Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Field, San Diego

The Field
Irish pub in San Diego's Gaslamp district

The Irish pub near our house, in downtown Mountain View, has terrific food, and has perhaps spoiled our expectations for all other Irish pubs. After all, the point of going to an Irish pub is mainly to drink Guinness. That didn't stop us from trying out The Field, on Fifth Street in San Diego's Gaslamp district, during this year's Comic-Con.

Raucous music? Check. (It's live every night except the one we chose, it seems.) Wooden construction and crowded tables? Check. Guinness? Check. Friendly, Irish-accented waitstaff? Check. The Field has everything you could want in an Irish pub, in addition to which the menu offers a tantalizing-sounding dish called the boxty, essentially a wrap made with a potato pancake instead of a tortilla.

As with any pub, the appetizers were great. Though this pub doesn't have the curry chicken we love at our regular pub, it does offer curry fries, and if you like curry, you should order a double portion, because these will disappear fast. The potato skins and onion rings were good, crispy and hot, as were the regular fries, but the curry fries were something special.

Alas, not so the main dishes. We split a chicken sage boxty, and while the potato pancake was good, the chicken was sadly bland, the sage almost entirely unnoticeable. The dishes our friends got (a Guinness beef stew and the fish and chips) were similarly described as "good, but not great." If they would just put some of that curry sauce into the chicken boxty, I think they'd have a real hit on their hands. We can't fault the size of the portions, nor the service--the staff were terrific, comping us a meal after spilling beer on our friend (pictured above in his stylish "LOL Trekkies" shirt) and being attentive throughout the meal. And the atmosphere and Guinness were top-notch. If you're going to The Field, our recommendation is to order a couple helpings of curry fries and some drinks, and while away a pleasant couple of hours in a very Irish atmosphere. But for dinner, there are too many great places in the Gaslamp for us to go back here.

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