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“Tremendous disappointment”

Bleu Boheme Restaurant
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Ranked #405 of 4,869 Restaurants in San Diego
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Kensington
Description: The fundamental idea of Bleu Boheme is to provide its customers with a unique dining alternative, an experience that will fulfill each customer with a sense of well-being and happiness.BRC formula is simple, yet complete with great design, ambiance, comfort, caring employees, great food, and most importantly, a great value to insure each guest happiness and return to Bleu Boheme.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We've been eating at Bleu Boheme since the night they opened. We've brought friends for special occasions, and we've eaten light dinners at the bar many times. Over time, we went less often, because prices climbed, and quality fell. Recently, they blew it completely. They had advertised a special menu for Julia Child's birthday, sounded great. $60 prix-fixe, and we also ordered fairly expensive alcohol. Here's how it went:

Fish soup with red pepper rouille -- tasty, nice. Best dish of the evening.

Moules a la Bernaise -- three mussels sitting in an odd, gelatin-y cream. The chef must have learned a different Bernaise than I did, but regardless, Bernaise does not set like gelatin. Odd but not terrible.

Pissadeliere Nicoise -- a few white anchovies over lightly carmelized onions, sitting on a sheet of pre-made, frozen puff pastry. Zero flavor. Well, that's not entirely true -- there was a tiny dollop of tapenade on top, which was nice. The rest of the dish, the dominant element was fat in the onions and in the puff pastry. Poor.

Lobster Thermidor -- goodness, I had no idea it was even legal to harvest lobster that small. Or that they could be overcooked until they were that rubbery. Overcooked, with a bland drizzle of vague brown mushroom something. Lobster Thermidor is a very dated dish -- you hardly ever see it anymore, but it can be lovely, delicate, rich. This one was blah, and very overcooked, and we sent it back. Terrible.

Fallen chocolate souffle -- more cake-like than I would expect a fallen souffle to be, and frankly, I don't think it ever actually was a souffle, but it was tasty and nicely presented.

Service -- our watiress was waiting on far too many tables -- I think she had the entire room -- and she vanished into the kitchen for very long periods of time. But she was pleasant. The bus boys brought out courses while we were still eating the previous courses, and stood waiting, with the dishes in their hands, for us to finish, Then there was an unexplained 40-minute wait for the main course, which felt very odd after the frantic speed of the previous courses.

No adjustment was made to the bill, despite our sending back the main course. I asked to speak to the manager, and the chef came out. When I told him our concerns, he argued, told us we were wrong, then took a token deduction off the bill. I responded by paying what I thought was an appropriate amount (too much, in retrospect), in cash, and by handing a generous tip directly to the waitress, in cash.

So, a disappointing evening, when we had been looking forward to a very special evening. Poor food, poor service, and an argumentative attitude from the chef/owner, who had lost control over his kitchen, and who was unable to handle the dinner rush.

Bummer. Here's the ultimate insult: I am not a fan of Cohn Restaurants (although I am grateful for the Cohn's civic contributions). Two years ago, at the old Thee Bungalow, they put on a Julia dinner, and my wife persuaded me to go. Their food was much better than that offered last night by Chef Ken Irvine.

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1  Thank pbridge1300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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109 - 113 of 159 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2012

The chef/owner has spent many years in France and his experiences influence the menu. We found the front room too noisy and complained later. He offered us a different, quieter room for future visits.
This place has a bistro ambiance and a bit of funkyness as well. It is warm, cozy and interesting with a serious staff, wanting to please and provide a unique dining experience.

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Thank Jay A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

I tested several times this restaurant, I always liked, It is one of the restaurant or I pass at the time of my voyages to San Diego.
The service is good, I like to eat with the bar.

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Thank Patrick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2012 via mobile

First visit taken during restaurant week.
Plenty of empty tables on a week night, but the hostess had us wait for a table.
Then had a loud talking group of 3 sit at the table next to us. Puzzling when we could have been spaced further apart with all the unused tables.
Dining Room has hard surfaces and was quite loud. The dripping candles on candlestick at each table was a nice romantic touch.
Mussels not as good as other French bistros. the top portion of mussels were dry, as if the broth had drained to the bottom of the pot long before it reached the customer.
Rustic sourdough bread was warm , fresh & quite good.
The moist salmon was excellent on a bed of spinach & a cream sauce with diced tomato.
Save room for dessert. I highly recommend the chocolate mousse with berries.
The waiter did recommend a delicious Chardonnay from France that was oaky & buttery that was not on the menu. Kudos to the waiter.

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Thank PtLomafoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Great mussels and nice wine selection. Pleasant seating outside. Service was good. Good value for the money.

Thank marcos15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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