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Just A Taste : Highlights Of Other David Nelson Reviews

December 13, 1990

DELMARIO'S, 2010 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 792-1131--Although an offshoot of the adjacent, prestigious and extravagant Remington's, Delmario's takes the opposite approach by offering a generally inexpensive selection of simple, familiar Italian dishes. A lack of innovation pervades the menu, but the homemade chocolate cannoli is excellent. Entrees cost from $4.50 to $12.95. Inexpensive to moderate.

LA BONNE BOUFFEcq, 471 Encinitas Blvd., Encinitas, 436-3081--Bistro cooking is alive and well at this unassuming but attractive, strip center establishment. Dishes feature strong flavors and are generously served, and among best bets are sampler plates of either the charcuterie (excellent pates and cured meats) or the vegetable hors d'oeuvres. The standing menu includes a classic boeuf bourguignon, carefully prepared fresh trout with almonds, chicken in tarragon sauce, sole in lemon butter and rack of lamb highly seasoned with herbs and garlic. Entrees from $12.75 to $21.25. Moderate to Expensive.

DEL MAR BISTRO GARDEN, The Inn L'Auberge Del Mar, 5140 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 259-1515--The attractive dining rooms and garden recapture at least some of the gracious, leisured mood for which hotel restaurants along the California coast once were famous. The menu is considerably more contemporary in tone, and quite attractive; selections include a handsome, spit-roasted Cornish hen, a seafood-stuffed quesadilla , a salad of black beans with grilled Chinese chicken and duck sausage, grilled prawns on creamy polenta and a selection of gelati , or Italian ice creams. Lunch entrees from $5.25 to $11.95. Moderate to expensive.

YAE, 11616 Iberia Place, Rancho Bernardo, 485-0390--Now a decade old, this most formal of the county's Japanese restaurants continues to occasionally update its menu, sometimes with such unexpected house creations as the "staminayaki," a soy sauce-basted variation on the Midwest's bacon-wrapped filet mignon. But the menu primarily holds to tradition with a wide selection of sushi, tempuras and teriyakis, along with such less-familiar offerings as stuffed chicken breast in vegetable sauce, the sukiyaki-like shabu shabu and the "bamboo gozen ," which offers tastes of many of the menu's offerings. Entrees are $10.25 to $24, and higher for advance-ordered kaiseki dinners. Moderate to expensive.

CARMEL MOUNTAIN RANCH COUNTRY CLUB, 14050 Carmel Ridge Rd., Carmel Mountain Ranch, 451-8353--The dining room of this semi-private club is open to the public, but now serves only lunch and Sunday brunch. The room is quite beautiful, and is by no means lessened by the grand view of the surrounding mountains. The relatively brief menu changes daily but offers several seafood and meat choices, a range of meal-sized salads and a pasta or two. The cooking generally seems careful and thoughtful. Entrees from $5.50 to $7.25. Moderate.

VINCENT'S FOUR SEASONS, 731 S. Highway 101, Solana Beach, 481-1141--Vincent Grumel, the peripatetic master chef of duck and potatoes, finally has come to rest at his own establishment. Such duck dishes as slow-simmered confit , roast duck in lime sauce, duck liver mousse and fresh foie gras are specialties. Grumel also makes a dessert of nearly unbelievable richness, the chocolate mousse-hearted bavarois au chocolat . Entrees from $13.00 to $25.00. Expensive.

MANDARIN GARDEN, in Mira Mesa Mall, 8242 Mira Mesa Blvd., 566-4720--Some of the typical dishes of China that have yet to gain a wide popularity in this country join a full range of familiar preparations at this excellent, long-established restaurant. Entrees are priced from $4.45 to $11.95. Moderate.

ANTHONY'S RANCHO BERNARDO, 11666 Avena Place, 451-2070--Reliability rather than innovation characterizes this northernmost outpost of the local Anthony's seafood restaurant chain, although the menu now notes reduced salt, calorie and cholesterol counts in selected items and also mentions variously flavored beurre blanc sauces with some of the fresh fish specials. Moderate.

THE FISH MARKET, 640 Via de la Valle, Solana Beach, 755-2277--This cavernous eatery prides itself on a fishing boat decor and atmosphere, but the chief attraction is a menu that makes a comprehensive study of the riches of the sea. The kitchen aims for simplicity of preparation but treats everything with care, so that most dishes are quite satisfying. Moderate.

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