We’ve been trying to cut down on the number of times we eat out. Mostly because we cook a lot at home and try to stay on budget (more on that later). But when the sales department at work presented me with a $50 gift card to any Cohn restaurant, I immediately knew that it wouldn’t be gathering dust at the bottom of my purse.
The Cohn restaurant group here in San Diego consists of Indigo Grill, Mr. Tiki’s, The Strip Club (with locations in La Jolla and Gaslamp), The Prado, Corvette Diner (now in it’s new location in Liberty Station), Kemo Sabe, Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, Thee Bungalow, Island Prime and C Level.
After perusing the menus online and with some input from The Mister, we decided to go to C Level. C Level is the adjoining restaurant to Island Prime but it’s more casual and no reservations are needed. It’s first come first serve. We such a great meal at Island Prime for Paul’s birthday last year, we thought it made sense to try out C Level.
Island Prime and C Level are located on Harbor Island. From both restaurants, there are views of Coronado and downtown. I imagine it’s a nice place to take out of town people and to take in the sights.
Although the whole group of Cohn restaurants seem to take a lot of guff for being the big players in town, the food at C Level and Island Prime are fantastic, especially under the guidance of Deborah Scott, a long-time luminary here in San Diego. The two times we have visited both restaurants the service have been attentive and fast. For this particular visit, our waiter didn’t even blink when we ordered three entrees for lunch in order to use up the gift card.
For a Nevada boy, Paul sure loves his seafood, especially lobster. So when he saw a the lobster BLT with lobster bisque served on the side, he could not contain his delight. The lobster is shredded and topped with crisp bacon for a bit of saltiness. The jalapeño cheese bread was a little spicy for Paul’s taste but didn’t bother me at all. The bisque was rich and hearty and helped to cool the bit of spiciness from the bread. It’s a perfectly decadent soup and sandwich combo that I imagine Paris Hilton and her ilk would eat every day if they actually ate.
I was a bit ‘eh’ with fish and chips combo which was accompanied by a side of vinegar-based coleslaw. The battered fish and shrimp was nicely seasoned but seemed a little basic. I should have gone with another entree. Truthfully, I think I was just hankering for something fried and the fish and chips more than satisfied my craving. I could have done with out the hush puppies and the over abundance of French fries. I would give this a pass on our next visit besides we also shared the third entree: lobster mac and cheese
Only four bites of the lobster mac and cheese and we had to take this puppy home but this dish was spiritual: the oozing cheese — three kinds!– melding with the lobster and baked to a perfection. It was the best candidate to come home with us with to eat later that day because reheating fried shrimp and chips? It does not hold very well.
The total cost for the meal was almost $60, slightly over the amount on the gift card but a lovely first meal out for 2010 and I’m sure more to come.
See photos from Island Prime (from Paul’s fantastic birthday meal last year) here.
Mmm, we usually take guests to c level since it is such a beautiful view and the food is always pretty good and inoffensive. We dont end up going there much ourselves since we like a tipple and its a cab ride away…
If you could've done without the hush puppies then they weren't doing them right. I could eat hush puppies all night long…and then totally regret it later. 🙂
We haven't been to Island Prime in a while, but we certainly enjoyed it the last time we ate there. I haven't been to C Level, but I hear decent things about it. That lobster mac 'n cheese sound delicious!I'm finding that I like Deborah Scott's places – we had dinner at Indigo Grill (grilled Caesar, salmon, and cheesecake flautas) and it was all great. It was certainly more interesting and better executed than our overpriced meal at Mesa Grill in NY.
Jennywenny–I agree that the view is spectacular and a great place to take guests.Kim–The hush puppies were super dry and nothing could save them. Leeanne–I have yet to try Indigo Grill. I'll put it on my list of places to try out.
Hungry. For. Lobster. Hating Iowa.
BavarianErin–Maybe when you come to July later this year. Stay warm!
I just visited Island Prime this week – totally loved it. Will have to go back and try C Level sometime, though I'm trying to stick to a budget, too, and to not go out so much… but I want to try new things and blog about it all. Ah, decisions, decisions.
Lobster mac looks sinful….delish!
Mary–I find that mixing high end restaurants with the more common, around the corner place helps keep me on budget. Glad you liked Island Prime too!Diligent Diletante–It was sinful! There was devilish amount of cheese.