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The Best Things I Ate This Month: February Main Dish

Duck Liver Mousse @ 1500 Ocean | Fish & Chips @ Spike Africa's | Green Beans @ Spicy City

By Troy Johnson

The Best Things I Ate This Month: February Main Dish

duck liver mousse, fish & chips, green beans

Duck Liver Mousse @ 1500 Ocean

Last October, 1500 Ocean pulled in a hefty new chef in Rob Hohmann, a guy who’s worked under Thomas Keller, Mario Batali and Michael Chiarello. And now he and wine director Ben Kephart (ex-Cucina Urbana) have the place running on their own cylinders. Hohmann’s new menu includes a requiem for foie gras in the duck liver mousse. It’s a stunner, even if the organ taste is heavily muted. The quenelle of food sins (Verjus-steeped organs, mascarpone cheese, crème fraiche) is sprinkled with pebbles of sea salt and set atop cardamom shrapnel and cinnamon-port prune marmalade. Near-illegal pleasure. 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619.522.8818,

Fish & Chips @ Spike Africa’s

Spike Africa is the new joint on the corner of Fourth and Broadway in Downtown—the area that’s booming right now because of the incoming park and promenade where Samy Goody’s used to be. Spike was formed by a few San Diegans with former ties to Rusty Pelican and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It’s a killer little patio spot with a oddly beautiful, awe-striking view of the mangled side of Horton Plaza (progress often looks like the after effecs of a war). At a recent tasting the mahi-mahi fish and chips, battered with Anchor Steam were the best thing we tasted (the nine-spic brick chicken with mushrooms, pickled onion marmalade  and stoneground mustard was very good too). 411 Broadway, Downtown, 619.795.3800,

Green Beans @ Spicy City

Yep. Green beans. Spicy City’s long been one of the best Chinese restaurants in San Diego. Their spicy cumin lamb is excellent. As is their sweet-and-sour sauce. But it’s that simple side of green beans—sautéed in garlic and unicorn dust—that floored our entire table. 4690 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa, 858.278.1818. No website.

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