San Diego’s best kept secret
It was like a page ripped from “Sex and the City”…except my mom was there. But then again, it was because of her visit that I managed to coax the girls downtown so I could try Confidential.
I had been salivating ever since I’d heard Chris Walsh, executive chef of Bite, was involved (kitchen now headed by, “Top Chef” contestant Richard Sweeney), where global tapas made up the menu and encouraged everyone to share. It was easy to see how this venue transformed into a chi-chi dance club as the night drew on with streams of purple and fuscia light crawling the drapery.
Sterile, silver railings led their way up to the loft, but we stayed on solid ground in a booth of white leather. The four of us squeezed in next to each other, since no one wanted the miniature stools (with no backs) that poked out from beneath the table. Seriously, they were up to my knee and would have put a severe damper on my dinner if I was forced to sit there for an entire meal. But I wasn’t, so we settled in like comfortable peas in a pod.
Tuesday: ALL night EVERYTHING is half price. Ok, I’m not talking just food. I’m talking cocktails, bottles of wine, EVERYTHING. Needless to say, we cleaned up on this deal.
Cocktails: ($6) F*@%#n’ Blackberry Bellini muddled berries with fresh lemon, Effen vodka and a splash of Roederer Estate Rose. It wasn’t syrupy sweet and the bubbles kept it light- I would come back for this alone.
Amuse bouche: Nadia, our attentive and adorable, Russian server brought us a little something to wake up the tastebuds- dried apricot with gorgonzola- I was pleasantly surprised by its fruity/ pungent match.
Dates: These had a date with my mouth, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with hunks of parmesan, but I only tasted disappointment when a noticeably smoky flavor hit my tongue. My fault- it did say applewood smoked bacon, but this was extra smoky- beware.
Sliders: All of us wanted lamb sliders, so we put in a few orders. Lamb’s true tang was present, but softened with a symbiotic yogurt sauce followed by a side of crispy deliciousness (garlic fries.)
Duck: Since they were out of the duck spring rolls, we went with the duck confit slider. This was somewhat of a let down after the lamb. The moo shu ketchup was way too sweet, but even without, I couldn’t have told you if it was duck or pulled pork. It was good, just not ducky.
Deconstructed pizza: A basket of parmesan flatbread appeared with three tumblers of toppings- warmed goat cheese, roasted garlic and oven roasted tomatoes- playful and tasty, but more of a snack spread than a pizza.
Check: Our bill was delivered in a small manila envelope (like the one holding answers in Clue) marked Confidential, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep this place a secret. The price was right and the lack of crowds on weeknights made going downtown a breeze (three hours free parking in Horton Plaza.) Before the masses came pouring in after realizing a Top Chef contestant was running the kitchen, I would be back while I could still get a little glamour for half the price.