Frank Sabatini, Jr., San Diego Community News Network: Perhaps H20 Sushi and Izakaya hadn’t found its groove yet when I ate there a few months after it opened, but the krab and pre-made tuna mix in some of the rolls were letdowns. And the nabeyaki udon noodles in veggie broth were as thick as telephone cables. Conversely, the Scottish salmon collar was excellent.
Michelle Dederko, PACIFIC Magazine: A very wilted, rotten salad at a buzzy new restaurant this year left me praying to the porcelain god. I have to blame it on a bad night of produce for the restaurant group; their dishes rarely disappoint.
Keri Bridgwater, Eater: Bracero with Romesco a close second. Sorry.
Erin Jackson, Thrillist: The practically fossilized hamburger I was served at a Lafayette Hotel event shall forever live in infamy. It was bad to the point that it defied all logic, but I was so hungry I ate half of it anyway.
Candice Woo, Eater: A special occasion birthday dinner for a friend at The Westgate Hotel. The company was great, but neither the food nor the service was splurge-worthy.
Michael Gardiner, San Diego CityBeat: Susanna’s Restaurant in Rosarito Beach, Baja has a big reputation, particularly amongst the American expat community. That’s not always a good thing. In Susanna’s particular case, the only thing high end was the prices and a pleasant atrium setting. Other than that, though, it was poorly conceived dishes poorly executed.
Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune: The first meal I have here every time I come back from a trip. Where’s the risk-taking? Where’s the creativity? The exceptional service? The whimsy? The ramped-up flavors? Yes, I sound cranky and yes, it’s getting better. But where’s the critical mass? Why aren’t we great everywhere, all the time? Richard Blais, William Bradley and Brian Redzikowski are a few who blaze their own path but in a county of 3 million+ we need many more like them. Maybe all the much-heralded chef collaboration that goes on here has contributed to every menu feeling the same, even when it’s not.