Located in the San Diego community of South Park (just east of downtown) is a neighborhood restaurant the locals rave about, so I had to check it out for myself. Alchemy is a casual and slightly eclectic place serving up some interesting culinary fare and craft cocktails. The focal point of the space is the bar, as well as the large and ornate stainless steel tree sculpture. There is also a random pattern of books affixed to the ceiling creating a literary collage, while the exposed duct work provides a bit of an industrial look. The walls are adorned with original artwork that periodically rotates, showcasing local talent.
My date and I started off by ordering glasses of wine, accompanied by the restaurant’s most popular, or perhaps, its most well known dish, the Taro Tacos. These pork belly tacos have thinly sliced spicy cucumbers, micro cilantro and are topped with bacon salt. Each bite sent us closer to hog heaven!
We decided we’d try a few additional items from the “Bar Snacks” menu, which are quite affordable. Next up was a cup of the sweet potato soup, which was both creamy and full of flavor. Then, we tried the Norwegian Cabbage Roll…this colorful dish was a large piece of purple cabbage filled with roasted lamb, then rolled up topped with juniper berries and accented with fresh dill. The dish was a distinct set of flavors than neither of us had experienced before. Then it was the Red Snapper Ceviche served with some freshly fried corn tortillas lightly dusted with sea salt. This was the first time both of us had tried, and/or, even heard of a ceviche being made with Red Snapper…it was outstanding—so much so we almost ordered another one.
We then shared a fish market special entree for the evening, which was Seabass topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and capers on a bed of Asian noodles. It was cooked to perfection and the ideal final course for our meal. Final main course that is! We did decide to indulge in dessert.
For dessert, we opted for the blueberry bread pudding with bourbon caramel, topped with streusel and cinnamon gelato. If that were not enough, we also tried the duo of house-made sorbet accompanied with two cups of coffee with Baileys Irish Crème swirled in for good measure—this was like a dessert itself…a hug-in-a-mug even.
Alchemy truly feels like a neighborhood establishment where everyone knows your name…where new friends meet and old friends reconnect. If you’ve been to Alchemy before, please leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what dish or aspect you enjoy most.