>> Thursday, July 19, 2012
Price: $12-15 per entree
Location: 409 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
The Quick Bit:
+ house made breads for lunch
+ great service and friendly front of house
Δ water could have less chlorinated taste
Red Light District in Gaslamp is the new venture of Chef Jason Maitland. Graduating from the New England Culinary Institute, Maitland previously worked as sous chef to Chef Carl Schroeder at Arterra and was the Executive Chef at Flavor Del Mar. Maitland's cuisine at Red Light District seems to be cooking American foods with complicated technique but presenting them in a clean and laid back manner.
As part of the Comic Con crawl, I visited Red Light District for lunch one day.
|duck confit flatbread (half order) - hoisin, scallion, red onion, arugla|
This flatbread order appeared to be more of a flatbread with a salad on top. While the flatbread itself was baked excellently and had a nice crispy crunch, the elements on top including the duck were cold. I appreciated the flavor combinations of duck, arugula, and hoisin, but thought that overall the dish lacked some finesse. Most of the time, the flavor combinations were out of balance.
|maine lobster roll - melted leek, scallion, drawn butter|
As a lover of seafood (and lobster) I appreciate any dish that includes a fresh lobster. The lobster in combination with the leeks was prepared well, as the slight garlicy taste enhanced the lobster. The roll was a house made bread, which was fresh and well toasted. The upgrade to the salad was also appreciated and included a nice champagne vinaigrette and a nice selection of fresh vegetables. Unfortunately, the lobster was slightly overcooked
|braised short rib torpedo - roasted tomato, aged white cheddar, buttermilk hot dog bun|
The short rib was braised well and full of flavor. The cheese did a good job of tying all of the elements of the dish together. Overall, this was a nice sandwich.
While there was nothing wrong with the meal at Red Light District, there was also nothing that really stood out about the meal. Overall, the experience was somewhat average and felt like a meal I could get at any slightly high end chain restaurant (e.g. Cheesecake Factory). While perhaps there is a demand for such places, especially in the Gaslamp, I didn't feel there was anything in the meal to justify a return visit in the future.