Fodor's Expert Review The Wooden Spoon
Former fine-dining chef Jesse Paul—who oversaw kitchens at Four Seasons Aviara, L'Auberge Del Mar, and Via Italia Trattoria—left it all behind to bring redefined comfort food to Escondido. In this casual mom-and-pop restaurant, it starts with seasonal produce gathered daily from eight local farms, followed by preparation and service from a tight-knit family-like staff. The menu changes daily, which might be problematic if you’re craving a repeat from a previous visit, but you’ll always find garden-fresh greens like the understated “Roughage” Thai salad or a medley of beets with candied hazelnuts and balsamic caviar. Nearly everything is made in-house, including kimchi, dressings, sauerkraut, pickles, and ketchup. Paul is a master of buttermilk fried chicken, meat loaf, and pork schnitzel. He’ll also whip up vegetarian dishes upon request. Among his many talents, Paul was also a French pastry chef, so don’t miss the butterscotch pot de crème with sea salt ganache.
805 E. Valley Pkwy.
Escondido, California 92025, USA
- Comfort food
- Supporting local farms
- Root beer floats