I have a secret. It’s Confidential.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 18:23 —by Eddie Phanichkul
This item was posted in Food, Restaurants in San Diego category and has 1 Comment so far.

I have a secret. It’s Confidential.

It’s a place, not well known yet, but its location isn’t as inconspicuous as the name. On the corner of Fourth Avenue and E Street in downtown San Diego, and across from Horton Plaza, you’ll find Confidential. You enter from the corner–a modest entry way with corner pillar directly in front–a slight obstruction in front of the door that may seem a little awkward at first, but it’s really not that bad.

When you first look at the place, you might notice the beautiful upstairs lounge lined with a glass railing, or the solid looking bar down below. There are very solid-colored tables and chairs in a uniform pattern in the restaurant with low loungey, square couches on the left. What might also draw your eye is their giant screen which a video projection unit is charged at displaying fun images. It comes complete with modern decor and mood lighting directly above the dining area in the form of fancy, giant balls of light–the kind you might find at Ikea. It almost looks like your typical, hip, late twenties hang out with a brick-lined interior. In fact, they bill themselves as a social dining experience in a restaurant/loft. I like it.

Even the servers are beautiful. Women wear the latest in San Diego fashion: a uniform top colored in a light mocha, with dark brown boots that cover the ladies’ navy blue jeans. The men also wear form-fitting buttoned shirts that match the decor’s solid, earth tones. Solid.

Walking in may impress you, but there’s more in store for the casual patron–particularly when they dine.

As I entered and swooped up a table with some friends, I looked around and had a feeling that Confidential was a special place and the event I was at would be quite the memorable occasion–a fine experience for the Yelp Elite and their guests. I had seen it from afar and heard about it from friends, but I had never had the chance to visit. Maybe it was because from outside, it looked too expensive, or too posh for my taste. Looks are deceiving because the price is quite average for downtown and it feels just a little hipper than the gentrified North Park. Yes, it’s posh, but it does not feel like I don’t belong–the case you’ll find with places like Ivy and Hard Rock’s Moonstone lounge.

A beautiful blond server with her hair up walks up to me with a platter of┬áLemon Grass Marinated Chicken Skewers. Just like any other event that serves free tapas, I’ll take it. The food was quite good–very tasty. Not long after a man came with a spoon full of Mac & Cheese. It wasn’t until I was fortunate enough to be next to the kitchen door that I saw a plate of Beef Tenderloin come out. I quickly grabbed a few, tipped the man, and went on my way to share with my friends. The beef tenderloin was amazing and practically melted in my mouth. The flavor was awesome and savory.

It’s no surprise that the food is good. At the helm in the kitchen is executive chef Richard Sweeny, a food service veteran and amazing human being who makes delicious food. His talents were recently on display on Bravo’s Top Chef. Compliments are definitely in order for this man and his staff.

For dessert, I had s’mores. It was a very unlikely treat for a downtown joint that brought the feeling of friendship and fun back to the dining experience. The marshmallows also came on platters, lightly toasted over a graham cracker wafer and a sliver of milk chocolate. “Who does that?” I thought. Confidential does.

After the event we moved out to the patio and stayed behind to have a bottle of wine while the majority of the guests left. What better way is there to finish the evening than with a glass of red with friends? The server didn’t seem to mind.

In the end, the waiter dropped off the bill in a miniature manila envelope, similar to the kind used to courier legal documents. I remarked that Confidential impressed me once again and then we were on our way–only to wonder who we would share our secret with next.

Website: http://www.confidentialsd.com
901 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 696-8888

View from the loft

View from the loft

The ladies of Confidential

The ladies of Confidential

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One Response to “I have a secret. It’s Confidential.”

  1. San Diego French Restaurant said on Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 18:03

    This place sounds awesome! I love San Diego restaurants and other city “secrets” that are tucked away but are really awesome places. I have been looking for a cool place to go other than the normal fare so thanks for the info. Great blog, I will have to return!

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