Fig Tree Cafe (Liberty Station) - dinner
Fig Tree Cafe has always been a brunch destination for us. We first sampled them during a Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk and have made several visits to the PB location. I recently found out they had dinner at their Liberty Station location and we were invited to give it a try!
We decided to sit in the open patio area which I can imagine is perfect for a daytime visit. I was amused by the two heat lamps near us because their curved shape reminded me of treadmills! Food first, workout next time?
Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ($12) - ricotta + italian fennel sausage + fresh tomato sauce
I've had zucchini blossoms maybe two other times so always look forward to trying more. This was also going to be Dennis's first time having them!
The outside was lightly battered and fried while the inside flavor sang of italian sausage with fennel. I didn't notice the ricotta taste much other than the creaminess it added. We dipped halves into the fresh tomato sauce which was similar to tomato paste in consistancy and saltiness. Even though I ate two out of three, I wanted more. It's helping me with my vegetable quota right?
Firecracker Chicken Wings ($12) - tangy asian sauce + green onions + sesame seeds
I absolutely crave chicken wings when they are on the menu so look what showed up next! The thick dark sauce tastes strongly of hoisen and suddenly we had cravings for steam buns (in reference to duck steamed buns found at chinese/vietnamese restaurants). I imagined it would be spicy due to the name but instead there was only a hint of a kick in there. Underneath the skin, the chicken was a little on the drier side, almost like chicken breast for me. Dennis didn't have any issues with it though. There were a total of five mid-sized wings on our plate before we finished them off.
Chicken Involtini ($22) - free range chicken + fontina + broccoli + asparagus + sundried tomatoes + oyster mushroom beurre blac + spinach mashed potatoes
Not only did this chicken entree catch our eye but it was also recommended by our server. The picture doesn't show it but the chicken seemed to be stuffed and little flavors of joy entered my mouth with each bite. The gravy and moist meat did a number on my mind and I loved the second piece as leftovers! The only downfall was that the mashed potatoes were unseasoned, almost like being mixed with the water used to blanch the spinach. There was a balsamic drip on the plate edge as well as plenty of chicken sauce for redeeming the taste.
Burger ($15) - 100% angus beef + white truffle cheese + portobello mushrooms + arugula + heirloom tomatoes + man candy + sunny sideup egg + side of french fries (upgraded to 'garlic fries' for $2 more)
The name was not exciting but the ingredient list was! I was most thrilled about the MAN CANDY, Fig Tree Cafe's specialty bacon! This was meaty with a slight crisp plus a glazed sweetness. The burger itself was huge! The meat was very lightly seasoned and cooked medium rare with a sear on the outside yet it was drier like a lean cut. The bacon was the prominent and best flavor in the burger. The rest of the ingredients weren't pulled together by the patty as I would have liked. I was also a little disappointed in the fries which weren't that crispy. Dennis enjoyed the raw garlic in the fries upgrade but I ate around them! Too strong!
Fig Bread Pudding ($8) - served with vanilla ice cream
We were insanely full (I could barely take a bite of Dennis's burger after trying my chicken and the appetizers) but that dessert stomach always kicks in at the right time... This was a splendid splurge to end our night. The bread texture was fluffier and sweetened just enough. The ice cream, berries and candied figs were the bonuses. We made it 80% through before calling it quits. Ok stomach, I hear ya now... *sigh*
In addition to the large patio area, they have a bar area as well as two areas in front and to the side with tables. There was a cozy looking booth to the left of the building entrance that I would want to sit in for next time!
We were served by Melissa, one of the managers, who took good care of us and the other patio dinners. The wait time seemed typical and our meals were hot and fresh. After brunch, the restaurant closes briefly, then opens for dinner with a Monday-Friday happy hour until 6:30pm. This location is the only one (out of three locations) that serves dinner. Foodwise, there were more hits than misses so I think I'll stick to BRUNCH at this place. I'm going back for their amazing french toast with mascarpone cream!
Disclaimer: We were invited to dine here and our meal was complimentary. We were not otherwise compensated and all opinions stated are our own.
Fig Tree Cafe (Liberty Station)
2400 Historic Decatur Rd #103
San Diego CA 92106