4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Ketchup, mustard and Mongolian

Kearny gastropub doesn't stand on tradition

Mongolian – lamb instead of beef. Khan's Cave.
Mongolian – lamb instead of beef. Khan's Cave.
Place

Khan's Cave Grill & Tavern

9350 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite F, San Diego

A shopping center gastropub.

There are no shortage of restaurants in Kearney Mesa I'd like to try. I actually keep a list, and every once in awhile I hop on the freeway to go and check off another, come what may. About 99% of the time they're more or less authentic Asian restaurants.

Khan's Cave Grill and Tavern was not on my list. But, while heading that way with a friend, we missed the freeway we wanted, then passed the exit we meant to take. This landed us on Clairemont Mesa Blvd., heading west from the 15.

Aside from that I might not know Khan's existed. I doubt I'd even have even seen it if I were driving. But from the passenger seat it stoked my curiosity for some reason, so I looked it up on my phone. Google Maps described it as having "Unique Asian cuisine in a snazzy space." Well that's not going to stop me from seeking out soup dumplings or tsukemen (a style of ramen). But something else caught my eye — 20 craft beer handles.

Now that's something most of those authentic places don't provide. I called an audible, and a quick U-turn later we were parking in a medium-sized shopping center lot so I could have a tall cold one with dinner.

The bar area seemed pretty standard. Upon entering the dining room, I noticed what I suppose would qualify as snazz — it definitely has some ornamental flourishes. I also noticed plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup and yellow mustard on the tables. Certainly not unique in terms of San Diego restaurants, but yeah, unique to an Asian joint.

Turns out Khan's does more than a couple things differently. A largely pan-Asian menu leans mostly Chinese, incorporating some Thai and Japanese styles, including lemongrass soup and ramen noodles. A TV scrolling through an animated sequence of upcoming events and happy hour specials also mentions fried cheeseballs and a tomato-based pasta. A small bites menu features sliders, naan bruschetta and waffle fries.

I figured I'd go for something simple, the Mongolian beef, except even this comes with an alternative, and I decided to go for it: the Mongolian lamb.

Apparently, we'd rolled in while the restaurant was celebrating its 6th anniversary, and a classic rock cover band was finishing up its set while we waited for our food. I sipped on a Boulevard Tank 7 saison while they jammed out an oddly upbeat rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This evening was not playing out the way I expected, but the Kansas City beer wasn't bad.

The lamb showed up, pretty much a pile of sautéed meat, onions, and scallions served over a bed of lettuce with brown rice and additional lettuce (a "salad") on the side. The lamb was pretty good quality meat, a really tender eat for 14 dollars, tasting typical of a Mongolian stir-fry, though definitely better with the addition of chili paste. The single scoop of rice wasn't enough to keep up with the meat, and when I asked for more they charged me a buck-fifty for it. On the one hand, it's just $1.50. On the other, it's only a small scoop of rice to go with my six-dollar beer. That's a demerit.

There's a lot going on at Khan's, and some of it's pretty good. If I lived closer, I might embrace it's gastropub efforts. If I were freaked out by authenticity, I might seek out its approachable Asian cuisine. And if my Saturday nights were really hurting for action I might even show up for the weekly live performances. But, seeing as none of those things are true, I'll probably go back to trying the many other unexplored restaurants on my list next time I'm in the area.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Crystal Pier washing machine

When I grabbed the guy’s leash he went flying.
Next Article

Disclosure-shy developers draw hand-slap ethics fine

Three-day filing deadlines stretched three weeks by pro-tax housing campaign
Mongolian – lamb instead of beef. Khan's Cave.
Mongolian – lamb instead of beef. Khan's Cave.
Place

Khan's Cave Grill & Tavern

9350 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, Suite F, San Diego

A shopping center gastropub.

There are no shortage of restaurants in Kearney Mesa I'd like to try. I actually keep a list, and every once in awhile I hop on the freeway to go and check off another, come what may. About 99% of the time they're more or less authentic Asian restaurants.

Khan's Cave Grill and Tavern was not on my list. But, while heading that way with a friend, we missed the freeway we wanted, then passed the exit we meant to take. This landed us on Clairemont Mesa Blvd., heading west from the 15.

Aside from that I might not know Khan's existed. I doubt I'd even have even seen it if I were driving. But from the passenger seat it stoked my curiosity for some reason, so I looked it up on my phone. Google Maps described it as having "Unique Asian cuisine in a snazzy space." Well that's not going to stop me from seeking out soup dumplings or tsukemen (a style of ramen). But something else caught my eye — 20 craft beer handles.

Now that's something most of those authentic places don't provide. I called an audible, and a quick U-turn later we were parking in a medium-sized shopping center lot so I could have a tall cold one with dinner.

The bar area seemed pretty standard. Upon entering the dining room, I noticed what I suppose would qualify as snazz — it definitely has some ornamental flourishes. I also noticed plastic squeeze bottles of ketchup and yellow mustard on the tables. Certainly not unique in terms of San Diego restaurants, but yeah, unique to an Asian joint.

Turns out Khan's does more than a couple things differently. A largely pan-Asian menu leans mostly Chinese, incorporating some Thai and Japanese styles, including lemongrass soup and ramen noodles. A TV scrolling through an animated sequence of upcoming events and happy hour specials also mentions fried cheeseballs and a tomato-based pasta. A small bites menu features sliders, naan bruschetta and waffle fries.

I figured I'd go for something simple, the Mongolian beef, except even this comes with an alternative, and I decided to go for it: the Mongolian lamb.

Apparently, we'd rolled in while the restaurant was celebrating its 6th anniversary, and a classic rock cover band was finishing up its set while we waited for our food. I sipped on a Boulevard Tank 7 saison while they jammed out an oddly upbeat rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. This evening was not playing out the way I expected, but the Kansas City beer wasn't bad.

The lamb showed up, pretty much a pile of sautéed meat, onions, and scallions served over a bed of lettuce with brown rice and additional lettuce (a "salad") on the side. The lamb was pretty good quality meat, a really tender eat for 14 dollars, tasting typical of a Mongolian stir-fry, though definitely better with the addition of chili paste. The single scoop of rice wasn't enough to keep up with the meat, and when I asked for more they charged me a buck-fifty for it. On the one hand, it's just $1.50. On the other, it's only a small scoop of rice to go with my six-dollar beer. That's a demerit.

There's a lot going on at Khan's, and some of it's pretty good. If I lived closer, I might embrace it's gastropub efforts. If I were freaked out by authenticity, I might seek out its approachable Asian cuisine. And if my Saturday nights were really hurting for action I might even show up for the weekly live performances. But, seeing as none of those things are true, I'll probably go back to trying the many other unexplored restaurants on my list next time I'm in the area.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

When a high-rise goes up in Bay Park

"80 percent less noisy now"
Next Article

Crazies at Moonlight Beach, tyrants of San Diego lifeguards, lover of the Mission Beach plunge

Most exclusive skin diving club in the world, Tom Wolfe despised at Windansea, I watched them dredge Mission Bay in 1949
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close