A chef's selection of tasty treats. Lil' Sumpin' Sweet. D Bar.
3430 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
A modern, date-friendly establishment.
I've encountered a few hybrid lunch dishes before: the taco salad, the ramen burger, the teriyaki burrito. Not many have attempted to straddle three different concepts at once. I found one in Hillcrest: a pizza salad sandwich.
Okay, first off, I walked into d Bar expecting to eat cupcakes or something. But the self-styled dessert bar serves actual food as well. Their daily "brunch menu" runs the gamut from egg scrambles and waffles to lobster mac and cheese and Kobe beef sliders. But the pizza salad sandwich sounded too ludicrous to pass up.
It's not a combo platter. There's no attempt at making a pizza flavored salad to wedge between slices of bread. They make a small thin crust pizza — nothing fancy, mostly goat cheese and mozzarella with a light pesto. Then they drop a simple salad on top of it and fold the pizza around the salad, as if it were a bread roll. The way it turns out, they probably also could have called it a pizza salad taco.
The salad's mostly mixed organic greens, and not a small portion. The resulting sandwich is thick and leafy, with a smattering of onions, tomatoes and pine nuts. That's about it.
If someone offered to make me a sandwich comprised of little more than lettuce, I'd probably have some pretty colorful suggestions what they could do instead. I don't know why replacing bread with a pizza should make much difference, but it does.
A surprisingly satisfying mouthful of organic greens. Pizza salad sandwich. D Bar.
The light crust and tangy goat cheese add enough texture and flavor to support the thick salad within each bite. That said, the sandwich couldn't really work at all without good quality greens. These are fresh, clean tasting and crisp all the way through. Hell, they might even be great in a boring, old, served-in-a-bowl salad.
Naturally, I couldn't walk out of a dessert bar without a dessert, so I ordered a "Lil' Sumpin' Sweet," what they call a chef's choice plate of confections. Today's selection included a white chocolate almond rocher, hand-painted bon bon, brown butter cookie, berry tart, raspberry gelée, mocha macaron, and a handful of chocolate-covered, sugar-dusted hazelnuts.
The butter cookie needed extra flavor and the gelée wanted for texture, but eating them together solved both problems. My favorites were the tart, topped with fresh raspberry, blueberry, and strawberry, and that hand-painted bon bon, filled with what I'm guessing was a kind of chocolate ganache.
Given that I downed a sandwich, pizza, and an entire plate of candies and cookies in less time than it took to order, I'm glad I had that salad for lunch.