Leroy’s in Coronado has better rap than Mr. Brown


Cooked to your desired temperature, Leroy’s burger – served with truffled fries – is a great means of fuel for your “island” adventure. Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp/Editor-in-Chief

Lauren J. Mapp, Editor-in-Chief

Crossing the bridge onto Coronado, one leaves the crowded nightlife of downtown San Diego for the quiet simplicity of “island life” – even if it is a misnomer – and automatically a hungry visitor goes into staycation mode.

Sights, smells and sounds that one encounters there differ greatly from those across the bay, and one of the best spots to soak up the fresh ocean air is at Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge, located at 1015 Orange Ave.

Named for owner David Spatafore’s multilingual cousin Leroy Mossel, the namesake restaurant is a dynamic fusion of cultural food concepts made from local, sustainably-grown ingredients. Executive Chef Gregory Chavez pumps out some of the best food that you can get at such a reasonable price range, and his creative musings change as each season rolls through.

Sitting on the patio ensures that one can take in some choice people watching: tacky tourists with floral shirts and fanny packs (yes, they still make them), sand-covered children running around with boogie boards and elderly couples taking an evening stroll will warm your heart.

As you debate your menu choices, sip on one of Leroy’s signature cocktails. The Seal Beach – a mix of Gosling’s black rum, Gosiling’s ginger beer and lime – will transport you to a ship on the high seas. Luckily the restaurant is firmly planted on land, so you won’t have to worry about getting seasick.

Once you’ve given a thorough look over the menu, it’s time to dig into your meal.

A staple at baby showers and Easter brunches, deviled eggs are rarely presented out in the real world – unless your busty Aunt Gertrude is peddling them at a family picnic.

Despite their lack of publicity, these little cluckers are always well-received, so it is surprising that more restaurants don’t have them on the menu. Leroy’s plate of four deviled egg halves are filled with a Garam masala and chicory-flavored, creamed yolk that will make Gertrude’s “high class” paprika topping look like a joke.

Truffle fries may be played as much as a broken record, but their feel-good, enticing aroma make them a fan-favorite – whether you’re trying them for the first time or you eat them so often that you have dirty dreams about what you would do for them. Served with a pomegranate ketchup, aioli and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Leroy’s version is great as either a starter or a sidekick to your meal.

Ahi poke is a must-have menu item in a coastal region, but with so many traditional poke recipes involving seaweed salad and sesame seeds running around it can get a little monotonous.

Leroy’s shakes it up by turning the Hawaiian, raw tuna sashimi into a taco, served in wonton “shells.” Served with a Napa cabbage slaw and a spicy cream sauce, this poke will surprise you in more ways than one.

If you’re looking for a gooey concoction to seek comfort in, then the truffled grilled cheese sandwich is all you need in life. Served with a cup of tomato gazpacho, this sandwich is layered with mushrooms and spinach so that you can aptly sneak some vegetables in while you indulge.

Whether you go with a group of friends or alone, Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge is certain to entice your palate with its range of flavors and techniques.


Cooked to your desired temperature, Leroy’s burger – served with truffled fries – is a great means of fuel for your “island” adventure. Photo Credit: Lauren J. Mapp/Editor-in-Chief