Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chef Sean comes to San Diego

Oh, you know Chef Sean. He’s that crazy pal of mine that used to be an executive chef back in the day, and still never ceases to amaze (or feed) me with his forward food concepts, bound to be served with a side of mayhem.

He was like an annoying, older brother that made sure to bring the fun, but always seemed to get me in trouble, so when he came to visit, I knew I had to start by giving him a dish best served cold…only because oyster shooters come that way.

Nick’s at the Pier: Take 10 steps from the beach and climb a flight of stairs to Nick’s = a full view of the ocean and pier with affordable/tasty sandwiches/tacos. But we’d come for the oyster shooters = take 10 steps back.

My idea of an oyster shooter: vodka + oyster + horseradish + hot sauce.
Nick’s oyster shooter: cocktail sauce + cocktail sauce + oyster + was vodka in there?

Nothing like a shot of ketchup. Thankfully the taste was washed out of our mouths with mahi tacos and beer at South Beach Bar & Grill:

It's not all mahi tacos I crave, only South Beach's concoction of shredded cabbage, melted cheddar and the thin white sauce (still mysterious in origin) atop this piece of fish, geometrically fitted to the tortilla's specifications. Every time I try to order something else (Rockefeller would surely grumble to know the oysters here shared his name and the lobster tacos aren't even a close second), I realize that they are the sole reason for my more

After stuffing our gullets, it was time to drop in on a bar who's name dropped whenever speaking fluent San Diego-ese, the Sunshine Company:

My favorite part about Sunshine, besides their strong pour Cadillac margaritas, is that it's half-n-half. Half inside, half outside. Downstairs, the kitchen and pool tables stay covered, while to the left "non-ceiling-ed" smokers feel as if they're breaking a cardinal rule, puffing inside with no one to call them out(side). And upstairs represented San Diego to a tee - all the sun you could drink (in) with a chaser of booze.

When the dinner bell rang, fancy fare wasn't necessary. Knowing Chef Sean's affection for burgers and beer halls, what other choice was there than Hamilton’s:

Tap--- tap--tap___ Telegraph white__ served on tap- tap____
Like Ahab in search of his white whale,
I was Rehab in search of my white ale.

I had heard of this rarity, this Telegraph white, but was not prepared for a smoky glass of liquid barbeque. This hickory switch (up) stung my senses and branded beer its own food group, which seemed to be the norm at Hamilton’s Tavern* more

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