Baja California Caesar @ Surfside Lounge

Price: $11.49

When: June 4, 2016, 7:10 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

We’re at the Surfside Lounge, and our first plate – Surfside Nachos – was a disappointment. We’re hoping our next dish, the Baja California Caesar, will get things back on track. I mean: it’s a salad! A Caesar salad! Slam dunk! (amiright?)

I am not right.

This is a very, very, very average Caesar.

Optically, this was encouraging. The lettuce looked reasonably fresh. The chunks of grilled chicken were generous. The salad appeared well-dressed. There’s some feta, tomato, corn and cucumber hanging around. A slice of lime for spritzing. And topping it all off, there are tortilla strips. I actually got a little excited when it showed up.

The wheels come off the bus when you start eating the silly thing. There’s no notable flavor, no hook, to make this a good salad. Like the nachos, this is a dish that pounds you over and over with its mediocrity. None of the ingredients stand out; the dressing is forgettable. Nothing comes together. I hard a hard time articulating what was wrong until Elaine looked up at me and uttered the magic phrase.

“Airport food,” she said.

Bingo. She’s right. This tastes exactly like a Caesar you might buy from a cold case at LAX, SFO, PDX, SEA, or, frankly, any airport in the United States. Imagine it served in a clear plastic clamshell, rather than on a plate, and the dish makes perfect sense. It’s what you serve to a captive audience. And that’s depressing.

Not recommended.