Dig Into Their Shiso and Pepper-Crusted Albacore
Written By: Will Lange
Photographed By: Julie Jones Harvest by the Patio
For three weeks, Executive Chef Amiko Gubbins sat alone in an empty East Village warehouse. She watched the sun rise and set. She looked out as people walked by, to work, to home, and back again. Her goal, she said, was to feel the “energy of the space.” All the while, she wondered, who were these people? Where were they going? What do they want? One night, as she posed steadily in a headstand during a candlelight yoga class, a thought struck her: You reap what you sow. It was with this philosophy in mind, that Harvest by The Patio was born.
This new restaurant recently took over the historic Carnation Dairy building and is the latest from the acclaimed Patio Group. But this new addition is a marked departure from previous work. Harvest not only uses a counter-service model, it also has grab-and-go options, as well as a fantastic craft cocktail menu. The goal, in the Chef’s words, was to serve a “captive audience,” quality food. Meaning, the local residents who occupy the numerous close-by buildings and work downtown.
So what should a hungry patron order for dinner? According to Chef Amiko, the Shiso and Pepper-Crusted Albacore is hard to beat. The chef takes the freshest, sustainably-sourced Albacore steaks, and rolls them in chopped shiso and black pepper. Then, they hit the grill for a brief sear that leaves the outside beautiful and warm, while maintaining the integrity of the fish.
A delicious, minted-mango salsa accompanies unexpectedly savory green-tea soba noodles. All of this then rests on a delicate yellow tomato coulis. The acidity of the tomato, along with a yuzu dressing, brightens the dish visually and on the palate. Together, the flavors are familiar and foreign, but in the best way possible.
- Green tea soba noodles
- Julienne carrots
- Julienne red bell pepper
- Julienne yellow bell peppers
- Blanched broccolini
- Julienne red onion
- Yellow tomato coulis: yellow tomato, garlic, shallot, olive oil, rice vinegar
- Albacore Tuna
- Shiso leaf
- Mango salsa: diced mango, diced red onion, minced jalapeño, diced red bell pepper, sambal chili, mint leaves, lime juice, fish sauce, salt and pepper
- Yuzu dressing: yuzu juice, lite soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic
Q&A With Executive Chef Amiko Gubbins
Q: What inspired you to create this dish?
Amiko Gubbins: I’m half Japanese, so the flavors of shiso, green tea and soba noodles are ones I grew up with. Actually, my mom used to pack my lunch box with rice balls wrapped in shiso. I thought it was weird compared to the other kids (laughs), but now I’m glad. It’s part of my heritage. Also, I wanted to pick fish that were sustainable—not ahi, for example—and so albacore was a logical choice.
Q: What’s your favorite easy meal to make at home?
AG: I have an extensive garden at home, so would probably make sautéed kale with tomatoes, garlic and parmesan.
Q: What’s the most exciting trend for you in the culinary world?
AG: Pickled and fermented things are coming back into style. Filipino food is also finally starting to get its day in the sun.
Q: If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
AG: A younger me wanted first to be a professional tennis player. Then, in my teen years, I wanted to be a rockstar.
Q: What’s your death row meal?
AG: My mom’s Japanese New Year’s day spread. They spend three days prepping an incredible meal—each component has a different meaning and are meant to bring good luck and fortune your way.
Q: The driving force at Harvest is “Food with Purpose.” What does that mean to you personally?
AG: We want to make sure that we feed our customers the best products possible. Many other restaurants claim to follow this similar philosophy, but honestly, they cut corners. We have an intentionally small, curated menu because we don’t compromise and personally source everything we can locally.
Rockin’ Eats: Executive Chef Amiko Gubbins was once a personal chef for Lenny Kravitz!
Some of Harvest by The Patio’s Most Creatively Named Cocktails Include:
- An Aztec and An Italian Walk Into a Bar
- Rosé All Day
- Peter Picked a Pepper
- Georgia on My Mind
Harvest by The Patio
369 10th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
Sustainability and Creativity in All Aspects of this SD Spot’s Menu