Bobby Jones and David Cohen took off when they opened West Coast Tavern in North Park 5 years ago. Known for their American, small plate menu, it was destined to have an off shoot to offer more dishes to the patrons of the Hillcrest area. In July 2012, Uptown Tavern was born and debuted during PRIDE, one of the most popular events in Hillcrest and a great event to show the area what they are cooking up. Executive Chef Dana Francisco created a menu infused with world flavors. They also have an awesome music selection. You’ll dance in your seat while between plates. It’s a little loud, but if you sit on the patio, it’s just right and you can people/car watch. The service is attentive and if you come here often, they know you by name, like Cheers. The Hillcrest area is a lot like Belmont Shores with trendy shops and restaurants – a real beach town feel with people just strolling along and walking their pups.
Watermelon Salad is topped with candied nuts, basil-honey vinaigrette, goat cheese, and sesame seed atop a bed of spinach. This is a nice salad for summer using ingredients of the season. The watermelon was a bit too subtle and might be better with a more acidic fruit like fresh strawberries, orange/grapefruit segments, or even blackberries to play off of the goat cheese and spinach. The salad itself tasted fresh-picked from the garden. The salty, creaminess of the goat cheese played well with the sweet candied walnuts.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon tossed with roasted garlic vinaigrette, chili flakes, and topped with parmesan reggiano. This dish had a really strong aroma of garlic, Brussels sprouts, and bacon. Is there any thing better! The vinaigrette was perfect, added just enough liquid goodness while keeping the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts crispy. The chili flakes added a touch of heat. A little more parmesan would have been nice as it got lost and would have added a great flavor addition. Thumbs up, way up!
Pork Belly Sliders are topped with housemade BBQ sauce, house pickles and garlic aioli. These are absolutely fantastic! You’ll definitely have an OMG moment or two! The pork belly is super-tender and just melts in your mouth. The housemade pickles were fantastic as well! I am not a pickle person but I definitely gobbled these up and they added a nice flavor to the pork belly – similar flavor as a small Persian pickle. The garlic aioli and sweet bread helped round out the package. Thumbs up, way up!
Grilled Salmon with rosemary & lemon-honey glaze served with market vegetables. Wow, the caramelized glaze added an Asian flavor profile to the fish, like a misoyaki glaze you would get at a Japanese restaurant. The fillet was grilled to perfection, succulent and buttery inside. The vegetables were sautéed perfectly with fresh green flavor still intact. Thumbs up, way up!
Pistachio Bread Pudding is egg bread based with salted caramel and topped with vanilla ice cream. This is really good bread pudding, very custardy. The pistachios added a nice crunch texture, but the star of this dish is the salted caramel sauce. It wasn’t too salty; just right and will remind you of toffee, in liquid form. It had the perfect viscosity, not too thick and not too thin. Thumbs up, way up!
Make a stop at Uptown Tavern – their summer menu debuts June 2013!
Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars
- San Diego LGBT Pride Festival and Parade – Uptown Tavern has your front row seats for the parade that marches down University Avenue.
- Happy Hour is 7 days a week from 4:00pm to 6:00pm: $3 well drinks, domestic drafts, & house wine; $4 premium drafts; $5 House Salad, Hot Wings, Fragrant Five Spiced Wings, Tavern Fries, Angus Chuck Beef Sliders, Cheese Flatbread
- Sunday Fundays with Happy Hour and Live DJ from 3:00pm to 7:00pm and all day drinks specials.
For more information:
1236 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103-3312
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