Urban Bar & Grill is part of the “Dining on 5th” restaurant group that also has 3 other restaurants on 5th Ave. in The Gaslamp Quarter. Chianti, La Fiesta, Ocean Room. Hopefully I will be invited to come back and try the others. Medina Poulain, marketing director for all of the Dining on 5th Group, took such great care of me; she really made me feel so special.
Located in the heart of The Gaslamp Quarter, it is so fun, lively; there is just so much to do here. Every block has nightclubs, restaurants and lots of foot traffic. There are quite a few restaurants to compete with, but Urban Bar and Grill gets the job done.
The décor is very New York, but there are these huge very different chandelier type light fixtures that adorn the ceiling. There are quite a few of them, and they are all uniquely different. The bar area is hip and fun, and the dining room is very conducive to intimate conversation.
Here’s what I tried:
Moscow Mule, Russian Standard Vodka, Lime Juice, Ginger Beer, Bitters. There are so many restaurants that are doing this drink, I just don’t get it.
El Jefe Margarita, Tres Generaciones Anejo, Cointreau, Fresh Juices, Grand Marnier. My kind of libation, very sweet and smooth, it will get you where you want to be!
Chardonnay Bridlewood Estate, Monterey County. This wine can carry the sweetness of the tuna tacos in all its glory.
Chardonnay Folie a Deux, Russian River Valley Sonoma. A nice well balanced wine that adds so much depth to the seafood in this linguine.
Chardonnay J Lohr “Riverstone”, Monterey County. I liked this wine with the earthy flavors in the Brussels sprouts, but that’s just my opinion.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Martin Ray, Napa 2011. You have got to drink this wine with the cowboy steak and its blue cheese topping, a real winner.
Pinot Noir, Mac Murray Ranch, Sonoma 2012. I like this wine with the seafood linguine, it is nice and light, but added some extra punch to the pasta.
Boom Boom! Syrah, Washington State 2012 Charles Smith. Either the steak or the lamb will do great with this wine.
Zinfandel, Peachy Canyon “Incredible Red”, Paso Robles 2011. I would do this wine with the lamb chops, it has a well-rounded fruit forward finish, and has lots of sweet cherry nuances, and you can’t go wrong.
Wakami Tuna Taco with crispy wonton shell, ahi tartar, seaweed salad, carrot and daikon sprouts and wasabi aioli. I was told that I had to try this, and I understood why. The overall flavor is sweet, but with nice Asian seasonings, I liked it a lot.
Braised Short Ribs Sliders, slowly cooked short rib, chimichurri coleslaw and garlic aioli. I was not impressed; there are too many other slider dishes that I have tried that rivaled this one.
N.Z. Mussels and Pommes Frites, sautéed green lipped mussels in a white wine sauce, and truffled French fries. This is a very delicious take on a popular dish.
Roasted Pear and Gorgonzola, with mixed greens, roasted pear, dried mission figs, Gorgonzola, candied walnuts, and port wine vinaigrette. This one was not a favorite, too many pears. They did say that this was a favorite amongst their customers, so you got me baffled.
Seafood Linguine, with sautéed shrimp, calamari, mussels, assorted fish, white wine-garlic and tomato sauce. Chalk full of seafood, with a good balanced red sauce.
Rosemary Lamb Chops with grilled lamb chops, sautéed heirloom spinach, rosemary demi glacé, balsamic reduction. Huge portion with very complex sauce, this dish is a must have!
Bone Inn Rib Eye Cowboy Steak with Blue cheese. Another spectacular dish, the meat is very tender and cooked to perfection. The blue cheese and sauce is just the addition you would want with this piece of meat.
Brussel Sprouts and Applewood Smoked Bacon Gratinee. Another one of these side dishes that every restaurant is doing now, but this version scored high in my opinion.
The clientele seems to love this place, and there were lots of them the night I went. Some of them young, some older, everyone out for the same thing, good fun and good food.
The menu is thoughtfully inspired by Chef Sara Polczynski and Chef Geraldo Espinoza, and they do a nice job. But, I would not mess around here and cut to the chase, order the Lamb or The Steak, you will be very happy you took the advice here at…Jodi Jackson’s Hollywood!!!
Urban Bar & Grill is contemporary American cuisine at it’s finest. Hours: Mon-Thur 4pm-10pm | Fri 4pm-12am | Sat 4pm-12am | Sunday – Happy Hour is all day, every day at the bar.
Urban Bar and Grill
827 5th Ave. Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego, CA. 92101