpaste I had no pain in my tooth or my wallet. It was so gratifying to see that Washington Dental truly is looking out for their patients instead of making money; I have a hard time imagining a dental office in the US that would have so genuinely looked after a patient's best interest when a major procedure could have made them $$$.

To celebrate my new ability to eat pain free, I went to Searsucker for dinner. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp district, this 7,000 square foot restaurant emphasizes using local ingredients to put a fresh spin on American favorites. I opted for the kitchen counter which allows diners to watch the chefs perform their magic. The only bad thing about sitting here was that my server did not come around for a good 15-20 minutes and there was no way to know who to flag down to place my order since the cooks were all working on getting food to tables and not able to jump over the counter to get a waitperson. When my waitress did arrive, she was a attentive, but not enough to time my orders; both my dishes arrived at the same time and not only was there no room at the counter for both plates, but I was only half way done with my salad when my entree appeared.

The complimentary cheddar cheese rolls are addictive and if you don't watch it, you can easily fill up on these before tasting any of your dishes. The pastry/bread maker behind the counter was very adept at making sure the bread trays were refilled with warm rolls, all the while decorating birthday desserts.

I started with the "small" plate of sweetbreads on spinach greens, served with applewood smoked bacon and a poached egg in a delightful sherry vinaigrette ($9). The serving was huge and I could have easily made this my entire meal. The sweetbreads were perfectly done, tender, and gently cooked.

For my entree I chose the small plate of Lost Abby Short Ribs and fried onions ($9). Again there was nothing small about this plate, but with tender ribs like this, it was easy to want to eat more than your stomach can handle. The meat was marvelously done with a simple sauce that was individually packaged sous vide and then warmed before presentation (I saw them cooking it over the counter). It is a hearty dish, with the crispy fried onions adding some texture to the soft comforting meat.

I had a wonderful glass of Pinot Noir with my meal ($12), and regrettably did not save enough room to try a dessert, but that just means that next time I will know that small plates here are bigger than my belly and make allowances for that fact. I would definitely come back with friends so we could sample more plates, and sit at a table with designated waitstaff.

Searsucker on Urbanspoon

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