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Even with the discounted prices, San Diego Restaurant Week can get a bit expensive after hitting multiple spots. Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar landed in our radar due to their reasonable dinner price of $20.
We entered a cozy looking restaurant with a mixture of booths and tables. I felt comfortable with the purple mood lighting surrounding the center bar. It felt very chill here. There wasn't a hostess at the front but someone near the bar area motioned for us to sit wherever, so we grabbed a corner table.
We were handed the SDRW pre-fixe dinner, which included choice of one appetizer, one entree and one dessert. The menu is attached at the bottom for reference.
Shrimp & White Fish Ceviche / red peppers, english cucumbers, cilantro, lime juice, house seasoning, tortilla chips
The ceviche contained little chunks of meat and had a mild citrus zest to it, enough for me, but most of my friends like it stronger and saltier. The cabbage stands were overly long, making it a bit more difficult to spread and eat on the chips. We ran out of chips before the ceviche ran out though! I know this isn't a Mexican restaurant but I think better chips would have improved the dish overall.
New England Clam Chowder / 2014 Santa Cruz Chwoder Cook-Off People's Choice 1st Place
The chowder had a nice thick consistency with good chunks of clam and vegetables. You could taste a little bit of kick in the soup too! Dennis thought it was slightly bland but I was fine with it. Our current favorite is still the version from Ironside Fish & Oyster.
Free Range Roasted Rosemary Half Chicken / roasted with rosemary herb melody, roasted vegetable couscous, grilled asparagus
The roasted chicken skin was soft and had a good herby flavor. The dark meat side was perfectly moist, but less so on the white meat side. The veggies were simply buttered. The couscous didnt have much flavor, just sort of wet and soaked in the chicken juice.
Porter Braised Short Ribs / Maui Brewing Coconut Porter braised short ribs, mashed potatoes & grilled asparagus
I'm always excited about short ribs but these just weren't as tender as I hoped. One half was better than the other though. At least the au jus helped a bit though it was a bit oily. The mashed potatoes were a little lumpy and needed a dash of salt. The buttered asparagus were as expected except for the chewier ends.
Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich / homemade macaroon cookies stuffed with vanilla ice cream, finished with chocolate sauce
The cookie had lots of coconut strands and required some chewing but not to the point where it needed a knife, as the waitress had recommended. Obviously it was a little sticky and messy from sugar and chocolate and melting ice ceram but it was a fun dessert. The portions were huge seeing as the cookies themselves were a couple of inches in diameter! Diet... blown.
Apple Betty / roasted fuji apples with a cinnamon crumble
The Apple Betty really did taste like an apple crumble. It was pretty sticky with the sauce on top! Dennis mentioned how he'd rather have ice cream than whipped cream and I totally agreed with his sentiment!
Overall, the type of food served here is very much comfort food. It's stuff that you'd want to feed your family but not a place I'd take someone for a date, unless we add some alcohol! I wasn't particularly impressed by this visit but they do have crazy food and drink specials daily. $8 flowing mimosas for Saturday or Sunday brunch!? Live Maine lobster for 13.99 on Thursday nights? Those might be worth checking out.
Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar
902 W. Washington Street
San Diego CA 92103