University Town Center
4505 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, 92122
By Judi Curry
I have heard about this restaurant ever since it opened. It prides itself on items that are less than 475 calories, no matter what it is, from flatbreads to appetizers, to small salads, entrée salads, fish and seafood, poultry and meat, and even their desserts.
When my daughter Michele called and asked me if I wanted to join her and my grandson Cody I jumped at the chance. Cody made reservations on-line, and our wait for a table was less than 5 minutes, even though we were early and one person that was going to join us was unable to do so. Both Cody and Michele had been here before.
The following is taken directly from their on-line page: “We use natural cooking techniques such as wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking, and caramelizing vegetables to let the natural flavors shine through. And we execute precision with seasoning, and oil with control and care to ensure just the right amount is used to bring out the great flavor profiles. An added benefit to this style is that our menu items are naturally lower in calories. In fact, we make a promise that nothing on our menu is over 475 calories. The result is great tasting, highly satisfying food that just so happens to be good for you!” NOTE: They do not have butter in the kitchen nor on the table!
Michele said that she knew Cody would want to order a flatbread, and since he didn’t like fish would not order the special of the evening – lobster flatbread. She was right, but he did order the blackened steak and blue cheese, with cremini mushrooms, spinach and caramelized onions. The cost was $9.95 and it was tasty, hot, and served on a flat plank of wood.
Michele had trouble deciding between the wood roasted pork tenderloin and portabello, served with soft herb polenta, broccolini, caramelized cipolini, and roasted onion jus ($18.50) and the cedar-plank roasted Pacific king salmon and vegetables with red bliss potatoes, dill-mustard sauce, carrots and broccoli and grilled lemon. ($20.50). She asked the waitress for her recommendation but she said that they were equally as good. She said that most people order the salmon and Michele did also. She said it was cooked perfectly; moist; the carrots and greens on the plate made the presentation almost artistic. She enjoyed it immensely.
Cody was going to have the wood roasted pork tenderloin until he saw the New Zealand venison chop and ragout, served with red pepper, marbleized mashed potatoes and broccolini. ($27.50).
He said it was wonderfully prepared; the potatoes were flavored and cooked just right, and the brocollini was a nice addition to the plate. It, too, was presented well.
I fluctuated between the grilled jumbo shrimp cavatappi pasta, served with spinach, mushrooms, garlic, sour cream and roasted tomatoes ($19.50) or the caramelized grilled sea scallops, served with roasted asparagus, sun-dried tomato-mushroom pearl pasta ($22.50). When I asked the waitress what she preferred she said the scallops and so I ordered that meal. It was delicious. There were 7 scallops on the plate; the pearl pasta was well cooked and complimented the meal. Instead of roasted asparagus there were broccoli spears that were cooked just right and added to the presentation of the meal. It was a good choice.
Since Michele was driving and Cody was studying for a test, we did not order drinks or wine, but the wine list was extensive and there were many specialty drinks available. There were also many desserts listed (8) at the individual serving price of $2.50 each but we elected not to have one.
Our total bill, with tip, came to about $95.
There is no question that we would return to Seasons 52, if for no other reason to see what the menu offerings are for the changing seasons of the year. The food was good; the service was great; the ambiance was nice, and even though there was a bar and piano player in the next room, it did not interfere with our conversation and meal. We did not have to raise our voices to be heard; our reservations were honored; it was a very enjoyable evening.