washaw photo

"Better do a kindness near home than go far to burn incense."

San Diego is my home of 30 years. I enjoy writing reviews and photography.


Sesame Grill

 308 E Huntington Dr
Arcadia, CA

Truly remarkable for both food and service

What seems like an intimate neighborhood is actually one of the most remarkable eating experiences I had enjoyed. The service was terrific, plenty of specials, choices of prix fixe at $30 and $50, great presentations, each bite a delicious treat. I highly recommend this fine restaurant.


Bertrand at Mister A's

 2550 5th Ave
San Diego, CA

Excellent scenic views and service, beautiful presentations

We were not disappointed by picking Bertrand at Mister A’s for a celebration of my birthday. It was our first visit to this most famous of San Diego’s upscale restaurants. The twelfth floor location at Fifth and Laurel, as promised, provided stunning views of airplane landings at Lindberg Field, the bay, waterfront, downtown skyline, Balboa Park, Mission Hills and more. Arriving a little early we enjoyed sauvignon blanc at a patio table with a view of planes landing.

Patio seating was also available for dinner (three sides of the roof area) but we picked an inside-the-restaurant table with a great view of downtown. Our very distinguished waiter Marc was attentive and helpful, perfect. The service was timed to our conversation, never rushed or disruptive and the food was delivered promptly. I have never had better service in a restaurant.

Our favorite food all night was the famous truffled fries ($7) with parmigiano regiano, absolutely delicious. One order was more than enough for all three of us. Highly recommended, a bargain.

For an appetizer I had the Maine lobster strudel (fresh lobster and assorted mushrooms in filo dough with cognac lobster sauce): honestly I was a little disappointed, somewhat dry and lacked the explosion of taste expected. Not recommended. My wife had the multicolored young beet salad with goat cheese in filo served with a horseradish vinaigrette: good she said but I noticed only half was eaten. My daughter had the garden salad with baby vegetables and champagne vinaigrette: OK she said, just a salad. Presentation on all three were very nice, colorful, fresh.

For the main course I ordered the duo of Alaskan halibut and sea scallops served with saffron sauce, angel hair pasta and braised fennel: loved the scallops, halibut was just OK, nice presentation. My wife had the vegetarian entree after a discussion with our waiter: it looked like they put considerable effort into the preparation; after a taste we all thought it was, at best, just so so. My daughter ordered the winner, the pan seared beef tenderloin with gorgonzola cream sauce and gratin dauphinois: fabulous, perfect, absolutely perfection but priced to feed a family of four for a month in several parts of the world. Oh, forget price, it was my birthday and a celebration.

The two deserts and paired late harvest wines we tried were both pretty good, creme brulee and bread pudding. Coffee service was unexceptional. Total bill with tip and valet parking: $332.

Will I go back? Maybe, but we have so many great choices in San Diego… Do I recommend it? Well, yes, the views are really something and I loved the truffle fries. Minus one star for being 30 percent overpriced. Minus one star for serving food that does not taste as good as it looks.

MAINE LOBSTER STRUDEL at Bertrand at Mister A's


Dry without taste, beautiful presentation

Twice baked potato in the background - DUO OF ALASKAN HALIBUT AND SEA SCALLOPS at Bertrand at Mister A's


Loved the scallops, halibut was just OK, nice presentation

PAN SEARED BEEF TENDERLOIN at Bertrand at Mister A's


Perfectly prepared, excellent taste and texture.


Wonderful side dish, highly recommended.

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