I've had my eye on Bite for a long time now after reading about Chef Walsh's credentials. Tonight I finally made a visit for the Tuesday four course prix fix dinner ($20) to get a feel for Walsh's talent. Rush hour traffic be damned.
Bite's decor is amazing. If I were a real writer I would be able to describe it for you, but alas, I am only proficient in writing biology/medical papers. Ya'll gotta see Bite for yourselves. The dining area is chic and modern without being cold or pretentious like other restaurants. The golden Os splashed across the wall really liven up the place. Lighting is a tad too dark for my taste, though.
Yeah of course I'll complain about lighting. YOU try hand-shooting at ISO800, f/4.5, 0"4. From now on I will lug my tripod into a restaurant for dinner. Inconvenient? Yes. Awkward? Totally. Worth the hassle? Hell yeah. Tonight's epic photo-shoot failure was the last straw.
Alright on to the food.
Honestly I don't know what the spread and sauce are made of. But, my tastebuds tell me the amuse bouche tastes like strawberries and cream cheese/chives? Yummers. I could be wrong about the spread, though. Kinda hard to concentrate when I haven't eaten for six hours... Walking around the ICU is pretty taxing.
Like Cpt. Jack, I go bananas over foie gras. Naturally when I spotted liver on the menu I had to order it. Yeah I know this is a far cry from foie gras, but I take what I can get. But where's the mousse? Oh you'll find it under that thin layer of dark mystery-jelly that tastes kinda like the mousse. Next time I'm gonna ask Walsh what it is. All in all, a good appetizer. However, as with all rich foods, this got old real fast. The acidity of the fruits do offer your palate some relief, but I just couldn't finish all that liver.
Okay if any of you see this on the menu, order it. It is rich and velvetly with a delicate sweetness. Great comfort food. How good? Well it could offer me fleeting consolation if I were to ever drop out of medical school. That good.
This was a really delicate, flaky pastry topped with sweet carmelized onions. Kind of a relief after the previous two heavy appetizers. I dig it. I don't dig the clearly evident camera shake though.
My tastebuds sent me a flash of recognition after tasting the succulent chicken. The chicken tastes exactly like a Chinese rice-noodle dish. If you have ever ordered chow-fun in a Chinese restaurant, you would be familiar with that strangely delicious lightly-burnt taste. Walsh, I don't know how you pulled this off, but I want to shake your hand for making chicken taste like my mother's chow-fun. Very interesting.
Walsh left me crying for more after I scarfed down this plate. The meatballs are really satisfiying but the tomato sauce totally steals the show. Lightly spicy with a hint of smokiness, this sauce is simply amazing. I mopped up every bit of sauce with the crispy polenta. Best entree of the night. My only complaint, however, is the fact that there are only four meatballs. C'mon Walsh! Don't tease us like that. This entree is like a crack rock. After it's gone, you just want more and more...
I really should have asked to keep the menu. I forgot what exactly goes into the glaze, but there is red wine involved. Loved it. The glaze is sweet and complex. Complements beef very well. I wish the meat could have been more tender and fatty, but in terms of flavor this dish delivers it well. Not as good as the lamb meatballs+sauce, though. Teehee!
Dark, rich chocolate mousse. Good consistency and not too sweet. Dig in deeper and you'll find berries and part of a banana. I approve!
The silver medalist of the night. I can't ID the light citrus flavor...I've tasted it before but the words just aren't comin'. Very refreshing way to end a meal. Best dessert of the bunch, I think.
All in all, a solid deal for $20. With some minor tweaks, Bite's prix fix menu would be a KILLER deal. I dig Walsh's style and will definitely be checking back with some friends and of course, a tripod.
1417 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103