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Trust Restaurant has been in business for almost two years, which coincidentally is how long my foodie tribe has been praising it! The restaurant is located on the east side of Hillcrest and is self-described as "urban rustic food with the addition of wood fire cookery." With only a meatball sample from Taste of Hillcrest under my belt, I decided Dennis would take me here for my birthday!
Our Friday night reservation brought us into a bustling business, the patio and indoor seating bursting with happy chatter. Our seats by the open kitchen in the back included additional clatter from dishes and utensils clicking. We found that we could still hear each other but had to boost our voices a bit.
Wood Grilled Octopus ($17) - castelvetrano olives, salsa verde, fresh pepperoni, chilled legume.
The first appetizer to arrive was the Wood Grilled Octopus, tender with a slight outer crust but a bit on the salty side. The reddish item on the plate was quite spicy which was unexpected. We learned this was uncased pepperoni which we’d never had before. Between that and the green salsa verde, my mouth was buzzing with the afterburn! Fortunately the octopus itself wasn't strongly flavored so this was my neutral ground.
Braised Oxtail Raviolini ($21) - pine nuts, carrots, oxtail jus, horseradish, whipped ricotta
Another small plate was the oxtail raviolini containing six pieces. Surrounding them was a sauce made with garlic, shallots, butter and marzano plum tomatoes reduced down with pork/beef stock, then finished with pine nuts and butter. It tasted of a comforting meat gravy that begged us to mop up every last drop. Inside the supple pasta shell was a super creamy filling with meat shreds but not as prominent of a flavor. As always, we wished there were more raviolinis to go around, the same thought I had for the Farmer's Bottega oxtail version.
Wood Grilled Burger ($15) plus house cured-braised bacon & sunny side egg (+$3) - asiago cheese, bacon-tomato jam, pickled onions, arugula, poppy seed bun, fries
When this appeared, we admired the open style plating, giving us full view of the goods. Both sides of the bun were toasted and had a touch of sweet similar to Hawaiian buns. The patty was seared medium rare with adequate seasoning. The asiago cheese may have been a bit strong but the golden egg wrestled it into submission. The bacon portions were a bit pork belly style with a chunk of the fat still attached. We tend to crisp up our personal bacon more to render additional fat so this wasn’t our favorite prep. Still, the burger was a solid mouthwatering choice if you can handle the incoming egg yolk and meaty drip (this option btw was called the Trust Way). The fries portion seemed excessive considering the sizes of all the small plates. These could be shared with the whole table!
Profiteroles (?) - pumpkin cream, maple caramel
I wasn't expecting anything fancy for dessert but wow, this turned out to be a stupendous stack! The creamy pumpkin flavor was light enough for me (as I would typically avoid pumpkin anything *gasp*). The caramelized sugars provided sweet texture bombs on the tongue and before we knew it, there was only one left. I played nice and split it with Dennis.
Surprisingly, food came out one at a time, which I attribute to it being packed on a weekend evening. We would share one appetizer, then wait for the next. At least the food itself was flavorful and eye-catching though it was on the pricier side. We didn't do our usual restaurant space pics since we were celebrating, but our friend Faye's Fork visited in 2016 with restaurant pics and different food offerings. As for parking, even the east side of Hillcrest is first come first serve, though we lucked out with a spot about two blocks away. Trust is only open for dinner so if we end up returning (special occasion most likely), it'd be a less busy weeknight!
Where is your favorite date night spot? Have you ever found a tempting tower such as this one?
3752 Park Blvd
San Diego CA 92103