Yes, I think I just made up a word.

Last night, I was very lucky to be taken to one very nice restaurant here in San Diego,  George’s California Modern. It’s located in downtown La Jolla and is one of three “dining experiences” at George’s at the Cove.

California Modern is located on the bottom floor of this two story building, and “bottom floor” is actually below street level.  There is an AWESOME view (from anywhere in the restaurant) of the ocean, thanks to floor to ceiling windows.  I’ve been to the terrace, the upstairs and outside portion of the restaurant, and the view is just as great, but better because you get the ocean breeze!  It’s a really awesome restaurant (both in location AND food) and if you’re ever in San Diego and want to splurge on a nice night out, I would recommend George’s.

There are a number of delicious looking items on both their regular menu and their vegetarian menu, and it’s hard to pick just one thing for yourself.  So last night, the people I went with and myself got 6 different things and shared, “family-style”, though the portions are hardly enough for one person.  But having just a taste or two of each dish is completely satisfying and fills you up!

We got all vegetarian dishes, wish are my preference, and they were all amazing–egg and corn risotto was out of this world!  The fresh taste of the corn was overwhelming, but in a good way.  We had meyer lemon homemade ravioli with peas and tarragon.  The dish was light and refreshing, and definitely something for lemon lovers.

But, the highlight of my night was the octopus.  The waitress informed our table that the chef is known as “Octochef” because of his renowned grilled local octopus.  Now, normally I wouldn’t even THINK of ordering it, let alone reading what else is in the dish, but one of the girls I was with is more adventurous than me when it comes to food and ordered away.  Thank God she did!!

I’m not even a fan of calamari, I’ve always found it chewy and the taste is mostly “fried”.  But this octopus was much different from calamari–no batter, no frying.  It was grilled.  As soon as the plate was set on the table, I was intrigued.  Yes, the tentacles with all of the suckers still on were a bit intimidating, but I went for it anyway.

And I’m so glad that I did!  It was amazing…I could have eaten the whole plate, easily.  There was no fishy taste, and the consistency was perfect–non-chewy, non-slimy, non-rubbery.  The taste actually reminded me of grilled chicken, but the texture was so light it was more like lobster; and the fennel-saffron aoili that you could dip it in completely rounded out the dish.  In any sense, it was great and I would have it again in a heartbeat.  (side note: the potato confit that came on it was really good–they even threw a purple potato on the plate for good measure!)

So, if you ever visit George’s and grilled local octopus is on the menu, order it.

Just don’t look at it before you put it in your mouth.

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