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Avenue 5

Ball Park Fries
©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

Avenue 5 is kind of an odd duck. Off from the bustle of the Gaslamp Quarter or Little Italy the venue is located in a nondescript office building on Fifth Avenue as the name implies. Blink and you’ll miss it. Entering the establishment this peculiar scenario continues with its somewhat sterile interior. A reminder of a trendy New York bistro seems to hit the mark, but a lot more spread out. Everything seems in its place at Avenue 5 but that almost makes it feel somewhat distant. It’s hard to get a sense of any sort of vibe here.

The venue has an industrial look with exposed piping and trac lighting illuminating mostly muted earth tones throughout. You pretty much stumble into the bar on the right which takes up about a fifth of the room and a somewhat confined lounge area. Dining at the bar is popular with ample stools available. Upon entering, the far left wall is an oval shape that balances the otherwise rectangular interior. The kitchen lays behind it, close enough to hear the voices and clamoring without it being visible (although muted glass allows for a shadowy glimpse of what lies beyond). The dining area itself has a more homey feel with household type cabinets cradling the wine, while pictures and a faux fireplace continue to create the illusion of a home. Hardwood floors warm below and interesting parachute looking lamps soar high above the room.

BBQ Pulled Pork
©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

Lunch is what drew our merry band to Avenue 5 and a well thought out menu greeted us with its numerous choices. Pretty much whatever one may be in the mood for is here. Top of the list is the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with its house made BBQ sauce on toasted country French bread. The sandwich was an amazing feat and unlike most restaurant versions doesn’t slip and slide across the bread, making it almost impossible to eat. Avenue 5’s distinctive creation stayed put allowing the eater to enjoy all of its bold flavors with a pronounced mustard tang.

House Burger
©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

The cleverly named “Knuckle” Sandwich is composed of lump crab, Asian slaw, avocado and mango. This is a brilliant dish, full of interesting textures and phenomenal flavors. The House Burger also beckoned served on a seasoned bun with choices of blue, brie or cheddar cheese to accompany the show. Cheddar took front and center this time and the juicy, generous sized burger hit all the right marks. One side order of the Ball Park Fries is enough for a party of three or four with its crispy, onion inspired taste.

The service was spot on at Avenue 5 with every possibility being taken care of. A relaxed dining experience even included proprietor Brian MacLaggen offering use of his parking meter card when we realized ours had run out. Now that is taking great care of your customers!

Daily specials abound like buy-one-get-one wine bottle specials or the Tuesday Tasting menu with five house favorites and reduced prices. Music lulls the crowd on Sunday evenings to liven up the setting. Avenue 5 all said and done is a frank, nicely focused venue that treats its customers with fine food, great service and an enjoyable experience. Enjoy!

The good – all of the sandwiches were spot on

The bad – odd vibe, odd room, can get a little loud with tables talking over each other.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: 619-542-0394
  • Name: Avenue 5
  • Address: 2760 Fifth Avenue #100