Union Kitchen and Tap (Gaslamp)
While browsing options for San Diego Restaurant Week (SDRW), we noticed Gaslamp Union Kitchen & Tap on the list. One of our favorite samples during Taste of Downtown 2014 were their Farmhouse Meatballs so we decided it was time to give the actual restaurant a go! I also made reservations through opentable.com for here and two other restaurants for SDRW. If I'm eating out already, might as well earn points toward a dining check toward more eats!
The restaurant is spacious between its indoor tables, bar seating, and outdoor patio area. There are also TV's mounted for watching sports or whatever they play on the tube.
After reviewing the menu, we decided to order the Albacore Poke! After a bite, we felt the fish was a bit sticky and needed something to brighten it up, perhaps a dash more salt or sesame oil. I found it to be quite plain, even with the addition of fried wonton chips.
The Mini Beef Wellington appetizer sounded fancy-pants so that was our next choice. The actual portions were bite-sized and the beef morsel inside was tiny, completely lost within the mushroom stuffing, but I did like the sweet glaze on the pastry. We tasted the bed of lettuce just in case but it was plain without dressing. I guess you're not really supposed to eat that portion.
Our first main course Herb Roasted Pork Loin had a seared crust that Dennis liked but I thought it was browned too long and hence too crispy for my tastes. The pork was on the firmer side as well due to the cook time. We enjoyed dipping it into the buttery whole grain mustard cream though the sauce was used up before the pork was gone! More sauce please! The potato wedges were on the firm side but cooked.
Our second main course Chicken Roulade was stuffed with spinach, portabello mushroom and roasted red pepper. The chicken was well cooked though a bit on the dry side for me, including the stuffing. My favorite part was actually the heavy thick potatoes which I used to help finish the chicken. We were getting quite full before dessert but I still had to eat all the potatoes. I rarely have potatoes of this consistancy and I was loving it!
We were ready for dessert despite bulging tummies. This was the Apple Upside Down Cake. Dennis nailed it on the head with this comment: the top tasted like a fruit rollup! It was just a little too sugary sweet! The bottom portion was super dense and minimally sweetened on its own, which worked out for the combination of both.
The Chocolate Bomb looked pretty cool! It's like a chocolate covered cherry in a creative cake form.
Inside, you could definitely taste the strong orange liqueur in some portions of the mousse. There was also a tasty hazelnut layer on the outside which was the best part. We thought this was the better of the two desserts but may be a bit too powerful for some.
Dinner was interesting to say the least. I noticed that none of these items were on the current menu so perhaps they are trying out potential menu items? Unfortunately I wasn't wowed by our dinner, especially with a price tag of $30 per person!
Hey, at least there's always local draft beers and their signature cocktails to turn to! I'm thinking this place may work out better for drinks but maybe we'll be back for those Farmhouse Meatballs once more before giving up on food here!
Union Kitchen & Tap (Gaslamp)
333 Fifth Ave
San Diego CA 92101