While in San Diego we had dinner one night at Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Company in Mission Valley. Actually, we had dinner two nights: the first time we had take-out pizza at my brother’s place, and it was quite good. Some of the best pizza around, or so we were told.
The restaurant itself was nice, roomy and fairly kid-friendly. Definitely a sports bar: I counted at least 20 television sets around the place (the web site claims 22!), most of which were playing ESPN or something sports-related. The usual sports and beer stuff is the decor, and in the back the brewing tanks are on display.
The food was really good. Standard pub fare and more. I had a burger, my brother had wings (sweet, not spicy, very tasty), my wife had a chicken something and I forget what else. And of course I mentioned the pizza we’d had previously—all around, definitely worth it for the meal.
But of course the beer is what a brewpub is all about
:). I did the logical thing: got a sampler tray of their beers. And it was one of the best sampler trays I’ve seen: each glass was four ounces (instead of the usual two you see everywhere else)! Nice. Here’s my impression of those beers:
- California Gold: Very light, crisp, mild. A good lawnmower beer, very drinkable.
- Sweet Spot Hefe: Hefeweizen in the traditional style: fruity, clovey, a bit tart. A little light, and the mouthfeel was thin for my taste from what I remember. Not bad.
- Sunset Amber Ale: Nice American amber style beer. Very similar to Full Sail Amber Ale.
- Torrey Pines IPA: Excellent IPA, very hoppy. My brother tells me it’s the best IPA in San Diego. This would be a regular beer for me.
- McGarvey’s Scottish Ale: This I think was my favorite beer of the bunch: strong, malty, earthy, hoppy. Extremely drinkable, very good mouthfeel, yummmm. Looking back, I wish I’d picked some up to go…
- Black Magic Stout: This beer, while not bad, didn’t much do it as a stout for me; the flavor was a little too burnt (too much black patent grain, I think), and the mouthfeel was thin, not chewy like a stout should be. Maybe I’m spoiled by the good stuff we have here in the northwest. It’s worth a taste.
On a different note, I have to give Oggi’s a thumbs-down for their website: frame-based, very cluttered, ugly design, and a Java ticker applet whose sole purpose appears to be to annoy. They have one of the shortest domain names going for them, that’s something—they just need to invest in a decent 21st-century design.
From their website, I count 12 locations and two more that haven’t opened yet; Oggi’s is like the McMenamins of San Diego. It would be interesting to compare the beers brewed at each location, and see how consistenly they’re brewed, but if you only make it to one, the Mission Valley pub is a good one: great food, good beers.
Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing Company (Mission Valley)
2245 Fenton Parkway
San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 640-1072
Fax: (619) 640-2710