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Instead of a romantic dinner out, we postponed our Valentines date night into a relaxed brunch at Shorehouse Kitchen in La Jolla. Dennis wore one of his favorite shirts to show his adoration. If you see it up close, the text actually reads "I LOVE it when MY WIFE lets me ride my bike". =D
Shorehouse Kitchen was my last minute brunch pick off yelp because it looked new and shiny i.e. we've never been there before. As far as parking went, Dennis lucked out with a spot around the corner. At 10am, the restaurant was completely packed inside with a dozen people waiting outside. I approached the hostess stand, expecting a long wait, but found out there was a 2-seater available (the waiting customers were all part of large groups).
Our table was pretty and unique while the rest of the seating was a solid brown tone. I could almost imagine looking *through* calming waters at these river pebbles below... so romantic.
Since Dennis had his slick shirt on, I countered with this cheesy hand heart for the holiday. POSE!
Now on to the food! Juliette was our friendly waitress that day and helped us narrow down our choices to the below.
Crispy Parmesan Risotto & Honey Cured Bacon ($14) - Parmesan and Cream Cheese Risotto Cakes, Baby Arugula, Tarragon Bearnaise
This benedict was sans bread, using fried ricotta cakes as a base! The eggs themselves were plain but the saltiness was provided by the ricotta. The hollandaise was delicious with a slight zest to it. It's been a while since I've had a tasty benedict!
For the side, I picked the crispy hash browns. These may have been the BEST we've ever had! Since the layer of potato was thin, there was plenty of crisp edge pieces to relish!
Maple Fried Chicken Breakfast Sandwich ($14.50) - All natural chicken breast, Sunnyside up Farm Egg, Maple Dijon Aioli, Baby Arugula, Honey Cured Bacon, Aged White Cheddar, Brioche Bun, Served with your choice of Side
The fried chicken hid beneath a giant sunnyside egg and looked like it was so ready to pop! Portionwise, most of the egg was on one side and most of the chicken was on the other side. Where they met, it was a yummy reunion of flavor! I especially loved the soft brioche bun that held everything together.
We had ordered the O'Brien Breakfast potatoes as the side but received a second fried hash brown. Juliette quickly correctly this error and brought out a side plate of potatoes. This side was quite opposite, more of a softer cook paired with sauted veggies. I think hash browns wins this potato battle.
Caramelized Tahitian Vanilla Bean French Toast ($11.75) - Fresh Berries or Bananas and Chantilly Cream Add $2.00
For the sweet tooth, we asked for a french toast item. Dennis LOVES vanilla bean so this flavor immediately caught our eye! The bottom piece of toast had a slightly carmelized edge. The bananas and maple reminded me of banana fosters. On the side was a buttery, salted item that we added to the toast. I thought it was a bit strange for "cream," which is what we had added to our order...
After checking with Juliette, she brought the REAL cream out. That housemade cream was top of the crop though there were only had two bites of toast left to spread it on! We tried to eat as much as possible anyway and I laughed when Dennis dipped a potato piece into it. Just so you know, it DOESN'T pair with potatoes. At the end of the meal, Dennis grinned as he pointed to a few food bits still on my face. Messy means a good meal right? <3
Service was pleasant and Juliette immediately took care of both missing items (potatoes, cream). The restaurant was still very busy when we left. Both Dennis and I found the food very enjoyable and would happily come back for more brunch!
Meanwhile, I can't leave out the more traditional events... There was a simple home-made dinner on the day of Valentines. Dennis cooked pork chops with mustard sauce from his Hardcore Carnivore cookbook and I picked up some sides at the store (pre-mixed salad and potato salad).
Here's my cucumber cooler contribution for our sips. This is an easy recipe from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson, my favorite cookbook. The wildflower honey I used was too strong so it was a bit intense... I'll tone it down with a different honey for next time! So, good food, good company with my funny Valentine. I say everything was a success!
2236 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla CA 92037