Recently DH and I had date night at Sora San Diego, an Italian Japanese influenced restaurant that recently opened.

The restaurant is headed by Chef Noriyoshi Teruya, former Nobu chef.  However, what really got me interested in this place was the fact that uni was featured on almost every section of the menu.

I left with very mixed feelings about this place. The biggest grievance was the service. For an upscale restaurant, I thought the service was quite poor and the staff was in need of more training.

Sora has two entrances, one from the street, and the other from inside the building its located in for those who choose to park in inside the building garage. (Tip: Definitely park inside the garage as they do validate parking, making this one of the rare places in downtown where you don’t have to worry about parking.) Despite having two entrances open and a front check-in desk at each entrance, only the street entrance had a hostess staffed. So we ended up having to make our way around the entire restaurant to check in with the hostess. Once we checked in, we were stowed away into a cramped corner of the restaurant even though we had reservations and the restaurant was half empty.

Once seated, we were provided with drink menus and only drink menus. This really irked me because it seemed presumptuous on the part of the restaurant, basically expecting us to order drinks. And since it took a while for our waiter to come greet us, we had plenty of time to peruse a drink menu and a dinner menu, if they had bothered to give us one. Even after our drinks were ordered, we still didn’t get a dining menu. I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait so long for a menu. Finally, when our drink arrived and still no menu, we asked for a menu and was finally provided with one.

When we asked the waiter for some recommendations, I was surprised that he failed to mention any of the things I had read about that I thought were highlights of the restaurant, such as the parmesan wheel risotto. He also had no knowledge of sake despite it being a large section of the drink menu.

My next irritation was the long lull between courses. I was also surprised that there was no complimentary starter. Since this place was Italian influenced, I expected to see the complimentary fresh bread that is usually served at Italian restaurants. And since this is an upscale restaurant, I also thought their might be a complimentary amuse bouche which is usually offered at such places. But there was nothing.

I was in a pretty bad mood until our food arrived. Once we started eating though, my mood did clear. For all the services woes, I did enjoy the food and there were some interesting twists on dishes.

Uni Jam

I’ve always loved the subtle sweetness of uni, and the jam actually brought out that sweetness without overpowering it. It was a great combination and I loved using the uni as a spread on my toasted bread.

I did it! I made my own egg waffles. And they were pretty darn good. Totally worth getting the special egg waffle iron. I plan on making these again and again and again.

Egg Waffles/Eggettes/Egg Puffs, are a Hong Kong street snack. The batter is sweet, resembling a pancake batter. When cooked in this special egg waffle iron, the area connecting the eggs puffs are crispy and the egg puffs themselves are light and fluffy. It’s so fun to break them apart and eat one by one.

William Sonoma began selling a Nordicware Egg Waffle Pan a few years ago but I couldn’t bring myself to buy it. After ordering the dessert recently at a Chinese Hot Pot restaurant and being disappointed with their version, I decided to buy it. I’m so glad I did. Now I can have eggettes whenever I want.

I originally bought the mix by William Sonoma. Have you ever noticed that a lot of the mixes they sell are more complicated than making a recipe from scratch? Well this mix was definitely not easy and after reading a few steps, I started searching the internet for an easier recipe.

For those who did not get a chance to participate in the recent San Diego Restaurant Week Taste event, I’m giving away a pair of tickets to another upcoming taste event, Taste of Downtown. Details are at the end of this post.

As you may recall, I previously gave away tickets to the first annual SDRW Taste event, a kick-off before Restaurant Week started. I also received complimentary tickets to attend with the DH and I was quite curious how it would be like.

Like many, I was a little surprised by the price ($75 per person), since the other taste events I’ve participated in are usually around $30.  Once I arrived though, I soon understand the high price point. Unlike other taste events I’ve been to, the bites and drinks at this event were truly unlimited. In addition, every single food station was paired with an alcohol beverage, leading to one very boozy night. The quality of the bites were also a bit higher than previous taste events I’ve been to. My favorite part was that even though there was a large crowd, it was easy to sample each booth. There weren’t super long lines or waits at any station with the exception of Slater’s 50/50, which had a small line going most of the night because they were making their famous burgers on the spot.

The event took place at the Broadway Pier right before sunset, providing for some magnificent views. Half of the booths were situated inside and half outside. It was pretty impossible to have the stomach to consume everything offered. DH and I tried to hit most of the food ones and opted to skip most of the alcohol ones. I wisely let DH handle my camera early on in the evening.

Here’s a highlight of some of my favorites:

Tuna lettuce wrap from Marble Room; Beef tongue sandwich from Cowboy Star; Pretzel Rolls from Sadie Rose Baking Co., Caramel Panna Cotta from Cucina Urbana; Green papaya salad and Thai Tea from Chedi Thai Bistro; Hamachi from FireFly; Filet Mignon Wraps and Sandwiches from Donovans; Hubert’s Lemonade (mainly because of the cute bottles and you could take it to-go); Slater’s 50/50.