I visited Chaplos the last time I was in San Diego. My friend Alexis and I had a lovely dinner at this relatively new restaurant with an incredible speakeasy-style interior in mostly blacks and whites.
I chose a table by the window for best lighting this early evening. We started with a couple of cocktails, specialties of the house but inspired by different American cities where the cocktails’ inspiration came from.
The Hillcrest ($9) immediately caught my eye. Consisting of Hornitos tequila, lime juice, spicy blackberry coulis and grapefruit juice, it was refreshing and so easy to drink.
Alexis chose The Gaslamp Quarter ($11) Knob Creek Bourbon, Amaretto, and Benedictine. Surprisingly I liked this as well. I’m not normally a bourbon fan, but it was so well-crafted I thought the cocktail didn’t have that harsh taste I never quite enjoyed with bourbon.
Some Empanadas ($9) were great to go with our cocktails. Stuffed with grilled corn, spinach, cheese and mushrooms, they were gooey on the inside and beautifully crispy on the outside. The accompanying chimichurri sauce worked very well with them.
Grilled Eggplant with Prosciutto Pears Arugula and Blue Cheese ($9) were okay. Grilled eggplant, prosciutto, salt crusted baked bosc pear, arugula, blue cheese, extra virgin olive oil on a warm flatbread looked really pretty. The toppings worked well together to create nice flavors, but the flatbread was a bit doughy.
The Chicken ($22) consisted of a small Jidori chicken breast sitting in a delicious spicy tomato sauce served with seasonal veggies and grilled polenta. The chicken was moist and accoutrements were great, but my only complaint with the price point of this dish for the portion size.
I’m a huge fan of lamb and Lamb Chops ($18) were three lamb chops drizzled in a balsamic mint reduction served with seasonal veggies and chips with pesto seasonings. Absolutely loved this dish and wouldn’t hesitate to order this again!
For someone who doesn’t give sweets a second thought, the two we had here were pretty damn good. Both had components I love in any dish — a good marriage of textures and flavors.
Apple Cobbler consisted of soft apples on the bottom and a nice crunchy topping above it. The soft apple pieces, together with the crispy bits made for a very enjoyable eating experience. What made it even better was the burst of hot cobbler with cold ice cream to create a really cool contrast in my mouth.
The same goes for the Chocolate Lava Cake which was served in a jar — hot and gooey on the bottom topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We polished both desserts off in no time.
We were told that during their brunches on the weekends, a spiked milkshake is on the menu and I desperately wanted to try it. When I told the mixologist I lived in Orange County and wouldn’t be able to come back that weekend to try it, she was so amazing and made us one to try. Oh my god! This was one of THE best adult beverages I’ve ever had. It tasted like a mint vanilla milkshake with hints of chocolate. Heaven!
If you’re ever down in San Diego, I highly recommend a visit to Chaplos. Great ambiance for drinks and nibbles, or a night out for a special dinner. Regardless of what the reason, definitely order some cocktails! They are so worth it.
925 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101