A lot of people like to bash the Cohn Restaurants here in San Diego, and while I haven’t been to all of them, I’ve had some good meals and most of the ones I’ve visited. Granted, we usually end up there during Restaurant Week or some other dinner promotion, which cuts down on our costs, but the food is still good. I like the mussels at The Prado, the lamb and appetizers at Island Prime, the poke at Mister Tiki, the fun atmosphere at the Gaslamp Strip Club, and especially the duck at Thee Bungalow.
One of my best friends’ husband is out of town, the other friend’s husband is gearing up for ComiCon, and Thee Bungalow is running an anniversary menu Mondays through Wednesdays. What better time to get the girls together for a relatively inexpensive (but really good) dinner out? Thee Bungalow is in Ocean Beach, one of the more southern beach areas along the coast, and there are some good places starting to emerge in the area. I’ve heard that the chef from Thee Bungalow moved to 3rd Corner across the street, but the new chef seems to be doing just as good a job. T and I first enjoyed his dishes during a Tobin James wine dinner (our first organized wine dinner ever!) and found his presentation and style to be quite enjoyable. The salmon was the best dish of that night – all moist and melty and full of flavor. Oh, and then the dense chocolate torte with the tart sorbet on top. Mmm…. but that’s not what we had tonight.
For their anniversary menu, Thee Bungalow put some of it’s more famous dishes on an almost 50% discount. This includes their crispy roast duck in either a cumberland (cherry), orange, or pepper rum sauce. I love a good duck dish and will often order it if it’s on the menu and isn’t too expensive. Even on the regular menu the duck os only $26 or so – tonight it was $12.95!! Cami and I ordered the duck (one each – you don’t share a dish like that!) and Abbey had the prime top sirloin. Both came with mashed potatoes that were so creamy, yet just enough texture to let you know they originated as real potatoes. Our dinners also started with an asparagus soup that was velvety smooth and gone way too quickly. I didn’t taste the sirloin, but it looked beautiful and the plate was clean later, so it must have been good. The duck was just perfect – tender and moist meat with crispy skin to take bites of and a clean cherry sauce to drag everything through. The fat had been rendered away and all you were left with was meat and skin crisps. Duck doesn’t get any better than that.
We also shared a chocolate souffle for dessert. For $15 you get TWO huge souffles that are poked and drowned in more batter. We thought they tasted a little boozy, but we still managed the eat almost all of it between the three of us. The best parts, though, were the carmelized sugary edges of the souffle from where the ramekin had been buttered and sugared. We would have liked it a little sweeter, but it was still a good dessert.
We escaped for $70, after tax and tip, which is pretty nice for a good dinner with good company. We really like Thee Bungalow (although we think their “valet” parking is silly) and we’ll keep going back as long as the food remains consistently yummy. I don’t know why so-called “foodies” are so disappointed with Thee Bungalow – perhaps they just like a reason to complain against restaurants owned by a corporation.