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  • Writer's pictureDana

Kettner Exchange - San Diego, CA

After a day that ended up with me spending about 5 hours on the water, I was ready for a really good meal. And that’s exactly what I found at Kettner Exchange. The restaurant was a short walk from my hotel, so after coming back to the hotel and getting cleaned up and dressed appropriately, I took a quick walk up the hill to Kettner Exchange. All of the reviews I had found sounded very promising and I was not disappointed at all.

I got there a few minutes before my reservation and was seated quickly. The fire at my seat was adjusted so it was comfortable. Within mere moments, the sparkling water I’d asked for was brought to me and a cone of sweet and BBQ popcorn was set in front of me. The popcorn was a delightful little treat as I perused the menu.

For starters, I went with a Miami Slice to drink and the whipped ricotta with charred bread. After all of the sad bread I’ve had lately that has tasted like pan spray, the bread here made me happy. If there was one thing to critique, it would be the oil used in the dish. I would have preferred it to have been a drizzle of oil over the cheese rather than a lake, and I wish they had used a better-quality oil. I was looking for something fruity and that’s not what I got.

Next I had the Big-Eye Tuna Sashimi. This dish was so very pretty. I almost didn’t want to disturb the composition of the plate when it arrived. The radish and avocado worked well with the tuna sashimi. It was a dish I enjoyed and actually almost finished. I did leave some avocado on the plate since I wanted to leave room for the rest of the meal.

For the main I ordered their Niman Ranch Grilled Pork Chop, which was a pork chop with Peruvian sauces. This was huge and the cook on the meat was perfect. It can be hard to do pork well – so many people let it get dry, but this was juicy and, if I hadn’t been staying at a hotel, I would have happily taken the leftovers home to enjoy the next day.

I ended the meal with Budino and cognac. The Budino contained two of my favorite flavors – caramel and sea salt. I enjoyed just relaxing, savoring dessert, and sipping cognac as the sun began to set over the city.

Kettner Exchange’s meal is actually set up for sharing. As a single diner, that didn’t quite work for me, so I did feel bad about leaving food behind. I just could not eat it all, though I truly wanted to! This is a restaurant I want to come back to with someone else to share the experience.

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