8 Reasons To Try Our Chef's Tasting Menu

8-Course Chef's Tasting Menu at California Modern

A memorable meal captures a time and place like nothing else. Our ever-changing tasting menu is an exciting, surprisingly intimate way to make any occasion special. We asked Calfornia Modern general manager Matt Strickler, our new chef de cuisine Michael Kahikina and our California Modern culinary team to share what makes the Chef’s Tasting Menu at California Modern one of the most unique dining experiences in San Diego.

California Modern 8-Course Tasting Menu

  1. Hunger:  Hunger is our most primal urge. Sitting in a great restaurant awaiting the arrival of food is one of those great anticipatory experiences in life. Satiating this most basic desire is, after all, what a restaurant is all about.  And doing so within the context of a chef’s best efforts elevates it into the realm of transcendence. 
  2. Curiosity:  With each small plate, none of which are announced prior to arrival, your curiosity is definitely a driving force in this experience. An array of flavors, colors, and textures, along with exotic ingredients and preparations, is sure to keep interests piqued and curiosity engaged.
  3. Reputation:  A chef and his culinary reputation are forever entwined. The tasting menu is our chef’s best expression of what he is about as an artist of flavor. A series of small plates crafted as a tour through his tastes, his insight, and his psyche. His reputation is on full display. Your journey will end with a much better understanding of who he is and what he is about.
  4. Intimacy: This meal is designed to be a shared experience. Your entire table is encouraged to participate. The anticipation, surprises and reactions are a conversation that illuminates each plate and creates a sense of connection. It reinforces why we dine together. Each unique perspective is etched into the memory of the meal.
  5. Kaleidoscope of Experience:  The length, depth and breadth of flavors from the first course to the last are truly remarkable. Light and bright to rich and savory, finished with two different dessert courses, the variation within the culinary experience is phenomenal. Beverage pairings, if desired, bring thirst into the fold of flavor pairings: texture, acid, and tannin, all of the mystical qualities of wine dancing about the palate with food, and complementing and contrasting the flavors on the plate – an ancient marriage as relevant now as ever. 
  6. Seasonal Variation:  The accumulation of ingredients, the gathering of seasonal herbs, fruits, vegetables, and proteins keeps the tasting menu in a state of constant flux. Each time you buy the ticket, you take the ride down a different seasonal path—always new and unexpected.
  7. Letting Go:  In this post-modern, anxiety-ridden world, it is not often that we willingly hand over the reins of experience and let someone else dictate what will happen over the span of a two-plus-hour dining experience. Letting go of choices and allowing someone else to lay out a map for dining can make for a very liberating evening.
  8. Celebration:  Birthdays, anniversaries and other commemorative dates are perhaps the best reason to sit down and indulge, to walk down a thrilling path of flavors that one does not see on a daily basis. Other times, the experience of sharing a memorable meal can be a special occasion in and of itself.

Whether your impulse involves satiating a primal hunger, investigating a chef’s reputation, seeking seasonal inspiration, or letting go of the element of control, California Modern's Chef’s Tasting Menu is an experience your party will not soon forget.  

California Modern is Temporarily Closed

In the meantime, join us for lunch and dinner on our Ocean Terrace.