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The Glass Door

The Glass Door has the distinction of being part of Little Italy and not at the same time. Located one block east of India Street with its row of restaurant after restaurant, The Glass Door towers above the rest with a fourth story vantage point in the Porto Vista Hotel. A short block off the beaten path but well worth seeking out.

Simply head through the hotel lobby, punch “4” in the elevator and ascend to the expansive vista that surrounds The Glass Door. As the elevator opens you are literally inside the venue. The ambience is both inviting yet sparse. There clearly was limited space to work with when creating the restaurant. It is one long room, a narrow outside patio divided by, well, “glass doors’. It is an odd sensation to walk into (where is the other half?) but let your senses adjust and just fall into its’ comfort.

A full, masterly bar takes up a big chunk of the restaurants interior with its floor to ceiling wooden shelves. You want a cocktail; they can take care of you. Great Sunset Happy Hours daily from 3-7pm (yes, that’s right it starts at 3pm in case you want to slip out of work a little early) with $4 drink specials.

Striking aspects of The Glass Door are the incredible lamps hanging from the ceiling. Moroccan handmade lanterns dangle at varying heights along the restaurant’s ceiling. Beautiful and truly pieces of art with stained glass characteristics. Towards the back of the venue, a long red lounge-couch is inviting for large parties. Closely aligned tables make up the remainder of the interior. The outside patio, while very slender, is to die for. Great location, great view and with the usual San Diego sunny weather, very comfortable.

The self described “New American Cuisine” is the work of renowned Chef Rob Conaway. In all honesty everything we have tried at The Glass Door has been spot on perfect. A must appetizer are their magnificent Crab Cakes (fresh Dungeness crabs, Japanese panko breadcrumbs and meyer lemon aioli served with mixed greens, $10). Without a doubt, these are some of the best in town, especially as seafood restaurants abound.

Our entrees were two bountiful classics, the Roasted Pork (slow roasted pork, organic apple butter and juicai onion soubise served with French levain, $10) totally the definition of sweet and savory. The pork melted on the taste buds and the apple butter blended with the meat to create a delightful sandwich. Not to be outdone, the ½ lb Waygu Burger (Blue cheese, grilled onions, bacon, avocado, $12) is one mighty looking burger with a brilliant, robust flavor. The kind you take a bite and the juices just coat your chin. Add the delightful Pomme Fries (hand cut kennebuck potatoes, black truffle dust and organic sea salt) and the description of “burger and fries” hits an all new level.

Anyone we know who has visited The Glass Door have been swept away by how well the food, vibe and relaxed atmosphere meld. The Glass Door will delight you, satiate your culinary hunger pangs and allow you to feast upon one killer view. Our recommendation is to leave kiddies at home for this one. Enjoy!

The good – Amazing view

The bad – It’s a little bit of a narrow room and outside patio, making bumping into each other a matter-of-fact

Details »
  • City: san diego
  • Phone: 619-544-0164
  • Name: The Glass Door
  • Address: 1835 Columbia Street