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NINE-TEN

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Unusually perfect food in downtown La Jolla
Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA

I don't know about you but I am very sorry that we don't eat more lamb here in the US of A. After ten years in England eating exquisite lamb almost everywhere fancy dinners were served, I was sad to come back to the States and find so many menus bereft of any kind of lamby goodness. Not a single spring lamb or even a hoggett anywhere... alas!

If you find yourself in this predicament whilst visiting southern California, I strongly recommend a trip to Nine-Ten in La Jolla. I didn't expect it, but they served one of the most perfect racks of lamb I have ever eaten in my life, and I was even more impressed that this lamb came from California rather than Australia. I credit Jason Knibb, their chef since 2003, who really seems to know his way around a plate of meat - whether it's lamb, steak, duck, or short ribs. He is good with the vegetables too. I also liked Nine-Ten's offer to shave a few truffles over anything for a small fee per dish - extremely decadent, but also delicious, and the strange pricing arrangement made me appealingly aware of the rarity of what I was eating.

Please don't judge this place based on the décor, which I'm afraid I found sub-80s-airport-lounge; instead, focus on your gorgeous plate and the polite, attentive service. Don't skimp on dessert or dessert wine, plus they have great cheese too - make it a sheep's milk one if you are pursuing the lamby theme. Gosh, it's good - I wish I could go there right now!

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