A bar named after one of my favorite surfing terms that has flat screen TVs playing surf movies and surf photos all over the wall? Count me in! My first impression of The Duck Dive was the casual atmosphere, open air seating and a packed bar, conveniently located in the middle of the room.
We were seated along the edge of the restaurant, where huge roll-up garage doors (that are rolled up during business hours) made it seem like we were sitting outside, enjoying the ocean breeze. We noticed a good amount of bike parking outside, since this seemed to be a popular neighborhood spot where locals pedal their way to meet friends for a few drinks or some yummy food.
This is not your typical bar food either. The menu is unique and eclectic with items like Dragon Wings, Cubano Sandwich and Bacon, Shrimp and White Cheddar Grits. They have a great selection of local and micro-brewed beers and an extensive cocktail menu with creative names. It’s always nice to see a few of our favorite local breweries on the drink menu; like Green Flash, Stone and Ballast Point.
We started off with the Baked Brie with Blackberry “Paint” and Grilled Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto. The Grilled Asparagus appetizer was topped with a perfectly poached egg, fonduta and a balsamic reduction. I would never have thought to put all of these things together, but the tastes really do compliment each other well.
You can never go wrong with Baked Brie (I always give extra points to restaurants to offer this on the menu) and this one came with marcona almonds and crunchy baguette crostini. The blackberry “paint” gave it just a slight touch of sweetness.
For dinner, we tried the Slow Roasted Prime Rib-Eye Sandwich and Pan Seared Baja Sea Bass with Artichoke Caper Butter Sauce. When the Sea Bass dish came, it looked so big that I thought we would never finish it. I was wrong. It’s hard to find a fish dish that I don’t find too overpowering, but this had just the right flavoring and I could tell it was fresh.
The Rib-Eye Sandwich came with caramelized onions, melted swiss, and horseradish sauce on ciabatta (my favorite bread) with au jus. It was a little messy to eat, but what do you expect? Since we ate all of the Sea Bass, we took half of the Rib-Eye Sandwich to go and it was even better the next day.
When I asked our server what they were serving for their Dessert of the Month, it made my night to hear her say, “Pumpkin Cheesecake.” It came in a ramekin, topped with whipped cream and was the perfect ending to our meal.
4650 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA. 92109
(858) 273-DUCK (3825)