One of the best kept secrets in San Diego is The Glass Door restaurant located on the fourth-floor of the Porto Vista Hotel in Little Italy. The restaurant boast modest prices and has one of the more pristine views of the San Diego Bay minus the tourist trap feeling you would have in other establishments with a similar view.
Recently a friend and I were invited to meet with Executive Chef Robert Conaway and sous chef Jesus Castillo. I have been a fan of Chef Conaway for many years and have made it a point to follow his career from Thailand where he received his masters from the Royal Thai Academy, to properties in San Diego and as far away as Dubai. My goal was to examine the brunch and dinner menu at the famed hotel.
Of the many reasons I love the restaurant is the ample outdoor patio seating with high top chairs. The patio is a perfect spot to relax, soak up a few rays while sipping a endless mimosa during the weekend brunch or libation of choice at happy hour.
In my opinion brunch is the perfect meal of the day, meaning you get to sleep in and can mix savory and sweet with no judgments. The Egg Whites & Quinoa Salad made with scrambled egg whites, spinach, tomato, goat cheese, and a tabouli-style Quinoa salad with toast was excellent.
It is with rare exception that I can honestly say that the most delicious brunch menu item also happens to be the healthiest. The Eggs Benedict with potatoes is very traditional in taste and presentation, however it won’t disappoint.
On the sweeter side, the Flambé French Toast made with banana, walnut, vanilla whipped cream and house-made sauce is very decadent. This is a very rich plate that I suggest you share with friend. The Porcina + Spice half pound burger with bacon, apple chutney and green onion aioli is one of the best burgers in San Diego. The bun is quite thick, and you may wish to ask for an alternative choice of breads.
At dinner time the restaurant makes a complete transformation from bright and airy to romantic and sexy. The assortment of Moroccan lamps adds an exotic touch to the Glass Door decor.
I highly recommend two of the starters that can also be considered small dinner Plates the chickpea (falafel) cakes, spiced tomato jam, minted tomato salad, cucumber tzatziki or the Big Board – Artisan Cheese and Charcuterie, house accompaniments, “cured meats” from the Meat menu, house-made hummus, parsley salad, cheeses from Venissimo.
Foe the big plates the Scottish salmon with fresh asparagus and onions, fondant potato, bernaise sauce was presented well, the fish was moist and cooked perfect to order. My favorite entrée was the Lamb Sirloin with almond curry carrots, fingerling potatoes and cherry date chutney sauce. Not to forget the vegetarian house made Pasta, seasonal vegetables grilled and a vegetable chevre once again well presented and very filling.
Glass Door at the Porto Vista Hotel
1835 Columbia Street
San Diego, CA 92101