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

Oh man. Seems every day off, the lovely Carla wants to head for Diane, on the sceptered isle of Coronado, to get her hair swished up.

She's there now. Me, wandering lonely as a cloud, till I pass this place I've always been curious about, La Terrazza (1309 Orange Avenue, 619-522-0077). Upstairs, exclusive-looking. And the menu? Don't even go there.

"Hi," says the gal at the lecturn, but without much hope. Just kinda pro forma, I ask, "Do you guys have happy hour?"

"Oh, sure. Every day, three to six."

Right now we're talking five.

She hands me a little one-page menu. Huh. "Piccola Bruschettina con balsamico, $3.50." OK, I think that means "Small, little mini-bruschetta with balsamic." So I guess you can't say they didn't warn you. But they have other stuff, all, wow, priced between $3.50 and $5.50. Like, mini-meatball panino with marinara sauce and mozzarella ($4), or seafood combo trio, breaded scallops, calamari, and shrimp on greens ($5.50).

Guess I'll have to leap up those steps to the second level terrace (they have an elevator, too).

Once I'm up there, gotta say, the view, even on a cloudy day, is great. Del's red towers line the horizon, yellow, blue tablecloths, giant yellow and blue umbrellas checker the terrace, and the top fronds of palms rustle just beyond the parapets.

So hey, without spending a penny, you already feel important.

Except, now comes the waiter, Manny.

"What would you like to drink?"

'Course I'd been hoping to get away with water. But now I look more closely at the happy hour menu, and I see it says "All of the above offers with the purchase of one beverage minimum, per guest."

And the happy hour drinks are house wines and domestic champagne, $5 per glass, well drinks, $3.50 off, domestic beer, $3.50.

Ho-kay. I have to ask the uncool question.

"Uh, which happy hour dish would fill me the most?"

Most are either mini panini or pasta dishes like "tortellini tre colore," ricotta-stuffed round pasta with "a touch of spinach in pesto Genovese sauce ($4)."

But then I see they have appetizer-size pizzas. Margarita ($4), pepperoni ($4.50), eggplant and tomato ($5), gamberetti (shrimp, $5.50), and veggie ($4.50).

"Well," says Manny - and he's been here ten years, so he should know - "actually most people get something that will go well with their drinks. The most delicious taste combo for me is the bruschettina. It's probably the most popular, too. But filling? I'd say the pizzas."

That's good enough for me. I ask for a glass of the house Chablis white wine (because Manny says it'll be sweet enough but not too), and the pepperoni pizza.

And guess what? It's not that small. Maybe eight inches, and plenty of pepperoni, plus nicely oozing tomato sauce and cheese. Thin, crisp edges, and with the wine, you start to feel like the king you should be by rights.

And really, it's a beautiful li'l pizza.

None

Suddenly look at my watch. Ayee!

Cell phone.

"Carla, what's happening?"

"What's happening? I'm waiting for you, That's what's happening. Actually, darling, Diane and I have been talking. She's still drying my hair. Another twenty minutes."

"Okay. No more." Great to have the upper hand. "You'll have five minutes to get here. La Terrazza. We can afford it, long as you make happy hour."

"Great! See you in 30 max."

Then I have a thought.

"Uh, Carla?"

"Yes, darling?"

"How will I recognize you?"

More like this:

Comments
5

You ordered a glass of house Chablis to have with pizza? Because the waiter told you it would be sweet enough but not too sweet? And you're offering a published restaurant review? I'm sorry, but your palate has absolutely zero credibility.

April 20, 2012

If you are so price sensitive, what are you doing in an upscale restaurant in Coronado? What credentials or experience do you actually bring to the table - so to speak - as a restaurant reviewer?

I also have to agree with ptb regarding your discrimination regarding wine. In the future, remember -- Sprite with fish sticks, and Coke with cheeseburgers, and you won't go wrong.

April 20, 2012

I see the snobby crabs are out today. Crawl back under your rocks, little crabs.

Love your stuff, Ed.

April 20, 2012

Ptb: Wow. Not even .01 credibility? My palate has plenty credibility to me, because I like what tastes good to me. I ain't one of these people who take a sip of vino and go "Modest little offering, a little pretentious, but not afraid to speak out for itself. Wasn't it rainy on that western slope in the spring of '09, Sybil...?" Whatever. If I don't know something, I'd rather be a fool than hide behind what the wine book says I should like. What the waiter said sounded sensible. What's wrong with chablis and pizza? Really. I'm interested. Want wine sophistication? Plenty of good wine critics out there. I don't have a lot of bread, so if I can afford it in a place like this, honestly, I'm a happy camper.

To GeoffM: Price-sensitive, credentials: see above. Wine discrimination: Love your one percent attitude!

To Joaquin: Whew. Thanks, buddy.

April 23, 2012

Ed, since you ask, being pretentious, and developing a sense of discrimination are completely different things. In fact, they are the opposite of each other. There's nothing wrong with having a mac-n-cheese and Miller Lite palate.... unless you're writing restaurant reviews. C'mon -- it looks like you've been doing this long enough that you should have developed a the tiniest bit of sophistication by now. Ask a litle more of yourself. There's a really interesting world out there.

April 28, 2012

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