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San Diego's Top Chef

Food About ten years ago, in the Little Italy part of town, and new chef, and a new restaurant got my attention. Deborah Scott was that chef, and the restaurant was the Indigo Grill. Scott amazed me with her cutting edge cuisine. Her food combined complex amazing flavors, with some of the most artistic presentations in town.

Unfortunately, as so often happens in the highly competitive restaurant business, the Indigo closed after a few months. But you can’t keep a good chef down, and Scott soon joined with the Cohn group of restaurants, and opened Kemo Sabe. Yes, it is the same name Tonto used to call the Lone Ranger, and like the name, Kemo Sabe was quirky, creative, with food and ambiance so enjoyable, it became my choice for the best restaurant of the year.

But Deborah Scott soon grew restless. So much creativity needs an outlet, and for Scott, that meant starting a new restaurant. She found a building near the original Indigo location on India Street, and she opened a whole new Indigo. This time, the Indigo had a Mexican/Alaskan theme, with outrageous artwork, and as usual, incredibly unusual, and unusually good tasting food.

FoodScott’s food mixes a degree of spice, with garlic, citrus, a touch of sour, and as usual, absolutely stunning visual presentations. Outrageous dishes like the whole Scarlet Snapper… a whole fish in a broth of epazote and citrus pibil sauce that’s spicy and excellent. The Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout has an incredible sauce of caramelized orange-pasilla beurre blanc. Even the pork ribs have something called a morita kahlua glaze.. this aint no barbecue sauce, baby, but a delicious, lightly spiced event.

Scott has a new restaurant on the drawing boards, and judging from her past, San Diego can look forward to another exhilarating dining experience, with a deliciously quirky edge.

Kemo Sabe 3958 Fifth Ave. 619-220-6802

Indigo Grill 1536 India St. 619-234-6802

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  • Name: Chef Deborah Scott