Ranch & Coast Magazine

March 2024

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venerable Prospect Avenue standout, but catching up with the restaurant during its nightly service is just as rewarding. George's menu kicks off with a mix of starters spotlighting one of the restaurant's historic strengths: fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Preparations feature international influence — tender grilled octopus with nduja (spicy Calabrian pork sausage) relish, salmon tartare with wasabi-infused guacamole — and twists on classics like roasted beets and chèvre with a goddess dressing that's red as opposed to the traditional green. Dishes emblematic of Executive Chef Masa Kojima's masterful infusion of Asian flavors include a bowl of plumped mussels made abundantly fragrant with loads of garlic (it's not a date night dish if you catch my drift) and bathed in broth lent biting, clean heat from ssamjang (Korean chili paste). ai basil adds an uplifting licorice verdancy while peanuts give the dish a crunchy element. Truly "jumbo" lumps of crab mingle with mango and sweet citrus in a timbale-style salad, while similarly wholesome cuts of lightly torched hiramasa (yellowtail amberjack) present a salty smokiness tamed by the citric tang and pronounced umami of a ginger and shiitake mushroom vinaigrette. Looking for something you won't find anywhere else in San Diego? Go for the seemingly humble, incredibly delicious snap peas served in a tofu-based Meyer lemon crema topped with finely shaved horseradish masquerading as Parmesan cheese. It's a clever, unique dish and just one example of Chef Kojima's protein-bending sorcery. He also uses cashews to somehow mimic the flavor and texture of foie gras, then serves it with yuzu marmalade and heavily toasted focaccia. Entrées also lean toward pelagic fare with exotic accoutrements, such as Wild Isles salmon with Indian spice aioli and Marcona almonds as well as scallops with cauliflower in a vadouvan curry sauce. e latter has an earthy, almost dusty authenticity that's countered by tart apples sauteed in nutty brown butter. Non- seafood mains include a Niman Ranch flatiron steak with a vegetable ragout and red wine reduction or a succulent confit duck leg with a wholly original setup built around almost confectionery flavors of orange and cocoa. On the dessert side, Pastry Chef Aly Lyng gets high marks for a lovely sticky toffee pudding resembling a molasses-laced winter spiced cake. Fresh, vibrant kumquats offset its richness while a chocolate-hazelnut crumble brings in a crispety-crunchetiness that's just plain fun. As the restaurant takes a moment to look back, there is much to be celebrated about its past, but the same can be said for its present and, from the taste of things, its future. 858.454.4244, georgesatthecove.com OPPOSITE Wild Isles Salmon: Indian spice aioli, kumquats, roasted baby carrots, Marcona almonds (center) with Crab Salad: Valencia Pride mango, carrots, sprouts, radish, citrus dressing, and a Premium Old Fashioned BELOW George's at the Cove Pastry Chef Aly Lyng, Chef-Partner Trey Foshee, and Executive Chef Masa Kojima Golden Forks Service: Timeliness: Ambience: Culinary Innovation: Food Quality: Cocktail Program: Wine List: Beer List: Value: @ranchandcoast RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE MARCH 2024 57

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