Quantcast
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

First nibbles at Común

Chad White's new flagship is bringing the new Baja north

The octopus tentacle sticks up purple and angry out of the roiling mass of pink and white quinoa, and the green and yellow and red wall of heirloom tomatoes.

What $18.49 buys

In the enamel mug beside it, elotes, corn, sits under a pile of chicharrones — fried crumbles of pork skin.

And I'm about to dig in.

What's the big deal? This is at the long-awaited Chad White restaurant, Común (Spanish. Think "community," "commons," "in common.") Today, Wednesday, is Day One.

Place

Común Kitchen & Tavern

935 J Street, San Diego

I was going by yesterday when I saw all the patio heaters out. Plus people and street furniture. Knew something was afoot.

"Tomorrow," said Estefania, who looked like the receptionist.

"Living wall" outside front door

So, here I am back again and sitting up to the first bar inside, while outside on the blue couch, fellow chefs, looks like, have come to pay their respects to Chef White. There's a formality to it. It almost makes you think of the Godfather movies, though no kissing of hands, and this is a meeting of equals come to congratulate one of their highest-profile buddies, and one of the most adventurous.

Inside's planky, bricky, with exposed brown ventilation tubes and other pipes snaking about the ceiling. They have a cooler pantry that has glass walls, so we can all see what they have in stock. Towards the back a counter juts out with worktables behind. That has to be the chef's table where you can sit and watch and talk with Chef White as he prepares your meal. No extra charge, they say.

Me, I sat down at the first bar and checked the lunch menu Estefania gave me. It had a short lists of dishes at different price points. Like, in "snacks," ($5) you get items like cucumber in vinegar with pickles, or elotes (corn with mayo, lime, butter, chicharrón and cilantro). Seven bucks buys you "toastadas" loaded with ceviche, octopus, smoked shark, carnitas or grilled chicken. They even have a bunch of açai bowls for $10, and $12 gets you salads, like, chicken with okra, octopus with tomato, steak with green beans, or veggies with veggies.

My quinoa salad

I go for the elotes, for starters, and then the octopus salad. Octopus has a nice burned fishy flavor, but actually is a little chewy. Tomatoes are red, orange, yellow, green, a great sight, but tastewise, still tomatoes. Most interesting part in the salad has to be the underground sea of quinoa, the Bolivian superfood, all pink and white and with a pretty nice savory taste.

Elote

But the most interesting part of this short meal is the enamel mug of elotes. The corn's good, mainly thanks to the porky, peanuty, savory taste of the chicharrones that turns this modest snack into such a (surprisingly filling) cupful.

Still, today is really more about the buzz. Staff's trying to keep it smooth, customers are trying to see who else is here. I'm trying to see if I could afford this place. I hear they've got a happy hour in the works. That would be good.

Chad White

On the way out, I run into the man himself, Chad White. "What we're doing," he says,"is bringing Mexico north. Not the schlocky cliché of the past, but this culture that's going back to its own roots of local, Asian and Mediterranean influences. Baja Med! I'll try anything as long as it is sustainable."

And yes, he does want this to become the neighborhood of East Village. So you can just pop in for a drink, if you want. No "Eat, or out!" mentality.

I hope it works, because I really want this south-to-north adventure of his to be, well, sustainable.

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

Previous article

What a teachers union has done to Gompers

29 teachers laid off in June, re-hired in July
Next Article

Oceanside Film Festival goes virtual

The Devil’s Road: A Baja Adventure, Bess Myerson: The One and Only Jewish Miss America, Becoming Lola

The octopus tentacle sticks up purple and angry out of the roiling mass of pink and white quinoa, and the green and yellow and red wall of heirloom tomatoes.

What $18.49 buys

In the enamel mug beside it, elotes, corn, sits under a pile of chicharrones — fried crumbles of pork skin.

And I'm about to dig in.

What's the big deal? This is at the long-awaited Chad White restaurant, Común (Spanish. Think "community," "commons," "in common.") Today, Wednesday, is Day One.

Place

Común Kitchen & Tavern

935 J Street, San Diego

I was going by yesterday when I saw all the patio heaters out. Plus people and street furniture. Knew something was afoot.

"Tomorrow," said Estefania, who looked like the receptionist.

"Living wall" outside front door

So, here I am back again and sitting up to the first bar inside, while outside on the blue couch, fellow chefs, looks like, have come to pay their respects to Chef White. There's a formality to it. It almost makes you think of the Godfather movies, though no kissing of hands, and this is a meeting of equals come to congratulate one of their highest-profile buddies, and one of the most adventurous.

Inside's planky, bricky, with exposed brown ventilation tubes and other pipes snaking about the ceiling. They have a cooler pantry that has glass walls, so we can all see what they have in stock. Towards the back a counter juts out with worktables behind. That has to be the chef's table where you can sit and watch and talk with Chef White as he prepares your meal. No extra charge, they say.

Me, I sat down at the first bar and checked the lunch menu Estefania gave me. It had a short lists of dishes at different price points. Like, in "snacks," ($5) you get items like cucumber in vinegar with pickles, or elotes (corn with mayo, lime, butter, chicharrón and cilantro). Seven bucks buys you "toastadas" loaded with ceviche, octopus, smoked shark, carnitas or grilled chicken. They even have a bunch of açai bowls for $10, and $12 gets you salads, like, chicken with okra, octopus with tomato, steak with green beans, or veggies with veggies.

My quinoa salad

I go for the elotes, for starters, and then the octopus salad. Octopus has a nice burned fishy flavor, but actually is a little chewy. Tomatoes are red, orange, yellow, green, a great sight, but tastewise, still tomatoes. Most interesting part in the salad has to be the underground sea of quinoa, the Bolivian superfood, all pink and white and with a pretty nice savory taste.

Elote

But the most interesting part of this short meal is the enamel mug of elotes. The corn's good, mainly thanks to the porky, peanuty, savory taste of the chicharrones that turns this modest snack into such a (surprisingly filling) cupful.

Still, today is really more about the buzz. Staff's trying to keep it smooth, customers are trying to see who else is here. I'm trying to see if I could afford this place. I hear they've got a happy hour in the works. That would be good.

Chad White

On the way out, I run into the man himself, Chad White. "What we're doing," he says,"is bringing Mexico north. Not the schlocky cliché of the past, but this culture that's going back to its own roots of local, Asian and Mediterranean influences. Baja Med! I'll try anything as long as it is sustainable."

And yes, he does want this to become the neighborhood of East Village. So you can just pop in for a drink, if you want. No "Eat, or out!" mentality.

I hope it works, because I really want this south-to-north adventure of his to be, well, sustainable.

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

Giovanni Sgambati – an Italian Liszt

Wagner pushed for publication of Sgambati’s two piano quintets.
Next Article

Morgan Freeman as an extraterrestrial diplomat

You know the aliens have seen The Shawshank Redemption
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 News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — 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