Grant Grill - San Diego, CA - 5 Golden Spoons
I’ve reviewed this restaurant before, but only for breakfast and lunch, which are outstanding. This review is for the dinner service. One night while having a drink at the bar at the US Grant Hotel, the Chef de Bar, Cory Alberto, came over to us to say hello. We have stayed numerous times at the hotel and the staff has gotten to know us. Absolutely remarkable customer service…but that’s another story. Cory was touting the dinner menu at the Grant Grill, and we explained we were leaving the next day but may try it on our next visit. He was pretty convincing that there were a couple of items on the menu that weekend that were really particularly exceptional. So, we decided to book another night at the hotel, just to experience dinner at the restaurant! We booked a table for two at 7 the next evening. When we arrived, we were greeted by the host and wait staff and, of course Cory. We were seated in a booth in the back corner. Very cozy. Our waiter was quick to bring us the house focaccia which was delivered in a cast iron skillet. Great way to start our meal.
The menu was extensive with a plethora of mouthwatering choices. We asked for recommendations and settled on several selections. But first, an amuse bouche sent out by the Chef. A fig wedge atop a goat cheese ice cream with balsamic pearls and a chilled grape. Wow. The perfect combination of flavors and textures. Next, a visit to our table by the Sous Chef. I had ordered the Wagyu steak and he brought it out on a silver platter prior to cooking so he could explain the cut, which was accompanied by a certificate/pedigree with detailed lineage of the beef and standards. How spectacular. As appetizers, we chose the Foie Gras Torchon and Kumamoto Oysters. The Foie Gras was served on a brioche with locally farmed apples. Superb. The Oysters were prepared three ways, with a ponzu granita, a sake mignonette, and a yuze gelee. A bright flight of distinctively different flavors. For our main courses, my husband chose the Thyme Roasted Sea Scallops - Meyer lemon curd, braised kale, and roasted beets. The scallops were enormous, yet cooked perfectly. The lemon curd was a surprise that complimented the scallops. What a take-away. Never seen this pairing before. And the piece de resistance, my Wagyu steak. It actually exceeded my then inflated expectations. The meat glistened on the plate and had an almost translucent quality. It actually melted in my mouth with a delicate creamy light beef flavor. I can honestly say it is the best Wagyu I’ve had in my life. I must add that the service throughout the evening was flawless. And it wasn’t just us, the staff treated every guest with the same exceptional care. We ended the meal with a selection of cheeses. It turns out that Cory is actually a cheese aficionada. The selection was superb, highlighted by a delightful Picone cheese from Spain that complimented the twenty-year old Port we had chosen to close the evening. I’ve reviewed hundreds of restaurants around the world and dined at the tables of many great chefs. The Grant Grill just made my top ten list. Enough said.