Category: "San Diego, CA"
Heading to San Diego for my first time last week, all I knew going in was that I had to make reservations for Thursday night so we could take a client out to dinner. This is by far the best part of my job; traveling to big cities, picking nice restaurants and enjoying (hopefully) a fine meal there.
Life is tough, I know. Especially when you end up at a restaurant like MAX New York.
There were 9 of us having dinner for this reservation. We were seated at a square table, which was perfect. The table sat 10 (3x2). There was no awkward distance between two people at the ends of a rectangular table and no cramped-for-space feel of a circular table.
We were out for business; suits, shirt (with or without tie) were all acceptable, though I do not think necessary. I did not look around as much to see if anyone at other tables was dressed down much more, but I would not imagine they were. The Gas Lamp District area of San Diego (home to MAX) is a relatively upscale part of town from what I could tell.
Appetizers-a-plenty hit our table: Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Maine Lobster & Blue Crab cakes, and Fried Calamari, Shrimp & Scallops. My favorite part was the shrimp that came in the Fried Calamari, Shrimp & Scallops sampler. It was battered in the same style as the calamari, very good.
Their Creamy Lobster Bisque was not my favorite lobster bisque, but it was good. Don't worry about me. I am not enough of a bisque snob that I am not able to enjoy one that isn't the best I have ever had.
It may come as no surprise that I ordered the 24 oz. Bone-In Rib Eye, as it is what I get at every steakhouse. It is served with a Rosemary Sauce which I was not excited for, thus I ordered a Bernaise Sauce with my steak. It turns out, however, when you do that, they give you both. They plated my steak with the Rosemary Sauce and gave me the Bernaise as a side, which did not thrill me. But I am not without fault; I could have specified my intentions. The steak was still very good.
As with many steakhouses, the side dishes were a la carte. We ordered Grilled Asparagus, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms and Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the table. You cannot go wrong with any of these sides.
At the time of dessert, many claimed not to want any. Three of us ordered anyway and we shared them with the table; Tiramisu, Fudge Brownie with Vanilla Gelato, and White Chocolate Creme Brulee. I ordered the brownie. It was very good. Though I did not try the other two as everyone else did, the table favorite was the White Chocolate Creme Brulee.
The location (827 5th Ave.) was right downtown. Tell your cab driver you want 5th Ave. between E and F, you can't miss it. I loved how the front of the restaurant was open, not just one normal door. I guess you would have to see it to understand.
The meal was not outrageously priced. It was what we had expected. This was important as there were so many of us.
Probably the highlight of the meal for me was the service. The entire restaurant staff was very accommodating. They asked about almost everything rather than assuming anything. And it may have been just some guy off the street, but I prefer to think it was the Manager who came to the table to make sure everything was satisfactory; a small detail, but one I appreciate. We were very well taken care of at MAX New York.