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Chez Loma creates super quackos

Duck tacos for the win

Duck tacos: roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce
Duck tacos: roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce
Place

Chez Loma French Bistro

1132 Loma Avenue, Coronado

This is the kind of place where only Beautiful People need apply. Looking in, you expect silk scarves, stilettos with red soles, and people taking phone calls on their Apple watches.

But turns out this expensive French restaurant does have a happy hour, at the bar, five to seven every day. So I head in.

Coronado's “hidden” secret on Loma Avenue
The 1889 house is where Loma Avenue meets Loma Lane
This French restaurant has occupied the house since 1974
Burger on sourdough with blue cheese, bacon, pommes frites
Cheapest wine in the house is French, and at HH price of $5, c’est choix!

First thing: It feels authentic. We’re in a real old Coronado house. Built right here in 1889. A big French clock from “Antiquité de Paris, 28 Rue Murillo” looks down from the wall. Then one of the French greats, Charles Trenet, on the sound system. Très romantique.

Cheryl the barkeep, on the other hand, is all business. “Happy hour?” she says. “House burger or duck tacos. Four or five dollars off.”

She’s a little vague about the drinks part. It’s “a few dollars off” several drinks.

So I concentrate on those two food specials. The burger has “choice of gruyère or blue cheese, bacon, egg bun, pommes frites, $14.” The tacos have “roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce, $15.” Happy hour price for each plate, $10.

First decision: I order both specials. Because I need the burger, and I’m totally curious about the duck tacos. Drink-wise, I stick to water.

Turns out they don’t have the egg bun for the burger tonight, so it comes between two slices of sourdough bread. But it is still delicious with the blue cheese and bacon.

The big surprise is the three duck tacos. Truth to tell, I’ve always been disappointed with duck. Cardboardy, tasteless. But in these corn tortillas, the duck meat is totally sexy. I guess it’s that spicy sauce plus the ton of pico de gallo, tomato, and cilantro and onion in there. Really tasty. Nicely messy. And filling? You bet.

As for the burger, yes, $10 ain’t no HH bargain. But I remind myself that ten dollars is exactly what I paid for a burger at a food truck the other day. That was good, but with sidewalk stand-up eating, no silverware, no French songs.

Here, though, the dish I’d come back for is those duck tacos. Even at ten buckos.

Edit: I came back just for a happy hour glass of wine. Turns out it’s $3 off any glass. I went for the cheapest red, a Côtes du Rhone Jaboulet Parallèle 45 from 2012. Sounds a mouthful. And cracking with tannins? Yes. But it’s like a night with a sparky girlfriend. After disagreeing on everything, you start enjoying the sparring. HH price: $5. I ain’t complaining.

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Duck tacos: roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce
Duck tacos: roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce
Place

Chez Loma French Bistro

1132 Loma Avenue, Coronado

This is the kind of place where only Beautiful People need apply. Looking in, you expect silk scarves, stilettos with red soles, and people taking phone calls on their Apple watches.

But turns out this expensive French restaurant does have a happy hour, at the bar, five to seven every day. So I head in.

Coronado's “hidden” secret on Loma Avenue
The 1889 house is where Loma Avenue meets Loma Lane
This French restaurant has occupied the house since 1974
Burger on sourdough with blue cheese, bacon, pommes frites
Cheapest wine in the house is French, and at HH price of $5, c’est choix!

First thing: It feels authentic. We’re in a real old Coronado house. Built right here in 1889. A big French clock from “Antiquité de Paris, 28 Rue Murillo” looks down from the wall. Then one of the French greats, Charles Trenet, on the sound system. Très romantique.

Cheryl the barkeep, on the other hand, is all business. “Happy hour?” she says. “House burger or duck tacos. Four or five dollars off.”

She’s a little vague about the drinks part. It’s “a few dollars off” several drinks.

So I concentrate on those two food specials. The burger has “choice of gruyère or blue cheese, bacon, egg bun, pommes frites, $14.” The tacos have “roasted duck, avocado cream, fontina cheese, spicy sauce, $15.” Happy hour price for each plate, $10.

First decision: I order both specials. Because I need the burger, and I’m totally curious about the duck tacos. Drink-wise, I stick to water.

Turns out they don’t have the egg bun for the burger tonight, so it comes between two slices of sourdough bread. But it is still delicious with the blue cheese and bacon.

The big surprise is the three duck tacos. Truth to tell, I’ve always been disappointed with duck. Cardboardy, tasteless. But in these corn tortillas, the duck meat is totally sexy. I guess it’s that spicy sauce plus the ton of pico de gallo, tomato, and cilantro and onion in there. Really tasty. Nicely messy. And filling? You bet.

As for the burger, yes, $10 ain’t no HH bargain. But I remind myself that ten dollars is exactly what I paid for a burger at a food truck the other day. That was good, but with sidewalk stand-up eating, no silverware, no French songs.

Here, though, the dish I’d come back for is those duck tacos. Even at ten buckos.

Edit: I came back just for a happy hour glass of wine. Turns out it’s $3 off any glass. I went for the cheapest red, a Côtes du Rhone Jaboulet Parallèle 45 from 2012. Sounds a mouthful. And cracking with tannins? Yes. But it’s like a night with a sparky girlfriend. After disagreeing on everything, you start enjoying the sparring. HH price: $5. I ain’t complaining.

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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
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