I’ve been seeing friends post photos from stirmarket ever since it opened. The fact that Jet Tila is part owner is also a major incentive to visit — Jet is the host of SoCal Restaurant Show, which I appear from time to time to talk about San Diego restaurants.
It is essentially a market with a cafe attached to it. There are more and more of these styles of establishments cropping up — something that’s been prevalent in Europe for quite some time now. Browse in the market before sitting down to a quality meal that’s fresh, clean, and delicious.
We start with some drinks — try the Arnold Palmer or their agua fresca of the day. We try the watermelon lemonade — so refreshing and tasty.
The menu is simple and you’ll find different foods available during different times of the day. For instance, should you visit early, you will find simple breakfast items such as California Avocado Toast ($5.95) with luscious, creamy sliced avocados topped with Japanese togarashi seasoning, citrus zest and sea salt.
Or, if you’re looking for something sweet, there is Seasonal Fruit & Ricotta Toast ($5.95). On this visit, they are featuring sliced strawberries with ricotta, lavender honey, as well as several lavender flowers. Beautiful and tasty at the same time.
Vegetarians will love The Fairfax Veg Flatbread ($12.95). I’m not vegetarian and I ravished this flatbread schmeared with edamame hummus, and topped with quinoa chickpea croquettes — reminiscent of falafels. Feta, mint and dried parsley complete this combination.
Daily specials are offered as well and on this day, it is Lamb Pita ($12.95), stuffed with fragrant rotisserie lamb, green chickpea hummus, cucumber, tomato, onion salad and yogurt dill sauce.
If you happen to be there during the week when their “stocking hour” happens (5pm to 6.30pm) you can grab a bite and/or a drink at happy hour prices. Porchetta Chili Cheese Fries ($6) require no explanation. Just put it in your mouth and sigh with satisfaction.
However, my heart is set on Stirmarket Porchetta ($15.95). I have this obsession with finding the best porchetta after tasting the most delicious porchetta in Brooklyn, New York. Here, you can opt for the porchetta in a sandwich or on a plate. I chose the latter. The plate is ample to say the least, with two generous rounds of pork with crispy skin seasoned with fennel, rosemary, garlic, lavender and lemon zest. Roasted seasonal vegetables such as carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes accompany. The salsa verde served in the ramekin is amazing and trust me, you will want more.
Same goes for the Provencal Roast Chicken which is available in a Sandwich ($11.95) or as a plate. The juiciest chicken is stuffed into a country baguette with watercress, dill havarti, onion jam and aioli. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just get the chicken sans bread roll.
Jet, if you’re reading, bring this to OC so I may get my porchetta fix easily and quickly! Being stuck in traffic driving up to LA is a drag.