to say i love san diego would be a gross understatement. it is the perfect escape when wanting to get out of la but not be too far from home. it helps that one of my closest friends, hillary, moved here a few years back. we make a conscious effort to visit one another. when looking for a little staycation during a time when i would typically be catching a flight somewhere tropical, a quick drive to san diego seemed like the perfect solution.
when choosing where to go to dinner, the choice was easy. we love to support small businesses, we love seafood and a dear friend of ours, sara, is both the executive chef and partner at a restaurant in encinitas. last night, i finally got to experience herb & sea.
founded by brian malarkey, who you might recognize from top chef, herb & sea is truly a gem. even amidst the pandemic, they have found a way to create an extraordinary dining experience. rather than each get a starter and an entree, we had sara suggest some of her favorites. because this was not hillary’s first rodeo, she had an item or two that she knew we should tack on as well.
it was unreal.
we started with drinks (we got the mezcal and flowers and even as someone that typically gravitates towards vodka, it was to die for), burrata, oysters, hamachi crudo, smoked salmon dip and shrimp toast. there was nothing i would not order again but i will say this – i could have ordered 10 of the hamachi crudo plates and still wanted more. it was that good.
for our main courses, we went with the local field greens, linguini and crab, peaches and prosciutto pizza and the crispy boardwalk potatoes (which aren’t pictured due to us being in a trance from all of the goodness on our table).
and for dessert, there was a special cheesecake with tropical fruit and berries and for you chocolate lovers, a lava cake.
i really cannot say enough great things about this restaurant, the drinks, the food and the quality of service. brian happened to be there while we were dining and stopped by our table to say hello, ask how our dining experience was and wish us well. there is something magical about restaurants like this one where you can tell that every single person who works there genuinely loves people, food and what they do.
if you find yourself in the san diego area, stop by herb & sea. you will be happy you did.