Marine Room Restaurant
2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla
858-459-7222

With Bernard Guillas as its top toque, the Marine Room has become the quintessential fine San Diego restaurant, with awesome food to match the view. Guillas goes one-for-one with the ocean: His high-adventure cuisine stands with one foot firmly rooted in France and the other dipping into the Pacific -- while a finger or two stretches toward the Sea of Cortez. Who else in San Diego but Guillas would put together diver sea scallops, foie gras, duck prosciutto, sweet Thai rice, and a port-plum wine reduction -- and make it work? Or call a dish "oyster surprise" and actually surprise you with a jolt of gingered apple and the crackle of tobiko (flying fish roe) under the bivalve? Guillas's bold signature dish is called "Trilogy," an ever-changing combination that always contains precious proteins from air, land, and sea -- quail, rabbit, and lobster is one typical trio. On the menus (both the printed one and the page of handwritten daily specials), each dish reads like a whole tasting dinner (or a parody of an overprecise California menu) -- but when you taste your food, it all comes together into a lyrical dance of flavors.

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