San Diego’s K9 Foodie here! My parents and I have been to the Havana Grill two times now so I’m ready to share my feedback on the food, atmosphere and service.
Location – It’s located in Clairemont right off the 805 fwy and Clairemont Mesa Blvd, in a mini-mall. They have outside seating, about 8 tables, with heaters. There are plants strategically placed so that the view of the parking lot and main street is somewhat hidden.
The Environment – It’s very open and friendly with communal seating areas. It’s the type of restaurant where you walk up to the counter and order, get your drinks and take a number, then staff brings you your food.
Food – We like the fact that are use natural ingredients; organic greens, naturally raised and grass fed meats and non GMO cooking oils. As they say… “It’s comfort food with a conscience.” They serve beer and wine at affordable prices.
Dad got the Pollo, a roasted half chicken with their house rub, garnished with onions and cilantro. He said that their seasoning is delicious, he ordered it both times we went and licked the plate clean. Mom tried the Fricase De Pollo the first time, it’s like a stewed chicken with potatoes and olives. She said it was very fresh tasting and filling. She ordered the Mango Citrus Salmon on our second visit, which was very light and tasty, the salmon was cooked through (so if you like it on the rare side ask) and the mango salsa was delicious and added just the right amount of sweetness to the dish.
Each Plate includes rice (white or brown), signature black beans (or congris) and sweet plantains. The black beans are incredible, even if you aren’t typically a fan, and the plantains are off the charts, we ordered an extra order on our second visit. We also ordered a side of roasted veggies, that were cooked and seasoned to perfection.
Service – There really isn’t any because of the style of restaurant it is, the staff is very friendly though. The first time we visited all our food came out together. The second time, it was much busier and our side orders of plantains and veggies came out about 5 minutes ahead of our food. Luckily we had been there before so we overlooked it in anticipation of our tasty main courses.
In summary, we think this is a little hidden gem in Clairemont and we will definately be going back for more. There isn’t a ton of outside seating so if you’re dining with your pooh, I’d try and go a little before or after the traditional dinner time so that you can be sure to grab a table outside.