Since moving to San Diego, Avenue 5 is quickly becoming one of my favorite restaurants. I’ve been there a couple of times for lunch and dinner, as well as their incredibly priced happy hour (with a bar menu with $2 off, you really can’t beat it).
Upon entrance, the restaurant seems very cold and hip, mainly due to the austere and dramatic decor, but guests are greeted quickly with so much friendliness that it’s easy to relax. The servers and bartenders are genial while still keeping a professional level of service. I’ve never wondered after a refill that never arrived, nor have I ever felt like I was being schmoozed for a tip’s sake.
On my first visit, I ordered a salad with toasted goat cheese, as I feel that often a restaurant’s salad is a good representation of its food in general. The salad was a fresh mix of greens (no iceberg), typical salad vegetables, and the most wonderful, creamy goat cheese toasted to a perfect skin of bread crumb and butter bliss.
In subsequent visits, I’ve ordered the duck, steak, and hamburger; all have been perfectly cooked and seasoned. The duck was a confit; moist and tender without coming off greasy. The steak was wonderful, and came with crispy, mealy fries seasoned with truffle oil — unexpected and magnificent.
The bar menu is a great, inexpensive option during happy hour (5-8 M-F), serving a burger and other sandwich and appetizer plates along with discounted drinks. The food and service, even during this discount meal, is superb.
Avenue 5, while a bit more expensive than some of its neighbors in Banker’s Hill, is worth the extra money. It is a great special occasion place, and the friendly atmosphere is a welcome extra with the extraordinary food.