**UPDATE 4/16/15** I can happily say this place is still excellent! We have been here several times since I first posted this review and it is one of my favorites.
Last night Curt, J and I went to Local Tap House & Kitchen in Oceanside. The food, drinks and atmosphere were great and we’ll be going back soon.
Recently opened this spring, Local Tap House is one of several new restaurants bringing the local gourmet foodie movement to North County – thank god! They have lots of beers on tap (hence the name), a full bar, upscale food at a reasonable price AND lots of TVs for watching sports. They also play great music – I heard Billy Idol, Pink and Bad Religion coming over the speakers (negative points for playing REM, but no place is perfect).
I started off with a pomegranate martini and Curt ordered red wine. No, we didn’t drink any of the beers on tap. It’s on the list for next time. My drink was refreshing and not too sweet. It had several pomegranate seeds at the bottom which were juicy and vodka-soaked by the time I ate them.
We ordered the Deep Fried Bread & Butter Pickles as a starter. As you can see by the photos, we devoured them. After picking the lasts bits off of the plate, Curt declared, “Mmmm, I ate your crumbs.” Okaaaaaay. They were served on a light bed of greens with a smear of spicy sauce beneath. It may have had some chipotle in it. There were two other dips. One tasted like dill (almost like tartar sauce) and the other was a spicy habeñero sauce. Shame on me for not remembering the exact description on the menu but I’m still working on this whole “write a review” thing. J loves dill pickles but she wasn’t a fan of these. No problem, more for me!
For our main courses I had scallops, Curt had chicken pot pie (see, I wasn’t lying in my other post when I said it’s his favorite) and J had chicken fritters with fries. The chicken fritters were “nuggets” but not of the golden arches variety. They were whole, white meat chicken, lightly seasoned and screaming hot (temperature). The fries were not hot. Normally this would be a bad thing but when serving a kid, they were the perfect temperature. J loved the chicken and hand-cut fries. It would make a good appetizer for adults.
The chicken pot pie was a generous size and served with a side of sauteed vegetables. Curt didn’t eat the side veggies, but I took them home and just polished them off! They were great left over. I tasted his pot pie and it was very good.
My scallops were served over garlic udon noodles with bacon, peas and mushrooms, and a fried egg. At $17, I thought my dish was extremely cheap for seafood. When I got it, I saw there were two large scallops and that’s when I realized why my dish was not $30. There weren’t a lot of scallops but the twins were delicious. I took some of the noodles home and they made great left overs too.
We wrapped up the meal with deconstructed smores served in a mason jar. While the presentation was beautiful, I don’t think it’s a practical way to serve this dessert, as it was really difficult to dig down to the bottom and get the crushed graham crackers. Luckily we had a clean appetizer plate left on the table so we dumped everything out and were able to dive right in. Salted caramel ice cream, fudgey melty chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers were a sweet ending to a great dinner.
At just over $100 including tax and tip, this was actually a reasonably priced and complete meal for us: 3 adult drinks, 1 kid drink, 1 appetizer, 1 kid’s meal, 2 entrees and dessert.
308 S Coast Hwy