Chef Deborah Scott's Island Prime Metro Steaks & Seafood
One situation that I commonly find myself in at certain places is the urge to order all sorts of appetizers rather than going the "proper" way and getting a main course and the like. That was none the more true than here tonight at the Island Prime restaurant in San Diego (880 Harbor Island Drive, 619-298-6802), where I was presented with a number items like peel & eat shrimp as well as a warm spinach salad that sounded a lot more appealing to me than going for some grilled fish with mashed potatoes or something. In the end, I opted for a couple of my faves, the steamed clams and the wedge salad.
I was a bit surprised with the clams at first as they were of the larger variety (I prefer smaller ones), and were generally held brothless rather than sitting a butter, garlic, and white wine-based broth that I am accustomed to. Moreover, the clams were covered in parsley, which is something that I am not a huge fan of. Despite this, I inhaled these little suckers pretty darned quickly, as they were still very tender and bursting with a natural clam flavor. Some little cup of what appeared to be oil and Old Bay (or was it Lawry's Seasoned Salt?) helped kill the parsley taste for me. Being paired with some very thin, buttery, yet crispy slices of bread was a great combination too, thus really helping to make sure that I cleared this plate in record time.
Next came the BLT Wedge Salad, which was interestingly grouped with other salads on the menu under the guise of "kelp beds." It too came with a slice of bread, but this time was covered in a spicy spread that I wasn't expecting. It was good though, especially with some tasty seeds encrusted on it that helped flavor things up just the right amount. The strip of bacon wasn't as crisp as I would have hoped, but it still was tasty (it is bacon after all), and was a non-conventional yet effective way of accompanying the huge head of lettuce covered in Maytag blue cheese (which I learned afterwards to mean that it is from Maytag Dairy Farms in Iowa, started by the grandsons of the eponymous home appliance maker). Actually, this head of lettuce was so darned big that I got full already after eating it (and to think that I briefly contemplated getting an order of Alaskan king crab legs earlier on).
Anyway, I had my fun with appetizers. As I was leaving, I realized that this place is run by the Cohn Restaurant Group, who was also behind the Prado that I ate at last night. Of course, the chef is completely different, and the selection of venue tonight was not only purely coincidental but also partially out of my control. (Then again, I'm the guy who ordered iceberg lettuce wedges two nights in a row too.) This is in a nice spot though, sitting on stilts in the water and with a view of the city just across San Diego Bay, as well as the North Island US Naval Air Station on Coronado, where it looked like the USS Nimitz was in port today.