795 J Street
San Diego, CA 92101
Serving Lunch & Dinner Daily
**Great place for a Business Lunch**
Happy Hour Specials *
Close to Petco- Post-game retreat!
Flat Screen TVs
Reasonably-Priced Fare: $4-$18
British/European Style Gastro Pub
Sat and Sunday: Bloody Mary’s served in 20 oz glasses all day
NEW menu coming out sometime this June
Mon-Sunday Hours: 11-2 (lunch), 2-4 (appetizers), 4-10 (dinner)
**AMAZING ROOF DECK WITH VIEW OF BALL PARK**
Despite the fact that I live in East Village, and knew exactly where it was by daylight, by nightfall, Proper Gastro Pub was a bit difficult to find. But once finding the little opening in the steel fencing, adjacent to Bulthaup, that blockades Petco Park by night, and cruising down an ill-lighted pathway, you come to find Proper Gastro Pub and its partner in crime, Wine Steals.
But despite its somewhat hidden locale, and only in its second week of being open, Proper Gastro Pub was packed at 8:30 pm on a Tuesday night: A crowd formed around the bar, deeply entrenched in the bartender’s booming charisma, while booths that faced the windows looking out, were cozily filled.
We were sat at a high bar table which was actually more private and comfortable than you would guess. The waitress came almost immediately to greet us, which isn’t typical in neither crowded bars nor within a restaurant’s first month of being open.
Proper has an amazing selection of craft beers, including Dog Fish Head 90 minute IPA, Stone Cali Begique, and even Maui Coconut, which is pretty difficult to get outside of, well, Maui… The wine list- the pricing; is incredible. Why buy a glass when you can get the whole bottle for just $20 bucks? Cheers!
Aside from having a full bar, their cocktail selection boosts an eclectic mix of re-imagined classic European & American cocktails, including the Florodora: Made with Plymouth Gin, Raspberry & Lime Juice, and Ginger Beer. The Proposal, made with Makers Mark, Canton, Sake, Sweet Vermouth, Peychaud’s orange bitters, is actually an award-winning cocktail invented by Proper’s own Chris Whiney.
We started with the Curry and Chips: Piping hot potato wedge bits lightly seasoned with a bit of sea salt, were served alongside a curry dipping sauce that was flavorful, but not to a point of Curry powder overkill.
The Chimay Mussels and Chips, which is one of the four Mussel preparations Proper offers, with fennel and leeks poached in a creamy Chimay white topped with a bacon foam, were served in two separate, very small bowls, both overfull. I’m used to a presentation in a larger, deep bowl filled generously with broth, so as to let the Mussels have a nice little soak before devouring. However, the small bowl was a bit of a turn off as it was hard to maneuver the little guys around in a dainty, polite manner. And, came with a very small amount of broth. There were far too many french fries for how few mussels there were. Call me nit-picky but personally, I’m more of “sop up the goodness with a nice piece of grilled bread” kind of epicurean. And the bacon foam was not noticeable. At all.
The Roasted Pork Loin was decadent and delicious: Pan-roasted Pork Loin was tender and cooked, with just a little tickle of pink in the middle, was laid atop perfectly cooked mushrooms and brussel sprouts, and apple over a white bean puree with a pork reduction. Although its richness would prevent most from devouring the whole concoction, the flavors were developed and were paired nicely to make for an overall very pleasing entree.
For dessert we had the Caramel Apple Breading Pudding topped sparsely with house made caramel sauce: We were sure when it arrived at our table it was going to be dry and unsatisfying. NOT SO. The dessert was moist and topped with a chewy caramel-y pecan coating which was tricky on the teeth but divine. The flavor of the vanilla bean very much stood out and it was a very welcomed treat. I would have quite fancied a scoop of cold ice cream to offset the heat from the pudding, and to perhaps soak up some more delicious flavor from a more generous serving of that house made caramel, but as is… I was content.
Overall, the service was excellent, the prices were extremely fair (Thank God), there were some plating issues in my opinion, but I will certainly be back again; especially for the Black & Tan- Proper’s Signature macaroni & cheese featuring Harp Lager, Guinness Stout with smoked cheddar, Gruyere, roasted garlic, grilled onion, lardons (a fancy name for bacon) and tomatoes. It’s sounds so good, I almost feel naughty writing it.
My absolute favorite aspect of Proper Gastro Pub is their FABULOUS roof deck: Overlooking Petco Park, decked out with sleek patio furniture and a nice, large, and fully-stocked bar, this will be the perfect place to find refuge during game season, or even to just enjoy a lovely sunset dinner, right as the park’s lights illuminate the sky by nightfall. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.
The downstairs Proper Gastro Pub is connected to Wine Steals, where patrons can go back and forth to either side, to enjoy either the full bar and gastro-pub style food, or to the Wine Steals side to enjoy their renowned awesome Pizzas and cheese boards and a glass of reasonably-priced vino. A neat idea, sure to attract a plethora of baseball fans given its’ close proximity to Petco Park and a somewhat diverse selection of upscale post-game fare.
The bar will certainly appeal to sports fans as the place is filled a plenty with flat screen televisions and even a large projected screen to catch the action I guess slightly bigger than you would normally.
Happy Hour Specials!**
TWO Happy Hours! 4-7pm; 10pm-close -7 Days a week!
1/2 off Appetizers, 1/2 off Cocktails, $2 off draft beer, wine and liquor 1/2 off (does not include specialty drinks)
Happy hour offered: 2 hours prior to home games, 4-7 p.m. all week, 10-close (1 am)