kitchen 4140 / clairemont – san diego, ca
Kitchen 4140 is a place I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Luckily thanks to LivingSocial I finally got my butt in here to check it out. I got in just before the thing expired and treated Jake, T and I to dinner that evening. I made reservations in advance (recommended) so we got to have a pretty, pretty table outside.
Each table had a fresh bunch of flowers. Not a wimpy bunch of flowers either, but a full bouquet! So pretty.
We sat right near their garden. They grow some of the stuff they use in the restaurant right on their patio.
Here’s a peek at the menu, which is also listed on Kitchen 4140’s website.
[burrata salad with heirloom tomatoe, gremolata, arugula, blood orange olive oil – $14]
Since we were trying to be conservative and not go over the limit of the LivingSocial deal, I decided to get two appetizers in lieu of a full entree. The first item I picked was this burrata salad. Burrata is a very silky, creamy version of mozzarella cheese. The inside is a combination of mozzarella and cream – it’s very smooth and silky. I loved that I got a little dish of coarse grain salt, which I sprinkled over my cheese. The heirloom tomatoes were so bright and delicious and I really liked the pop of the blood orange olive oil over the arugula. Arugula is not my favorite thing by itself though. I find that it gets to be overwhelming and too peppery by itself, but I enjoyed little bits of it mixed in with the tasty cheese and tomatoes.
[sweet chili lime calamari with roasted cashews – $14]
Between the three of us, this was the favored entree of the night (until we got to dessert, that is), if you can believe that. Jake and T both said this was their favorite, which surprised the heck out of me since normally they will not eat calamari! I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.
I believe it was the sweet chili sauce which helped to win them over and really like this dish since it added a wonderful sweet-spicy kick to the fried calamari. I loved the addition of the roasted cashews, too, which really gave this a fun Asian twist. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was that the bottom calamari got a big soggy since it was sitting in the sauce for a long time. Maybe if I had tossed it around a bit more it would have gotten more evenly coated, but it’s a minor thing since the flavor was still pretty spot on.
[side of lamb bacon – $4]
We noticed that the brussel sprouts came with lamb bacon and we asked our waiter about it. Lamb bacon? Like… what the heck is that?! Our waiter told us it was very good and very unique and that the chef did it very well here and it was featured in just a few dishes. We asked for a dish of it just so we could try it out.
It was actually really, really good. The smokey flavor was on point and while it was thickly cut, you couldn’t taste the gamey flavor of the lamb. It was tender and delicious and had some nice fatty bits to it, like regular bacon does.
The only downside I would say is that it was on the salty side. If you’re eating it in other things or paired with another dish, I would bet the saltiness gets toned down but alone it was a little too salty. I loved the smokiness though!
[kitchen burger with braised pork belly, pimento cheese, heirloom tomato, bermuda onion, herb aioli on a brichoe bun – $14]
Jake and T shared the Kitchen Burger. This is kind of weird shot of it, since it looks like it was burnt but it wasn’t actually burnt, more of a char flavor here than anything.
Here’s a cross photo of the burger, you can see a bit of the pork belly on top, and the burger on the bottom. The burger looks a little overdone. I only had one bit and I don’t think I got to taste the pork belly, but the boys really liked the burger. I thought it was just “okay” from the one bite I had, but maybe it was more amazing if you had it with the pork belly? I also thought the top bun to bottom bun ratio was really off, since the bottom bun seemed almost nonexistent. I’m picky and like having buns on both sides of my burger, but apparently I was in the minority on this evening since the boys did not care about just minor things.
[house cut truffle frites – $4]
Their burger came with some house cut truffle frites and we ordered an extra side of those so I could have some! These were totally killer and delicious. The outside was perfectly crisp and the inside was creamy, almost mashed potato like on the inside. The crisp + inner creaminess made me looooooove these like nobody’s business. They were well seasoned, too, with a touch of herbs and salt and a little truffle oil (but not heavy handed).
We weren’t planning on getting dessert here. Jake was going to take us over to Foster’s Freeze for chocolate dipped cones but I had to at least look at the dessert menu, right?! It’s not even posted on their website, so I was really curious.
I debated over getting dessert and Jake said to me, “How many times will we really come here? Be honest.”
I told him we probably wouldn’t come that often, if ever again. I am so glad he talked me into it, not like it was hard or anything.
[kitchen brownie sundae with warm chocolate-bacon-walnut brownie, vanilla bean gelato, candied walnuts, crumbled bacon and maple – $9]
Oh. My. God. YES.
Just reading that on the menu made me salivate and then when it was set before us I couldn’t believe how TALL the brownie was. Goodness gracious.
This had the perfect amount of everything. The brownie wasn’t too sweet and it had just the right amount of bacon to give it a little smokey saltiness, without being weird. The walnuts (which I normally don’t like) were delicious as well. The gelato melting over it made it extra sinful as well.
There are some berries on this plate, too, waaaay over to the left, but berries are berries. All you need to see is the gloriousness of the chocolate bacon brownie. Did I say it was unlikely I was coming back? Well crap, I think I lied because I would come back for THIS any day of the week. I hope they never ever ever take it off their menu.
4140 Morena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92117