common theory public house

Common Theory Public House is a gastropub that popped up in Kearny Mesa earlier this year. It’s in the same lot at Yes! Pingo, Blush Desserts and my chiropractor (not food related). It’s hard to pop in a visit here now that they don’t serve lunch on Monday’s (which is generally the day I go see my chiropractor). But a few switcheroo’s in appointments allowed me to check out Common Theory Public House a couple of times.


I visited this space a long, long time ago when it was some seafood place that served overpriced-not-so-good food. They didn’t use the space very well back then and it just felt like you were in a massive warehouse. But with Common Theory Public House, it has a really cool feel to it. Part industrial and part hipster-chic. Above you can see the bar with their bright red stools. Off to the left of that is a cozy lounge area with lots of plush looking couches. There’s a bit of a raised area to the right of this with big booths and another bar. There are a lot of little touches that give the space a lot of character. 

My first visit was way back in June.


[bourbon bacon wrapped corn dog / $7.50]

I kind of balked a little at their prices, wishing they had a separate “smaller portions” lunch menu but it’s the same menu for lunch and dinner. I was feeling kinda cheap that day and decided to just get the corn dog with a side of french fries. The corn dog has bacon wrapped around it before it’s battered and fried. 


It comes with three different sauces (or at least, it used to – on the current menu it only lists the pepper jack cheese dip that’s on the far right). I believe the other two sauces were some kind of spicy sauce and I really only used/like the cheesy sauce. They spiced it up a bit with red pepper flakes but that didn’t bother me (I’m certain that Jake’s influence has given me a semi-tolerance of spicy stuff). 


They used a corn meal based batter to encase the sausage. You can sort of see the bacon wrapped around the sausage in the photo above. They really fried the heck out of this thing. The sausage became kind of dry and stringy due to the frying. I’m not sure they were using the right kind of sausage at the time because a lot of the flavor seemed to get lost. It mostly tasted like a fried, greasy mess and the sauces only helped a little bit. I wasn’t too impressed with this as my dish and wished I had ordered something else. That’s what I get for ordering corn dogs, I guess, even if they sound fancy.


[“daygo” style flatbread / $11]

I decided to give Common Theory Public House another shot and visited last week to try a flatbread. I took the simpler route and ordered up the “Daygo” style flatbread which included fresh mozzarella cheese, basil pesto, and tomatoes. There’s about six pieces here cut into manageable triangles for stuffing into your mouth. 


I like that the cheese has nice little bubbly spots and how creamy and melted the cheese was. The basil pesto delivered a lot of flavor and the bright chunks of tomatoes added a nice pop to the flatbread. The flatbread itself had a very nice chew to it and I love the end pieces (more crusty edges). The flatbread was soft but not undercooked. A few of the middle pieces seemed to be a little greasier on the bottom, not sure why, so I mostly stuck to the end pieces. I ended up really enjoying the flavors of this one and I loved the mozzarella they used here. 


[tap list highlights]

Since this is a gastopub after all, here’s a little peak at the tap list. But let’s look at the part I’m more interested in: Cold Brew on tap! And root beer! How rad is that?! I didn’t even notice until almost the end of my meal so I wasn’t able to try any, but I definitely will next time. I’m not much of a beer drinker, but if you are, this place has got the hookup with a crap ton of beers on tap with lots of locally made brews. You can view the current tap list on Common Theory’s website.

My first experience kind of kept me away for awhile since I didn’t want to experience another greasy bombfest, but my second experience was much better. I still wish they had a real lunch menu as I feel terrible spending so much on lunch, but I think I may pop in for dinner and share a few plates here with Jake.

Common Theory Public House
4805 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 707-7016

Common Theory Public House on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “common theory public house

  1. ‘Daygo’? OMG. Totally not PC, but it looks good. Have been waiting for the crowds to die down before going here…but to actually say that word out loud, spelling notwithstanding. OMG

  2. I think their happy hour menu is the best deal, and I like it because it’s not just all fried foods so you could actually make a meal out of a few little plates. I like their plain wings the best; the servers keep trying to push the sweet and spicy ones as being customer favorites, but it’s just wings coated in sweet chili sauce (like from the bottle). The super spicy wings were so hot it hurt to even taste it. The duck fries and chips are good, too. (And, I just realized that both those are totally fried foods.)

    I like what they’re doing, the food, the beers, the space… but our last visit was so horrible (service wise), it’s going to take a while to convince my friends to go back for a second chance.

    Oh, I’m also not a fan of their soft serve. At least the one made with beer – it came out a little too icy and not creamy enough for my taste.

    1. Hi Leanne – I didn’t really mention it in my review, but both times I thought the service was slow, but nothing too horrid. Maybe Jake and I will visit for happy hour instead of dinner, seems like it would be a better deal (I also just spied “homemade tamales” on the HH menu so that makes it more tempting). Good to hear about the happy hour and your experience!

  3. Hmm I haven’t been here since the first month that they had opened… seems like as it got busier, the food quality was compromised a bit? I’ll have to do another revisit, especially as they transition the taps to fall beers 🙂

    1. Hi Jinxi – Yeah, my service was a bit slow both times. I’ll still wish for a lunch menu but in the meantime I’ll probably try and go to happy hour sometime. I’ll stick to root beer and cold brew on tap, haha.

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