San Diego Food Love: ViVa Bar + Kitchen

I am SO excited to tell you about ViVa Bar + Kitchen. Mark and I went to dinner there for his birthday last week and had such a good time. It’s located right across from the Horton Plaza parking lot across from Hard Rock Cafe. ViVa has been open since June 2013 and has definitely made the list of one of my favorite restaurants. Viva has a relaxing atmosphere, specializes in craft cocktails and serves up plates inspired by Latin cuisine.

If you go to ViVa, I am telling you right now to order the Scallops! Seriously such a good dish!! The scallops are set on top of a creamy jalapeño polenta with roasted red pepper-guajillo sauce, and a mushroom-corn-green-onion hash. The combination of salty sweet is perfect. I have never had scallops cooked so well either. The melt in your mouth texture of the scallops and the creamy polenta mixed with the crunch of the corn is amazing.


I also highly recommend the mussels and I am not even a big fan of mussels. The mussels are served in a delicious spicy spanish broth and topped with grilled crostinis. The mussels were also cooked really well. Typically I find mussels to be a little too chewy but these were not at all. They were soaked in the yummy broth that I pretty much licked up.


We also got to try a dish that isn’t even on the menu yet. It was a thin sliced piece of duck with an ancho rub on top of a little pancake. A tasty appetizer to start off our meal!


Next we tried the grilled fillet mignon medallions with tomato jam and pickled fresno chills on top of grilled bread


Did I mention that ViVa also has tasty craft cocktails? With drinks like a Havana Sidecar, Chichaito, and the Jalisco Smoke it was hard to pick just one. I tasted the strawberry mule and it was a good pick for sure! Mmm…


We really ate well that night – it was Mark’s birthday after all so we indulged on quite a few dishes. We had the Seafood Paella before moving on to desserts. It was also really good! The flavors were much more mellow than the other dishes but I think that is the point of a paella. It had all the key ingredients: shrimp, fish, scallops,  mussels, calamari, shallots and a yummy saffron risotto.


For dessert we had a delicious chocolate lava cake and churro bites. But not just any churro bite – these have bavarian cream stuffed into each little delicious bite AND they are served with dulce de leche sauce AND a mexican chocolate. OMG seriously, ridiculously – delicious.



Have you been to ViVa Bar + Kitchen? What was your favorite dish? 


We received a meal at ViVa Bar + Kitchen for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.    

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2 Responses to San Diego Food Love: ViVa Bar + Kitchen

  1. joann woolley March 14, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    It all looks so good, Bri! But I am especially drawn to those churro dessert bites – I’ve never seen something so simple looking that sounded so good!


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    […] Mark got home from work we headed downtown for his birthday. We went to dinner at ViVa Bar + Kitchen, stopped by Lucky Bastards for a game of pool and then headed to the San Diego Rep theater to watch […]