You might expect while strolling the shore in San Diego to find a few groovy hole-in-the-wall places to chow down. Knowing full well you have to go a little off track to find anything other than a tourist trap I happened to stumble (after a very long stroll) into Guava Beach Bar & Grill; located just miles north of the Mission Bay area, a few blocks off the beach.
The Ambiance: It’s an open restaurant with a garage feel. The bar is fully stocked with a variety of brews on tap, along with a large hard alcohol selection. I give them a 3 of 5 for being open to that beautiful weather and the true B&G feel.
So let’s get down to it, the Drinks: For a fully stocked bar the mixed drink menu left a bit of creativeness to be desired – for being on the beach the $8.50 margaritas aren’t badly priced and tasted good, but lacked the kick I was hoping for on a hot summer day. Based on that, and the menu not selling me on the other selections, I stuck to one drink (this is NOT normal). Drinks get a 2 of 5, tasting good with no punch can be a downer.
The service: The staff waiting bar and tables was friendly upon arriving and tried very hard to make up for the slow kitchen. That’s a pet peeve of mine: a prime location B&G should turn over customers without them feeling rushed; they should never make you sit there and wait on everything. The owner walked around talking up the older crowd, but ignored who I’m guessing he perceived as tourists. Between the short staff and the almost hour it took for fajitas and a burger – they get 1 of 5.
The Food: I’m a huge foodie, I have high expectations. The food menu was the opposite of the drinks menu, it sold you on what was sure to be a delicious endeavor. Over-sold, under-delivered. Our order of a bacon brie burger and my lunch guest’s chicken fajitas was underwhelming at best. The burger was a good piece of meat that was choked to death in pepper, as was what they called shoe string fries: it had potential but failed a seasoned death. The fajitas came out and it was clear everything on the plate was pre-packaged awfulness: cheese, guac, salsa, and – guess what! – the chicken was also slaughtered in pepper. Stephen King could write an epic thriller about the pepper killer with this cook as your villain. 1 of 5 on the food, and that’s really because I like the creativeness of the menu.
Lastly Price: Two drinks, two meals – even with the location, for a lunch this was a $50 spot before we even talk tip. Not good for what they had going on this day. Enough said. 0 of 5.
That’s a 7 of 25 for the Guava Beach Bar & Grill in San Diego. I hear there a few good tacos joint within a few miles, next time I’ll try one of those.
~ By E.S. Norton, Head Foodie ~