JRDN in San Diego

By Kathleen McLean

“There wasn’t any bacon in my bloody mary.”

This past Saturday we had friends in town, and we made plans to meet for brunch. They stayed in Pacific Beach and so we decided to dine at JRDN, the restaurant located at the bottom of Tower 23. We have been here for dinner in the past, and the food was excellent. It’s the best place to get a steak dinner in PB.

We go to Pacific Beach about four times per year. I’m in my 30’s and North Park, and the Gas Lamp district is more my style. I was excited to get down to the beachside restaurant. It was 80 degrees, sunny, and breezy. We walked into a bright, open contemporary restaurant. The hostess was ok; I’m never a fan of walking up to a hostess that says nothing and doesn’t smile. Maybe, I’m being hard on her; she’s up on a Saturday seating people. I’m sure she’d rather be anywhere else. However, not greeting people as the hostess is crappy customer service. At least the restaurant and bar are beautiful. You are right on the beach. No matter where you sit there’s a view. We decided to wait to get seated on the patio. It was worth the wait.

We ended up waiting for seats and our friends, so we grabbed a drink at the bar. I was eager to try their bloody mary. The bar was spacious and had comfortable seating. After just a few minutes the bloody marys came. There wasn’t any bacon in my bloody mary. I was taken aback by this. We are at what’s supposed to be an amazing brunch, and a bloody mary comes with bacon. Not having bacon would be the equivalent to being served a martini without olives. I was disappointed. One reason, other than I love the taste, I order bloody marys is because there’s so much you can do with that drink, and it all works. So to be served a bloody mary sans bacon on a Saturday morning reflects poorly on the bar tender. No bacon equals laziness! At least throw a piece of pepperoni and cheese next to the olives. Do better.

The drink tasted ok. It wasn’t bad but, it wouldn’t make my top 5 list. Soon after receiving our drinks our friends came in, and we were all seated outside. The table setting was simple and clean. The view was amazing. The ambiance was beautiful. Our waitstaff was super personable, and we received great service from them.

I ordered the BLT, and my husband ordered the french toast. The BLT had a twist to it, as it was made with pork belly and not bacon, again with the bacon. My sandwich was decent. I’ve eaten alternatives to bacon in my BLT’s in the past. At Cafe 21, for instance, they substitute bacon for Prosciutto, and it’s SOOOO good. I was eager to bite into my sandwich. The pork belly was kind of hard to eat in a sandwich that had to share space with tomato and lettuce. It’s “meah,” not the best just ok. I didn’t love it; I wouldn’t order it again. The french toast was decent. It came with a little bowl of the frosting that goes on cinnabons. He liked it. My friends ordered the hash and said it was excellent.

I would go back for the ambiance.