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San Diego Restaurant Reviews

   Aesop's Tables

By Amy Covington

Old World Charm, Modern Flare

A mild climate paired with a long history of culinary traditions, and influences from its east and west neighbors, enables Greece to boast a unique cuisine featuring grapes, apricots, cherries, intoxicating cheeses, succulent Mediterranean seafood, flavorful meats, and exotic spices.

Meals are a revered social event in Greece; dishes are infused with naturally grown herbs and spices and pure olive oil, so it’s no wonder the Greeks savor every bite. It also should come as no surprise when you walk into Aesop's Tables to see families and groups of friends gathered, perhaps sharing an order of Saganaki, a sautéed Kasseri cheese appetizer, or mezethes, which is flamed tableside.

Whether you're dining with others or solo, you’ll feel at home in the warm atmosphere surrounded by Old World Charm with a modern flare.



The extensive menu caters to all size appetites; dishes range from an impressive selection of small plates, including hummos served with fresh flat bread; dolmades, grape leaves stuffed with rice and served with lemon and tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber dip; falafel, garbanzo and fava bean patties served with Tahini sauce; traditional egg and lemon soup called augolemeno; and Greek salad, to signature gourmet entrees like moussaka, a popular Greek casserole stuffed with layers of tender ground lamb, beef, and eggplant; lamb shank braised on the bone in a white wine tomato herb sauce with artichoke hearts; and Shrimp Scorpio, juicy, oversized shrimp baked Greek style with tomatoes, garlic, wine and feta; lots of pastas—try the Linguini with Mezithra, linguini noodles tossed with robust mezithra cheese, browned butter and fresh herbs; and gyro and pita sandwiches.

Deserving of special mention are Aesop’s exclusive “pitzas.” Not your typical pizza, these pitzas are loaded with unusual ingredients like spicy lamb sausage, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, walnuts, red onion, eggplant and zucchini. Aesop’s Tables has a dish to satiate all: meat eaters, seafood lovers, pasta mongers and vegetarians alike. They also have an extensive wine list from which to choose, including several Greek wines and ouzo, a favorite Greek aperitif.

Expect portions generous enough to share (as recommended by Aesops's management) or to cover lunch the following day if you want to keep it all to yourself. Among circles of friends in Greece, a good cook is venerated and meals prepared by the esteemed cook for his or her comrades could take days, one more reason why the Greek treasure meal times. So when you’re at Aesop’s, settle in for a little while, enjoy your meal and tell a few fables reminiscent of the mythological Aesop but with a more appetizing ending.

Hours: Monday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Sunday 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Reservations: Accepted for parties of 5 or more
Payment: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Carte Blanche and Discover. No personal checks accepted.

Parking: Plentiful in the lot out front and additional underground parking..

Cost: Ranges from inexpensive to moderate ($3.50 for an order of Falafel, to $17.95 for the Shrimp Scorpio) Take out and catering available Deli items, such as hummos, dolmades, pita bread and couscous are available at the deli counter. Olive oil, olives, pastas and spices are also for sale.

Photos by John Leonffu



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