Pacific Beach can be a tough part of town for restaurants. With the beauty of the ocean, and the frequent population turnover, it can be hard to find a restaurant that’s really focused on making an impression. If you want to find a cheap hangover burrito, or are a devotee of The Broken Yolk, then you’re in good shape. But if you want to find somewhere with food to write home about and a low-key vibe? Tough.
Well, no more. The Patio on Lamont is cleaning up in awards and notices, and for very good reason. Executive Chef John Medall has put together a menu which embraces the California vibes, but focuses on clean, handmade food that appeals to a wide variety of tastes. Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free? He has you covered. Dishes range from indulgent (shrimp and grits, house made cinnamon rolls) to guiltless (sweet watermelon salad, seriously flavorful veggie wrap).
Open from breakfast to pre-club drinks, The Patio has something for everyone. Every menu–breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, dessert, drinks–caters to a range of tastes. There are small plates, even at breakfast, for light eaters or a group that likes to share. And there is always something new on offer, from the daily muffin to the more expected daily soup and special. Even the family dog gets a little something special. Not only can you bring your dog to The Patio, but they will bring a water bowl and a house baked dog treat, just to make sure everyone feels equally at home.
For anyone who remembers the old Lamont Street Grill (now reincarnated as a catering company), it’s easy to recognize the bones of the old place. The converted house which once held the local neighborhood bistro is still there, but with front walls removed to let in light and expand the frame. The Patio is, well, largely patio. Taking advantage of the city’s glorious weather, they’ve opened up what used to be a small and too-often dark space with glass front and massive wood patios, letting in the sun’s warmth but keeping it surrounded with greenery for an intimate feel and enough shade to avoid sun overdose. Structurally, it’s the best of both worlds.
The staff is friendly and attentive, though busy due to the place’s popularity. A number of items are made fresh to order and can take a little while–particularly baked items like a cinnamon roll or fresh bread. But, with a large variety of specialty cocktails and other beverages, it’s easy to settle in and relax while waiting for some delicious food to emerge from the kitchen.
There are a dozen reasons to come out to The Patio, if it’s not already on your favorites list. Don’t want to hassle with street parking in the always-crowded beach area? They even offer valet service, just to insure nobody has a reason to stay away. Have a large party or special occasion? They take reservations and can offer everything from a casual lunch to a fully coursed meal full of delicious specialty items. Need to bring the dog at the last minute? There’s plenty of room for a dozen dogs to enjoy the place, without having to be too close for comfort. Really, there’s no reason not to go.
The Patio on Lamont
- 4445 Lamont Street
- San Diego, Ca 92109
- Open daily from 9 a.m.-midnight (kitchen closes at 11)
- Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour and drinks
- Price $10-30 per person, depending on time of day and beverages