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Island Prime

The other night, CP took me out to dinner just because we hadn’t had a proper date night in such a long time.  Plus, with the college football season well underway, a lot more of his free time is consumed by it.  When he told me he made reservations for dinner for our date, and wanted to keep it a surprise, it made me wonder where he was taking me to.  The only hint he would give me was that it was somewhere we have been to before and that he hoped we could get a nice view of the water.  My mind immediately started working out where this mystery restaurant could be.  Given that we do live in San Diego, there are a handful of restaurants we have been to that had a “water view”, so I started going down the suspects: George’s, JRDN, 1500 Ocean, Crab Catcher (thought I highly suspected this was not even in the consideration since we had just visited it), Il Farnaio, Point Loma Seafood, etc.

CP would not let me know, only when and where we were to meet up so he could drive us.  The suspense!!!  (I did ask if I should have a certain type of wear and he said business casual like our workday usual)

The night of our date, we met up and he drove us downtown.  Where oh where was he taking me??  Then when he made his way towards the familiar route of when he takes me to the airport, I realized – ISLAND PRIME!  In all technicalities, we’ve only ever eaten at C Level – the patio dining area where the menu is a little more “relaxed”.  Island Prime is the indoor dining area where the restaurant is more of a steakhouse.  Still, a great restaurant (inside or out), and we were seated at a corner, window table with a view of the water and downtown San Diego.

An amazing view to prep us for an amazing dinner:

To start, Island Prime gives you POPOVERS…yes you read that right!  Popovers are served warm with whipped butter (read online that it was actually goat butter, didn’t get to ask).  And these puppies were freaking HUGE.  It was almost an appetizer in of itself.  I would have been satisfied with this popover as my appetizer.  Warm, buttery, soft layers of sweet and salty that makes you feel guilty for putting on that butter, but it amplifies all the components that I’ve already described to you about the popover itself.  I wish all restaurants would serve popovers instead of just plain bread.  Sigh…

The “A Study in Lobster” is basically lobster 3-ways: Lobster Bisque, Lobster Grilled Cheese, and Lobster Lollipops.  The lobster bisque I’ve had before and tasted just as delicious as I remembered.  Smooth, rich, creamy and thick – with little bits of lobster in it and dash of sherry on top.  The lobster grilled cheese was ridiculous!  Huge chunks of lobster claw meat, with fontina cheese, grilled on a little sourdough slices.  I don’t know how to describe this…other than – this ain’t your kindergarten, school yard grilled cheese.  This sexy little two-biter is the sensuous, adult version of grilled cheese.  Sweet, succulent lobster with the smooth fontina cheese, oh sweet, sweet, baby jebus, I thought I was done for the night with that.  Then the lollipop comes along and helps remind me that I can still have fun with a great, luxurious ingredient.  The lobster lollipop is a skewer of lobster meat, with a light batter and fried.  Fun, delicious, but revolutionary?  Naw…but it was still delish.

Island Prime’s Caesar Salad comes with two hearts of romaine, dressed with their house Caesar dressing.  They top theirs with marinated tomatoes, Parma, and a dark bread toast with an olive tapenade served as the crouton.  CP loved the salad, though it was a little hard to eat due to the plate size and shape.

Can you guess who’s entrée this is?  If you’ve read my blog before, or know me at all, you know that I cannot pass up scallops on a menu.  It is my Achilles heel because it is so hard for me to steer away from it.  Island Prime’s version was little different – seared scallops topped with popcorn snow, on popcorn emulsion, and sweet & sour bacon-corn salsa.  Admittedly, I was practically stuffed to the gills when this came out and yet, I could still taste that it was different from the other scallop dishes.  The scallops were perfection.  The popcorn emulsion reminded me of salt honestly.  It didn’t overpower the scallop, but all it was the salty touch to the dish.

CP’s “surf & turf”…or in the words of Island Prime, “Even turf can surf”.  I found that to be quite amusing J.  This is a 8 ounce filet migon with a fat lobster tail.  CP ordered it with the pancetta-peppercorn demi on the side.  Although I didn’t have any of his entrée, I could see it was very well done entrée.  And considering CP ate it right up, I think it’s safe to say it’s a darn good piece of turf and surf.

Dessert?…I am ashamed to report that I did NOT order dessert (*GASP!!!!*).  Yes, I couldn’t imagine eating more and CP’s not much for desserts so there was no way I could have one by myself.  So for that night, we call it quits after our entrees.

The food at Island Prime | C Level is superb to say the least.  Of all the Cohan Restaurants in our little town, I think this has to be my favorite (and the only one I haven’t been to yet is 33 Pacific up in Oceanside, and Bo Beau in OB after it took over the spot for Thee Bungalow).   The service here is exceptional, the food is extraordinary, and the view regardless of the time of day is magical.

Island Prime | C Level
880 Harbor Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

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