Restaurant Review: Fig Tree Cafe at Liberty Station

by on November 20, 2018 · 6 comments

in Ocean Beach

Fig Tree Cafe
Liberty Station
2400 Historic Decatur Rd., #103
San Diego, CA 92107
619-821-2044

One of the fun things about having visitors come to San Diego that have never been here before is introducing them to the variety of restaurants in the neighborhood.  I used to think, when I lived in San Francisco, that I would like to start trying restaurants on Lombard Street and try a different one every day. I doubted if I would ever get to try them all because there were so many different ones.

San Diego does not have as many restaurants as Lombard Street, and restaurants seem to change more rapidly than they do in San Francisco, but there is still a huge variety of different tastes in our fair city.

So Friday Hugh and I decided to try the “Fig Tree Café” in Liberty Station. There are two other “Fig Tree’s,” and I presume that the menu is the same, but it would not surprise me if the daily special board is different at each of the locations.

The “Fig Tree” in Pt. Loma was beginning to tout the Thanksgiving holiday, listing among the breakfast specials four variety of pies. The Latte of the month was “Peanut Butter Cup Mocha” and the breakfast special was “Triple Pecan French Toast.”  Although we were there around 1:00pm, neither of us was interested in the specials listed on the board.

We had a coupon from one of the monthly coupon books that we get in the mail, and knew that we needed to purchase two entrees to get the benefit of the “two for the price of one” deal.  What we didn’t realize until it came time to pay our bill was that we also needed to purchase two drinks with our order. (I ordered lemonade but Hugh only wanted water.)  However our waitress allowed us to order another lemonade “to go” and we still were given the discount.

Monterey Scrambler

The menu is extensive and is available on line at “figtreeeatery.com”. After looking over the menu for some time, Hugh decided to have the “Monterey Scramble”. ($10.50).  It consisted of 3 eggs, scallions, bacon, Ortega chilis and Monterey jack cheese. It was served with black beans and Mexican rice, 3 hot corn tortillas and a very spicy salsa.  He was asked if he wanted an order of avocado with the meal and he answered in the affirmative.  I did not look to see if there was an extra charge for the avocado, but the waitress said to him, “it’s the same price.”  Since he was also asked if he wanted sour cream the comment of being the same price was somewhat puzzling.

California Omelet

I elected to have the California Omelet, primarily because I wanted the Monterey Scramble and Hugh beat me to it, and I didn’t want to order the same thing as he did.  The California Omelet ($11.50) had many of the same ingredients as the Monterey Scramble – bacon and jack cheese and sour cream.  Avocado came with it.  I asked to have a two-egg omelet instead of the traditional 3 egg omelet, because I just don’t eat as much as I used to do when I was younger.  I neglected to check the bill and see if I was still charged the $11.50 or if I was charged a lesser amount because of one less egg.

Hugh’s meal was delicious, he said.  The salsa was a little hotter than he thought it would be, but I noticed that he put some Tabasco on the eggs before he tried the salsa.  Everything was fresh. The tortilla’s looked like they were freshly baked.

My omelet was also very good.  The avocado and bacon was inside the omelet, contrasted with Hugh’s avocado that were slices on his plate.  It did not come with a salsa, and after seeing Hugh’s reaction I decided not to ask for any for myself.  The rosemary potatoes that it came with were crispy and seasoned well.  I ordered rye toast and was surprised that there was only one piece, cut in half to give the appearance of two pieces.  The jam, although not quite as good as what I make, was tasty and added to the meal.

A funny thing happened while we were eating that bears repeating here.  We were eating outside in the patio, and when I looked out the tarp (no windows but the Navy Federal Credit Union ATM and the restaurant are separated by a tarp), I noticed a huge cobweb stretching across the tarp almost to the table.  (I wasn’t sure of the difference between a “spider web” and a “cobweb.”  I looked it up to find that a cobweb is one that no longer has an active spider working on it.) I am hoping that my definition of “cobweb” was correct in this circumstance.

