There is a saying that "cooking is love made visible." Taking that as truth, we think Chef Anthony Sinsay must really, really love us. The young and exceedingly talented chef has made us some of our most memorable meals to date and always does so with humble passion. From his time at Harney Sushi, to his tenure at Enlightened Hospitality's Burlap, to his short stint at La Villa, we've made it a point to visit him at each of his recent San Diego restaurants. And in tracking his development, we know that Chef Sinsay has a long and triumphant career ahead of him. Now leading the kitchen at the newly opened Duke's La Jolla atop of the picturesque La Jolla Cove, Chef Sinsay is putting his twist on a developed brand and making it his own, elevating its cuisine substantially in the process.
Let's get this out of the way right off the bat. Yes, Duke's is a chain of sorts, owned by a somewhat large restaurant group - TS Restaurants - which also owns nearby beachside eatery Jake's Del Mar. With that said, our Duke's is led by a born-and-raised San Diegan, Chef Anthony Sinsay, who is one of the most talented chefs in town. Now, if you're a longtime follower of SanDiegoVille, you know that Chef Sinsay can do almost no wrong in our book. We absolutely love his food. He was our one and only Chef of the Year, the only year we designated such honor in 2012. We have not been able to award another chef with such a title, because frankly, we haven't found another that has wowed our tastebuds on a consistent basis like Anthony Sinsay has. He set the bar high.
Being that Duke's La Jolla is a corporate restaurant group, Chef Sinsay doesn't have full leeway to implement his own techniques and recipes like he may in a smaller establishment. That being said, he is still THE MAN in the kitchen and seizes the opportunity to incorporate a few of his own dishes and to add his spin on some Duke's classics and mainstays. During our first visit to Duke's, Chef Sinsay took us on a journey through some of his favorite items on the menu that are most reflective of his culinary influence.
he was at the now-defunct La Villa. This dish was fresh, crisp, crunchy, and creamy with an underlying smokey, fire-charred flavor.
Sinsay, in our opinion, is in a league of his own in San Diego. We cannot help but look forward to the day when he is in complete creative control of his own restaurant. Until then, head to Duke's La Jolla to see him work his magic. He'll show you the love, too.
Duke's La Jolla is located at 1216 Prospect Street with unrivaled views of La Jolla Cove. For more information, visit dukeslajolla.com.