One word for this restaurant- exquisite.
Far and away the best restaurant we have visited in San Diego. The views, tea service, the Martinis and of course most of all the food, what a perfect way to spend our first year wedding anniversary.
Before heading to Island Prime we had read a few reviews, all excellent except a very few who felt they had been treated like second class citizens, made to wait whilst VIPS were treated ahead of them. Whilst I abhor this behavior in any restaurant we already had our reservation and so hoped that by dressing up, acting the part and letting them know it was our anniversary we would be treated well. Whether that made a difference I don't know, all I do know is we were treated incredibly well (with the slight exception of the bartender who was a little on the rude and brusk side).
We had been under the impression that we would have to wait a little while for a seat with a view, but we were fortunate enough to be seated within a couple of minutes- it was not perhaps the most perfect view in the house, but it was stunning all the same, especially once the sun went down and the city was lit up in all its glory.
Our waiter, as I have said, was very courteous, and hearing my wife was vegetarian immediately bustled off to the kitchens to see what they could create for her. Her was even happy to entertain her suggestion of a permanent vegetarian option on the menu and promised to pass it right along.
We sat with our heavenly martinis for a while until our appertizers arrived. For me this was perhaps the only disappointment of the evening. I received 5 shrimp, with a very nice dipping sauce it is true, but cold shrimp have never been too much to my taste regardless of the caliber. Hoping they were at least served atop something interesting I was disappointed to find it only ice. My wife on the other hand had a sumptuous souffle of cheese, truffles served alongside figs. I tried a little and it really did melt in the mouth quite wonderful- my wife felt it the best thing she had ever tasted- until she took her first mouthful of the entree that is!
For my own entree I took the advice of our waiter- a prime filet mignon with wild mushroom butter, served with a side of goats cheese gratin. It was just perfection itself, the meat cooked exactly how I would dream, the butter with just a wonderfully slight taste of mushroom and the gratin decadence itself. My wife was equally fortunate, the kitchen having cooked up for her a wild mushroom rissoto which was soft, smooth incredibly flavorful and very attractively presented.
It being our anniversary we finished off the night with a wonderful complimentary dessert. It was a refreshing change not to have a dessert menu thrust upon you after having gorged your way through appertizer and entree, but instead to be presented with something light, fragrant and very delicious.
Island prime lived up to its stunning reputation, however the size of the check and the problem with all other restaurants comparing universally unfavorable must leave it to be only for the most special of occasions- like first year wedding anniversaries.