I feel like I’m starting to jumpstart my sleep schedule (which was way whack) back on track to a more normal lifestyle. I am awake at a reasonable hour and starting to get my circadian rhythm functioning in Californian time again. For some odd reason, I’ve been operating as if I was on the opposite side of the world. Again, I have no idea why.
Anyhow, I was thoroughly impressed and beautifully surprised at how close the mermaid glass looked like actual sea glass! It looks like a such a sweet and tasty treat for mermaids and mer-men alike. I think I owe my fascination with mermaids to good ol’ Walt Disney, as I’ve been fascinated with mermaids since the release of The Little Mermaid (1989), but Peter Pan (1953) also alluded to these mermaid creatures and featured mermaids in Neverland. Some fans even claim that one of the mermaids in Peter Pan’s Neverland is actually The Little Mermaid, Ariel’s mother. Interesting theory, but with no factual basis. Moving along. Then, as I grew up and began reading Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales (the original story of The Little Mermaid was written in 1836 and actually a lot different than the Disney movie), I learned more about these magical creatures – ranging from Greek stories to Irish and Scottish legends to Scandinavian mythologies – I’ve learned mermaids have been involved in most stories involving the sea. Your ode and homage to these amazing creatures by creating a menu is honorable and necessary. I think it’s mermaid theme time right now and I really wonder why the mermaid (and merman) are not featured as often or as popular in the current listed trends in the “foodie” world? One day, I’d like to throw a mermaid/merman themed party and feature everything you listed on your menu (it’s like a Pinterest dream board) – I feel like we should throw a party; it really sounds like a lot of fun.
Needless to say, I just love the idea of an underwater world such as Atlantis. I’m planning on trying this new mermaid drink and mermaid churro they released at The Loop… but it’s been a bit difficult to find time to get there. I’m certain it will happen this week and I’ll be sure to keep you updated and in The Loop!
George’s by the Cove – The long drive there and an honest review of their plates
Meanwhile, on the other end of the water, this weekend I visited George’s by the Cove in La Jolla, California to celebrate my friend’s 30th birthday (San Diego County, what’s up)? The drive took a total of nearly four hours (thanks rush hour traffic) from Los Angeles to San Deigo, but that gave me the space and time to really think about a lot of things. The drive there was scenic, as you’re cruising down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway 1) you see a lot of the beauty of where the dark blue hues of the beach meets the light blue sky, but I was flooded with a lot of memories too. The further south you go in California, the more relaxed it gets because a majority of my happy memories occurred down south. I guess sometimes you don’t really know how precious or valuable a memory is until after it’s passed. And when you’re cruising along that long stretch of land seeing nothing but highway (and stacks and stacks on stacks of automobiles) a highlight reel of all the good times will start rolling through the highways of your mind. But I digress. When I finally arrived at the venue (after struggling a good half hour for parking) it was nice to see it had a familial atmosphere and a lovely view of the beach and I was starving. Our table ordered several dishes as starters to mains and I have to give an honest review of which dishes not to order and which dishes are actually delicious.
First, I want to state that George’s by the Cove is California-Modern cuisine. They focus on dishes that reflect their location (California coast) and the feeling that you’re cruising in a classy way over the ocean is apparent in their dishes and ambiance. And their service and staff are fantastic.
Secondly, their dishes are what you consider fine dining, but with a casual California twist. For instance, they basically take something you’d normally eat, let’s say like chips and salsa and guacamole, and they’ll dress it up all fancy – i.e. the house made roasted tomato salsa and nacho chips sprinkled with cayenne pepper or some other seasoning for a little kick from the norm of chips & guac to step it up a notch.
Okay, so, here’s WHAT NOT TO GET:
- Grilled Octopus dish. I thought this would be a different twist on calamari (what I’m used to cooked Japanese-style), but I think they overcooked the thing so that the octopus actually tasted like the texture of a baked potato, which is not great because it should actually have the consistency of a squishy textured squid or octopus. It came with baby potatoes which were undercooked and hard, radish, red onion, celery, parsley, salsa verde, lemon vinaigrette. Overall, the taste was alright, but the texture of the main dish was a disappointment.
