THE WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE:
2121 Adams Ave, University Heights, San Diego, CA
630pm, Sunday, June 18th
THE BETTER BITES SAMPLED: (full album)
Changing seasonal menu*
- Local Yellowfin Poke (kumquat vinaigrette is what makes this dish rock)
- Tomato Soup (robust flavor and full bodied!)
- House cut russet potato french fries w/ molasses ketchup and stone ground ale mustard
- Niman Ranch Flat Iron Steak and Mashed Potatoes
- Early Grey Creme' Brulee (idea spurned from a dessert wine)
NEWS AND NOTEWORTHY FACTS:
- Open since 2014 by Mike Almos and his wife Terri
- Monday all night happy hour
- Reservations high recommended
- Open 5pm daily
- $10 off all wine bottles on Wednesdays
- Monthly special events posted on website and social media pages
- Everything they serve is made from 100% scratch in house
- Almost every dish on the menu has a story for how it came to be what it is. Just ask!
- Mike's ingenuity as a chef is clear in his belief and concept of first finding a food ingredient he can craft into a unique dish vice a fixed dish that then ingredients to be found to make it work.
- Mike is able to make any menu item custom for any customer. Gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, paleo, you name it, he can make it work for you.
- This is an IDEAL place for a date night!
WORDS OF WISDOM:
Mother nature is truly the best chef, better than any human can be. She always has been. A good chef should not try and steer the car with foods but rather act as a navigator to what mother natures course of action is with the foods she provides in their purest possible form." -Mike Almos
"What we really do here is to allow people to serve other people. In between this process, there is food and drink being exchanged yes, be we never ever forget the first part of our purpose." -Mike Almos
"There is no magic sauce, preparation method, secret recipe, or technique to making a good food taste good. Real food, fresh, wholesome, organic food already taste good. A chef's job is only to amplify, bolster and pair these great tasting real food ingredients to make them work together to taste even better or to bring about flavors and textures that allow the foods authenticity to be experienced by the consumer." -Mike Almos
These 3 lines (of many) Mike dropped on me during my near 2-hour amazing stay and debut visit to Circa. Heavy stuff yes! I was schooled in local sourcing, organic foods, natural cooking methods, the importance of using only the best ingredients in every dish, using what's in season......on top of getting to try some amazing food! A welcome education and insight to how great food is being made by a local restaurant and culinary mastermind. It's for this reason I ever started a blog (Circa March 2016) lol see what I did there.....
MY FINAL THOUGHTS:
This place has the feel of a true family unit to it. Unlike I have seen almost anywhere else in town to be honest. Its a small joint, like 40 people max inside and maybe 6-8 outside. But because of this, it has a feel of a big family living room (with a bar). Intimate, casual, calm, welcoming. Its smaller size fits its intent and purpose to relate and integrate with the customers. Mike has no problems with this relating thing! Besides allowing me to feel like an old friend within minutes of sitting down, he must have spoken to every single person at the bar, gave hugs and handshakes to all the table seated guest and seemed to know everyone's first name. Not only that but Jason, my server and the primary floor server also knew everyone just the same! Talk about a family feel! If the term hidden gem ever had to be appropriately used to describe a venue I have been to then this is it. Truely tucked back on a corner block off he beaten path of Texas St and El Cajon Blvd in the very corner of University Heights, its easy to miss this place. Even I as a food blogger and 4 year resident of this city had only casually ever heard of Circa let alone know where it was. That's changed now! Amazing food that allows one to see what real food was meant to taste like, portions that are just right to hit the spot, prices worth every penny, and a staff that functions like a family. Yep.....A Better Bite is what you can expect here in the truest sense of the term.
HOW TO REACH THEM: