Sea Rocket Bistro

by Rodzilla on July 18, 2011 · 8 comments

Uni in shell, a simple presentation that looks anything but. No foams, emulsions, or aiolis to be found. Just straight up sea urchin gonads and a spoon. Ballsy move chef Chad, I like it.

uni in the shell, lemon, smoked sea salt

In fact, I like all of Sea Rocket Bistro. From the quirky decor and laid back ambiance, to the local, sustainable menu and impressive craft beer selection.

There are places I go looking to be dazzled by some inventive combinations of flavors, inventive spins on old classic, or novel technique. And then there are places I go when I want simple, well prepared ingredients, with little to no risk involved in having an entree “work”. No matter where I go, I always show up hungry.

Market Halibut – Seasonal Vegetable
Vegetable Risotto – seasonal vegetables, gouda, herbs de provence
Beet Baklava – roasted beets, goat cheese, macadamia nuts

In case the menu descriptions don’t make it obvious enough, Sea Rocket Bistro falls into the latter camp. They aren’t reinventing the wheel, or the halibut, beets or risotto for that matter. They’re focusing on providing quality, well prepared food, in a laid back setting.

I’ve seen a few mixed reviews of Sea Rocket, but I can’t find any reason to fault the place. Everything I tried, I enjoyed. The service was friendly and efficient (the two most important things) and I even spotted Chef Chad White chatting with patrons in the main dining area. I would be happy, and plan to visit again.

Sea Rocket Bistro on Urbanspoon

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bobby

Anyone that serves straight sea urchin is good by me but that is not risotto. Risotto should NEVER stand up in a mound like that, it should spread on the plate.

2 Kirbie

You had me at uni.

3 Rodzilla

Bobby – I’ll take your word on Italian grain dishes over anyone’s, but despite the lax terminology it was a great tasting cheesy-rice :D

Kirbie – that’s the main reason I visited. I was really happy with the amount in the urchin as well – surprising value at $18.

4 Adam

Pardon my ignorance, but the vegetable on the left in the photo of the halibut looks like the sea shell necklace that the little mermaid wore. What did it taste like?

5 Two Foodies One Journey

You might want to visit the farmers market in Little Italy on Satiday morning – they sell fresh sea urchin and simply crack it open for you and you it fresh.
Hopefully the new chef/owner will give them a better future as the restaurant was often quite empty when we drove by the last few months. The history of the location is quite special for San Diego and it would be sad if the restaurant would go belly up.

6 Lot-O-Choc

mmm i wish there was restaurants like this near where i live , the halibut looks delicious!

7 Rodzilla

Adam – Floral

TFOJ – Thanks for the tip.. I went on a Tuesday evening, and the place seemed to be picking up quite well. I really like the atmosphere, it’s laid back and doesn’t get too loud – a good place to just hang out for awhile. I’d like to go back to try out the sea urchin crostini and sardines.

Nat – a friend of mine recently visited the UK, this is somewhat unrelated but I would certainly hit up this spot http://bit.ly/oplNZA

8 Yum Yucky

Gah! No gonads for me today. I’ll take the halibut, please.

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