- Yellowtail grilled atop rustic baby potatoes and sliced onions and arugula, topped with some finely pureed avocado and cilantro… this dish tasted terrible. There were just so many aspects wrong with it. At first glance, it looks like a vision and my mouth salivated because I love me some good looking sea food dishes (if/when prepared properly). However, this fish was a facade short of a feast. It was bland, the fish wasn’t seasoned well, the potatoes were not cooked thoroughly and tasted a bit better when mixed with the sauces on the plate. It is a dish that is semi-decent in taste and flavor when you smother it in the sauces presented on the plate, but it does not please the tastebuds.
DO NOT ORDER THESE DISHES BELOW:
The above dishes were a disappointment, but the following dishes did actually deliver!
The photos above are the dishes that were decently delicious and served well! The bullets below describe the dish and what I enjoyed about it with some photos as well lol. The format is pretty self-explanatory.
- The Roasted Organic Chicken Breast with fingerling potatoes, broccolini and salsa verde (pictured on the left) was a delight. The chicken was not dry, the broccolini was perfectly cooked and the salsa verde paired nicely with the dish, giving it the balance of what a Californian wants and needs when eating a healthy and well-balanced meal.
- Sesame Crusted Tombo featuring baby bok choy, oyster mushrooms, leek fondue, miso-soy vinaigrette, carrot kimchi (pictured on the right) could not have been better! It was a dish that gave a nice blend of various texture seasoned with just enough flavor and texture to keep this a light-hearted and healthy dish to delight all the senses.
- Reason number 54,321 to never judge a book by its cover or a dish by how it looks is the Asian Marinated Skirt Steak (pictured on bottom left) with garlic spinach and buttermilk onion rings. It looks like a simple and goofy presented dish, but in reality it packed a punch in flavor and I felt like I was eating a truly Californian dish infused with some Korean BBQ. It was tasty and delicious and I’d order this the next time around.
- The Fettucine Pasta (photo on bottom right) with broccoli pesto, salsa fresca, arugula, chili mozzarella gave Californian Italian a new meaning. It was a lovely medley of colorful veggies and it worked really well together. The sauce was a bit heavy, but still very tasty. I don’t think you can go wrong with this meal as it’s very filling so packing it to go would work and I think would still be good when eating the leftovers.
- We were excited to see that there was Sticky Toffee Layer Cake present on the dessert menu with salted almonds, caramel, coconut so naturally, it was ordered. I thought it would take me back to Europe – because sticky toffee pudding became my absolute favorite dessert whilst in London and Scotland… however, it did not deliver. It is kind of hard to explain if you’ve never had a truly English sticky toffee pudding, but I’ll do my best to describe it. The original is a soft breaded pudding a bit like Angel food cake, but more moist as if it’s soaked in tastiness! Then, it’s got a layer of hot and sticky melted caramel up top, and it is absolute perfection in your mouth, but you could add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it would be great too. I just have to say, leave it to Americans to ruin what’s already such a good English dessert. The dish that came out looked and tasted nothing like what I expected. They added something of what looked like a pound cake of some sort with creme in between and topped with candied almonds and it definitely made it crunchy, but what I envisioned in my mind and what was presented, although drastically different, it was still a pretty good attempt at taking an English dessert dish and turning it into something very American.
That’s pretty much it in my review of George’s by the Cove. I’d recommend it as a great place for lunch or dinner and drinks! The drinks are pretty spot on. So go ahead, and have a go. It’s a little on the higher end of the California cuisines (right in La Jolla) so I’d suggest going for special occasions or a nice meal and drink date here is a nice idea. Simply a true California restaurant, which is something to be proud of.
I enjoyed dining here and feasting on the dishes and giving you my honest review. Can’t wait to eat and drink and tell you all about the mermaid food and drink~ SOON. Until next time, bon apetit!