Table No. 10 is Where You Should Eat Tonight | East Village Corner Elevates Itself To One of City's Best

August 29, 2014

San Diego's East Village is quickly becoming one of the premier dining destinations in the city, and Table No. 10 may just be the best in show. Heck, based upon our experience, it's one of the top spots in all of America's Finest City. Embracing the historic industrial charm of the area with an exciting bi-level design and complementing the ambiance with elevated culinary techniques and artful presentation, the eatery is as approachable as fine dining can get, offering elegant and beautifully prepared dishes that don't come with a side of pretense.

The 1919 Carnation Milk Factory building at the corner of 10th and J Street recently transitioned from an upscale burger bar, The Corner, to what is now Table No. 10. The Corner's owner Cooper McLaughlin knew he had a winning location in the burgeoning East Village but also realized that the gourmet burger bubble was busting at the seams, so he partnered with Chef Jason Gethin (formerly of Union Kitchen and Tap), revamped his 2-tier space and constructed a seasonal, shareable food menu as well as a focused craft cocktail and bar program. The resulting Table No. 10 is an eclectic space, offering a 2nd level lounge and dining area in a lofty, airy atmosphere, as well as an intimate, first floor, open-kitchen dining room featuring the restaurant's namesake chef's table for 10. 

Despite appealing and unique cocktail offerings that use house made tonics and sodas, as well as a diverse array of ingredients like liquid nitrogen and duck fat, we stuck to our guns and ordered two Sculpin IPAs to start...because, well, we drink beer. We were informed by our almost overly-attentive server that the menu was designed to encourage sharing, so we proceeded ordering with this in mind.

From the small plates, we began with the torched hamachi ($16), served with house-made sriracha, bonito broth, shaved radish and a shiso-yuzu 'caviar'. The dish was light and playful, a perfect mix of sweetness and spice to start the meal.
One menu item that immediately struck us as a star was the scallop and pork belly appetizer ($16), served with sunchoke puree, coconut cream and a natural reduction. This amazing dish was certainly one of our best bites of the year - it is worth a trip to Table No. 10 for this dish alone. The scallops were seared and cooked flawlessly and the pork belly was crispy while at the same time super tender. It was a gorgeous and most-flavorful take on bacon wrapped scallops that left the seafood unadulterated by the usually overwhelming flavor of pork. We literally wiped the plate clean. 
From the large plates, we chose Mary’s crispy skin duck breast ($24) with smoked potato, duck reduction and English peas served three ways. Though the protein was a bit undercooked for our liking, we enjoyed the refined flavors and beautiful plating. The purity of the peas and the smokiness of the potatoes really enhanced everything on the plate.
Another dish that will certainly make our list of best bites of 2014 is the Thai red snapper ($26). My mouth watered as our waiter slowly poured Manilla clam broth over the plate in his presentation, and the combination of succulent flavors added by the fish, clams, melted leeks, sea beans and red curry made every bite blissful. We absolutely adored this delicious and comforting dish.
Table No. 10 continued its impressive showing with dessert. The carrot cake ($9) was a work of art, presenting candied walnut streusel, pineapple curd, cream cheese ice cream, coconut lace, ginger-rum soaked raisins and a sweet carrot chip together for a dish that we felt almost guilty for digging into because it looked so darn pretty.
We didn't have that same problem with the doughnut trio ($9) - we eagerly devoured the three different donuts - Tres Leche, chocolate glazed with crystallized mint, and cinnamon sugar with salted caramel and caramelized bacon.
At Table No. 10, everything was as beautiful as it was delicious. Service was on point, everyone was friendly, and we had two of the best dishes we've eaten in ages. If you're looking for a new restaurant to try, make it Table No. 10.

369 10th Ave, East Village
(619) 550-1262

5:30pm to 2am Tuesday through Sunday
Dinner served until 10:00 p.m