@JaynesGastropub has never been better

Above: The Jaynes Burger, with house-pickled red onions, Vermont cheddar, aioli, and frites — a sine qua non on any visit to San Diego for me.

It’s predictable, I know, but I just had to have the Jaynes Burger last night at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego, where I checked in with the folks who are like family to me in the town where I grew up.

The burger’s never been better and the Caesar predictably rocked my world but I was also digging the new grilled Moroccan lamb meatballs with chickpea purée and the Québécoise chips and gravy poutine. Jaynes is simply going through one of those moments of grace that devoted, passionate restaurateurs experience — like an athlete in top form or a virtuoso musician at the zenith of a career. And I love how gourmet “comfort food” knows no international boundaries these days.

Jayne and Jon graciously let Giovanni open three bottlings of his Franciacorta to share with our friends but Jon has so many killer wines on his list right now: Venica & Venica, Movia, Valli Unite (one of my favorite Natural whites from Italy), Musar (red), Foillard Morgon Cuvée Corcelette, Massolino (classic) Barolo… such an amazing (and courageous) list in a town where “Napa Cab” and “old vine” Zinfandel generally prevail.

Thanks again, Jayne and Jon, for an awesome evening…

Giovanni’s been blogging about his Texas-California adventure here btw.

Here’s a photo he snapped yesterday from mamma Judy’s window overlooking the Pacific. The photo’s entitled “Three Shades of La Jolla Blue.”

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