Usually I look forward to San Diego’s biannual Restaurant Week the way most people look forward to The Super Bowl. I go online weeks in advance to study the menus and plan where we’ll eat and what I order. But this time it kind of snuck up on me. Without having done my homework, I let someone else choose the restaurant. She chose very well.
We went to Croche’s which is a restaurant and jazz bar on 5th in the heart of the famous Gaslamp Quarter. It’s been owned for decades by the Croce family, who’s patriarch is famous for crooning “Bad Bad Leroy Brown”.
The restaurant has a slightly vintage, upscale mom-and-pop vibe that I really enjoyed. Most restaurants offer 3-4 appetizers, 6-8 entrees, and 2-3 desserts for restaurant week but Croche’s had three times that. The appeal of restaurant week is that you pay a prix fixe for a three course meal, usually $20, $30, or $40 depending on the restaurant. Considering that most of San Diego’s top restaurants participate, it’s a heck of a deal.
To start our meal, I ordered their house salad and Jason ordered lobster bisque. My salad was very good, but didn’t hold a candle to Jason’s rich creamy soup with big chunks of lobster. It was the kind of soup you want to dive right into.
For our next course, I had filet mignon. I also snapped a picture of my friend’s seabass. We were all thoroughly thrilled with our entrees, which left little room for dessert.
I should have saved more room for dessert because it was truly heavenly. Jason ordered creme brûlée and I (of course) ordered the lava cake.
They should have called it the “hot fudge on a spoon cake”. The “everything I’ve ever dreamed of cake”. Or best yet, the “if it was a man, I’d marry it cake”. It blew my mind.
Not only was the food to die for, but the service was amazing. The chef even came to our table and, after a brief chat, customized a dish for one of our friends. Our friend couldn’t stop raving about how good it was, and the chef even came back out to make sure he liked it.
Just as we were finishing up, the live music was starting. Unfortunately, it was a school night so instead of staying for a night cap I was swept home and off to bed.
It was such a fabulous experience, Croche’s has firmly secured itself at the top of my own list of San Diego’s best restaurants. Go check it out if you get the chance!