The next couple of posts will be photos from earlier this year/last year. And I might even update with photos from when I went abroad to do research in Japan this past summer or perhaps all the food I ate on the cruise before I went abroad. ;) This is mostly because finals are coming up for winter quarter and I don’t have time to go out and eat (unfortunately). But in any case, I won’t have any shortages of photos and this is a post about Restaurant Week at the beginning of 2012.
My friends J, J, and I (yes that’s two different people whose names start with the letter ‘j’) are all pretty similar in the sense that we all love food, eating, and taking photos of food… thus we decided to go out and enjoy restaurant week since it was only the second of winter quarter and we didn’t have too many commitments or tests coming up. In fact, we ended up going on MLK Day. The two of them left the choice of restaurant up to me… and so after looking at all the restaurants that were closest to La Jolla/UCSD in general and were $30 for their prix fixe menu… I ended up choosing The French Gourmet
(Apologies for this bad photo… along with my thumb in the corner.) One of the reasons why I chose this restaurant was because their prix fixe menu had so many choices compared to the other restaurants participating in restaurant week. In fact, there were so many choices that it took all of us quite a while to decide what we each wanted. I was personally tempted by the beet carpaccio salad, les escargots (snails), the fois gras torchon, the onion soup and la plat de charcuterie. The last two were because of great yelp reviews and photos that previous patrons had provided. But in the end, I went with the fois gras torchon because I can never, ever pass up fois gras when it’s offered on any menu.
Complimentary bread. It was warm, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. And of course, it was served with butter. Their service was a bit slow and a bit muddled, but I suppose it was because of restaurant week since the restaurant was packed and there weren’t enough servers to cover the tables.
Both J and J ordered the escargots for their appetizer and both said it was delicious – warm, with butter and garlic… what’s not to like? You won’t even know that you’re eating snails. ;)
And here’s my appetizer: fois gras torchon. Obviously I was sad to see the small portion of the fois gras itself, but then again, the menu itself is $30 and so it’s understandable. But despite the small portions, it was still great. Warm, buttered and toasted brioche, the fois gras itself, and vanilla pear compote. Side note: when they mentioned vanilla pear compote, I was expecting small delicate pieces of pears, cubed, white to the point of translucent and freckled with vanilla seeds. But instead I was greeted with what looked like… a slice of beet. It was sweet, but I couldn’t truly taste the vanilla or the pear.
J1 ordered the lobster… and said it was fantastic, but messy to eat. (one of the reasons why I didn’t get the lobster, though I eyed it for a while)
J2 and I both ordered the same thing: the red wine braised lamb shank. It was served with a side of truffle mashed potatoes and vegetables. The lamb itself was very tender but the red wine taste was overpowering to the point where I had to balance out a bite of lamb with the vegetables or the mashed potatoes.
For dessert, all of us chose to go with the patisserie selection… and so when the plate was offered to our table for showing, I took a photo of the choices available for that night.
J1 got the red velvet cake and didn’t finish all of it because it was too sweet.
J2 and I got the opera cake… which was very disappointing, in my opinion. It was overly sweet to the point where even I couldn’t stand it… and I’m the one with the sweet tooth. Both of us had to get our waters refilled more than once because of how sickly sweet this cake was. The sad thing was that it couldn’t compare to Trader Joe’s opera cake that you can find in the frozen/refrigerated section.
I have mixed feelings about this restaurant because I didn’t truly enjoy any of the dishes that I had and their usual menu is actually quite expensive, so I don’t know if I’d want to come back on a regular day. However, they do have a small bakery in the front and they do offer prix fixe menus of their own for $25 from time to time so maybe it’s worth a trip back.
The French Gourmet
960 Turquoise Street San Diego, CA 92109