Open late Fri.-Sat.
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Croce's Restaurant & Jazz Bar Restaurant Review: A San Diego institution since the 1980s, Croce's combines contemporary American fare with live blues and jazz. Opened as a tribute to Ingrid Croce's late husband, singer-songwriter Jim Croce, the restaurant has walls covered in photographs and memorabilia from his career. Set amidst the downtown madness that is the Gaslamp Quarter, a dinner at Croce's combines food and fun. We like to start by traveling the globe with the fried firecracker shrimp, light and not at all greasy; the decadent baked Brie with honey-roasted garlic and Grand Marnier-berry compote; and sesame-seared ahi sashimi with teriyaki beurre blanc. Although the warm spinach salad with poached apples, figs and grapes is a bit sweet for our taste, we do enjoy the classic Caesar with Grana Padano. The filet mignon has an interesting passion fruit demi-glace and rich Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, while the New Zealand pan-seared bluenose sea bass is served with oven-roasted potatoes, pancetta, butter-braised Brussels sprouts and mushroom vinaigrette. Desserts that excel are the fondant au chocolate (warm chocolate cake with fresh raspberries) and vanilla lavender honey crème brûlée with almond lavender-laced cookie.