Kirbie's Cravings

Común Kitchen & Tavern

Común Kitchen & Tavern is the latest venture of Chef Chad White. After hearing quite a lot of good buzz, we recently went to go check it out with some friends.

We went for lunch, which offers some small plates, tostadas, salad and rice bowls, and acai bowls.

It was such a nice day, we chose to sit on the patio rather than inside.

Lunch started with some complimentary chili dusted popcorn.


Fried pork rinds were loaded with chunks of tuna belly marinated in sesame oil and lime. It was crunchy and flavorful, though a tad over-seasoned.


Mexican street corn, served in a bowl. The kernels of corn were brushed with mayonnaise, butter, and lime and served with some crunchy crumbs of chicharron.

Octopus Tostada

The tostadas are the most popular items at this eatery so we made sure to order a few. By far my favorite was the octopus. The octopus is cooked via sous vide until tender. It’s mixed with some Queso Oaxaca cheese, a creamy Romesco sauce and fresh slices of avocado. Everything was perfectly balanced. The tortilla, while a bit pale looking, was warm and crispy.

Smoked Shark Tostada

I found the smoked shark a tad too salty, which overpowered all the other ingredients accompanying it.

Carnitas Tostada

Ceviche Tostada

Octopus x Tomato Bowl

This was an interesting set of ingredients. Though it’s a rice bowl, it’s basically a salad, sitting on rice. I enjoyed the octopus. Like in the tostada, the octopus is quite tender. It also had a great char and smokiness to it. I would have preferred some other items other than just tomatoes and arugula though. Both were served raw and plain and I felt like the bowl needed some more savory elements to pair with the rice.

Steamed Fish x Okra

One of our friends chose a steamed fish bowl and she was able to mix and swap carrots for okra. She commented that everything was a bit too salty.

We couldn’t leave without getting some paletas (ice pops).

Mexican Chocolate

This one was my favorite. Fudgy, with lingering heat from the chili.

Peach Mezcal

This alcoholic one tasted like a delicious fruity cocktail. Because it has alcohol, it didn’t freeze as well.

Water Thai Basil

Overall, we had a pretty good time here. A few items were a miss, but in general, we liked what we ordered.

Común Kitchen & Tavern
935 J St San Diego, CA, 92101

10 comments on “Común Kitchen & Tavern”

  1. A long time ago I learned when all the food at a restaurant tastes salty, it’s because the cook/chef is a smoker.  ; – ).    In my experience as a waiter, working in many establishments, this held true.

    • Hmm, interesting. I also think sometimes if you eat out a lot, your palate tends to get saltier. Not everything was too salty, just a few items. But overall, I wasn’t too heavy

  2. It looks like Comun expanded their menu since I went in July. I definitely loved the popcorn instead of bread. Last time I heard, they don’t make their own paletas — they’re bought at Viva Pops and sold for a $1 more. Too bad about the saltiness. I read that chefs tends to make things saltier than needed. My palate is super sensitive to salt that I don’t salt my food anymore when I cook at home so it usually hits me hard during my restaurant visits.

    • I don’t use a lot of salt in my own cooking at home so I’m always wondering if I’m just really sensitive to it when eating out. But when we dine out in a group and others find it salty as well, that’s when I feel more confident that the food is overly seasoned or salted. I was wondering about the paletas..I did think they were a bit overpriced. I like popcorn instead of bread too!

  3. I learned the way to save a plate of over-seasoned food is to pair it up with a soda, which unfortunately isn’t my beverage of choice in general. Maybe they are to prevent customers from ordering plain old water instead.

  4. I am a salt addict so everything would probably suit me 🙂

    Planning on going there this week and will definitely order all the octopus dishes!

  5. These are all great comments, thank you for your feedback. Kirbie thank you for your review. We as a team at Común Kitchen & Tavern are committed to the satisfaction of our guests and will address the use of salt in our establishment to make sure we are indeed tasting our products before our guests receive their meal. This ensure our cuisine is consistently seasoned accurately.

    Viva Pops ( Lisa ) a great friend of mine and I created the popsicles on our menu together special for Común. The ingredients used in these pops cost more, therefore we must charge a little more. In the next two weeks we will be changing to a new fall/winter menu and fazing out the pops, and making desserts in house.

    We look forward to your return.


    Chef Chad White

    • Thanks for your comments Chef! We really did have a good meal overall. it was just a few things slightly off and we’ll definitely return.

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