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.


Aladdin Mediterranean Cafe

 5420 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA

Amazing food, comfortable setting, great service

We were delighted with this very inviting comfortable restaurant with the owner’s welcoming and generous attention. Hummus was great with fresh warm pita. I had a fresh Greek salad with added gyro, large enough for a take home extra meal and later I made gyro sandwich. She had lentil soup, very good, just the right temperature. And I enjoyed a fresh mint iced tea. Very nice experience and delicious lunch. Highly recommended.


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.


Farmers & Fishers

 3000 K St Nw
Washington, DC

"From Our Fields...to Your Table" dining experience

Our daughter suggested this great “farmer family owned” restaurant near the Kennedy Center. The food is supplied by local farmers, proudly supplied “From Our Fields…to Your Table.” We arrived a little early for our OpenTable reservation, got a view table, enjoyed the beautiful fountain outside. For appetizers we ordered the daily soup (tomato basil) and fried green tomatoes (pando & cornmeal crust, goat cheese flan, basil pesto), both exceptionally good. For salads we tried the caesar (white anchovies, parmesan crisp) and the baby beets salad, again wonderful and delicious. Our entrees were butternut squash ravoli (sage brown butter sauce, red onion, tomatoes) and the market fish special, sword fish. We tried and loved the sides, brussel sprouts and mushroom risotto. The lemon pie desert was just right with the coffee. Every dish was delicious and surprised us with the wonderful presentation. The manage stopped by to welcome and thank us. Our daughter was so right; Agraria is a top pick for Washington DC, an unusually pleasant and pleasing experience. Excellent service, very highly recommended.

fried green tomatoes

The fried green tomatoes are prepared with pando & cornmeal crust and served with goat cheese flan & basil pesto. Both the presentation and taste were exceptional, crispy with a delicious middle.

Caesar Salad

Fresh and traditional with white anchovies & a delightful parmesan crisp on the side. Highly recommended if you like caesar salad.

Tomato basil soup

Delicious medium thickness soup with a little spicy hotness. I found it just right. Recommended.

Butternut squash ravoli

Amazing blend of tastes in a perfectly done ravoli. Prepared with red onions and tomatoes added to the the sage brown butter sauce for a warm, fresh, comfort food delight.

Sword fish

Fantastic presentation of a perfectly done sword fish. It was my luck to have it as the market fish of the day. Hope you get the chance to try it. Delicious.

Brussel sprouts

A side dish, done with the perfect blend of cooking and seasoning. Not one of my favorites but this one is to die for. Good and get it, a must try.


Terra Restaurant

 1270 Cleveland Ave
San Diego, CA

A comfortable favorite, we go often, take friends

We took our best friends, Jan and Steve, out to eat here. They moved to Montana, came back for the winter and needed a treat. To celebrate we took them to Terra, one of our favorites and new to them. I did a quick “My Open Table” reservation and emailed our friends a copy. We tried the Nobilo ’08 Sauvignon Blanc, very good, and enjoyed the Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc with dinner.

The dining room is comfortably elegant with a choice of booth or table. Chef Jeff Rossman stopped by our table. We enjoyed talking about shows on the Food Network and if what happened in his kitchen came anywhere near to the TV shows. Chef Jeff said sometimes it was exactly like TV, everything was in rapid motion to meet the full dining room and their catering orders. We thanked him for both the food and stopping to talk.

Salty peppery calamari

with garlic, green onion and chili flakes. Best I have eaten, highly recommended.

Crab Cakes

Coconut dusted with hot mustard on the side: Excellent, Jan said the best she had ever had.

House Arugula Salad

With radicchio, gorgonzola cheese, candied pecans, honey walnut: I loved it, may go again just for this. Easily the best buy on the menu.

Bone-in Pork Chop

With caramelized sweet potato, apple-golden raisin chutney. Recommended by our waiter, Mathew. Excellent and amazing, three of us had it and loved every forkful. The wedge of sweet potato was fantastic. Steve substituted the roasted garlic potato mash which he said was delicious.

Bread Pudding

With butternut squash ice cream. Really good.


La Bastide Bistro

 10006 Scripps Ranch Blvd
San Diego, CA

Neighbor gem, reasonably priced French bistro

This delightful bistro combines a casual atmosphere with excellent French cuisine and reasonable prices. The tapas style small bites menu is a great way to sample several traditional French dishes.

My group of five enjoyed the warm hospitality of the owner, Gilles Fougeres,his terrific staff and the cozy setting. We ordered a variety tapas and enjoyed them all. Barry Coalson, our chef, surprised us with simple yet elegant dishes. I recommend you take a look at Chef Barry and wife Gillian’s cooking videos on their website “Food Done Right”. http://www.fooddoneright.com

We selected the Ferrari Carano, Fume Blanc, Sonoma 2007 for our wine. This is a favorite with fresh, light citrus flavors mixed with more subtle mango and guava fruits tastes.

Sauteed Wild Chanterelles

On Toasted Focaccia, Garlic & Parsley: Amazing presentation and sauce. Interesting to share for a taste with the group.

Spinach & Arugula Salad

With Chicken Breast, Red Onions, Blue Cheese, Red Peppers, Balsamic Vinaigrette: Beautiful simple salad with great tastes.

Onion Soup au Gratin

Traditional presentation, nicely done to taste and eye.

Vanilla and Lavender Crème Brulée

Of our four deserts this one was voted best. Wonderful presentation and taste. Highly recommended.

Crab salad tapa

Served on Tomatoes with Arugula, Grapes, Verjus Vinaigrette: appetizer sized, perfect to get the meal started, enough for two to have a taste.

Warm Goat Cheese Crouton

Drizzled with Lavender Honey and Candied Walnuts; Mixed Greens with Apple, Pine Nuts, Bacon, Mushrooms and Truffle Vinaigrette: Everyone raved about it, highly recommended.

New York Steak (5oz) tapas

Green Peppercorn Sauce, French Fries: Perfect presentation and wonderful French take sized nicely as a small main dish.

Seared Fresh Scallops

With Sundried Tomato Couscous, Beurre Blanc Sauce: So good I recommend you go just to try this wonderful dish.

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