I told the server that I would like to speak to the manager, and it freaked her out. She wanted to know if something was wrong, and I know she thought I was unhappy with her. That was not the case. When the manager came to our table, I introduced myself and pointed out the web.  As we looked around the restaurant other webs were also seen, and we talked about the possibility of an “active spider” biting a diner and the consequences that could amount to for the restaurant.  He said he would take care of it immediately and seemed genuinely pleased that I pointed it out to him.

As fate would have it, no sooner had he left to go get something to clean up the web, the hostess seated two women at the table. I started to say something – there were 20 open tables in the patio, but decided that I probably had already said enough.

I wish I had taken a picture of the manager when he came back into the patio with a broom and cloth in one hand; gloves on both hands and he saw the women at the table.  He started to say something to them but then began to remove the web. He finally told them what he was doing and one of the women – Katherine – said, “it’s ok. I like spiders.”  The manager proceeded to remove that web, and the webs in the neighboring bushes.

I mention this in this review for several reasons: my exterminator told me that this year is the worst one he has seen for spiders and fleas. He said that some of the variety of spiders are new to San Diego. Although most will not harm a human, he cautioned me to be very careful because of the number of brown recluse spiders he has seen this year.  I also mention this because of how fast the Manager got rid of the web.  If the sun was not shining the way it was on the web, it probably would have gone unseen – as it must have for some time since it was so large.  He was affable, had a great sense of humor, and took care of it himself instead of sending someone else to remove it.

And finally, Hugh and I spent 20 minutes talking to the two women at the “spider table.”  They were here after escaping from the fire area in Northern California.  Although Katherine was born in San Diego, it had been many years since she had been here, and she was enjoying being a “tourist”.  Talking to the two of them made us realize how lucky we are to live in Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach, and I think that we enhanced their visit to the area.

Over all our meal was very good; the service was excellent; the atmosphere was good, with the exception of the airplanes flying overhead every two minutes.  Yes, it is terribly noisy and it is annoying to have to stop the conversation every time an airplane goes over, but the food was good; the company better, and we probably will go back again.

[Editordude: it must be better; Judi reviewed the same restaurant 4 years ago and only gave it a “C-“. ]

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Vern November 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Dining at Liberty Station, especially outdoors, has become a “no-go” for us. LS definitely looses points for the loud airplanes (and the soot). Once terminal one is “modified”, the additional 700 flights per week may be the final straw.
We stay away from LS for the most part, except for quick trips Trader Joe’s and Crown Ace Hardware.

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Judi Curry judi curry November 20, 2018 at 6:18 pm

I agree with you, Vern. I also stay away because of the noise. However, Hugh is new to San Diego and wanted to see what the Naval Training Center was like now so that is why we went there. I also boycott LS for other reasons; don’t like how it went into the hands of the contractor without others bidding on it.

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Vern November 21, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Keep up the good work, Judi.

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Pat Baker November 25, 2018 at 8:27 am

Re the statement that the NTC property “went into the hands of the contractor without others bidding on it”, I had a different recollection so I did some research about it. There was a competitive bidding process which brought in multiple bids. After evaluating the proposals, City staff recommended that the contract go to Lennar, not McMillin Companies. The City Council was responsible for making a final decision. Because McMillin Companies was the favored local bidder in the eyes of many, City Council members heard from constituents who were not happy with the contract going to a non-local company. So both Lennar and McMillin were called to make presentations to the City Council. The Council ultimately voted to award the contract to McMillin. Of course, protests continued throughout the process and for years after by those who did not want to see the property fall into the hands of any developer. So without taking a position on the merit of the project today, I would have to say that there was a process which resulted in the contract going to McMillin.

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Judi Curry judi curry November 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I knew that there was something fishy about the contract; thanks for setting the record straight. Because THAT is the reason I do not shop at Liberty Station.

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Geoff Page November 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Not so sure of the “process,” Pat. I heard a first person account of the day the council voted. Lennar was the favorite until McMillin people pulled each council member aside for private conversations and when it was over. Lennar was out.

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