Trust — Restaurant Review | Condé Nast Traveler



Tell us about your first impressions when you arrived.
Set on the ground floor of a trendy, minimalist apartment building, Trust is a total clean slate. The space is all concrete floors, wood panels, exposed pipes, and floor-to-ceiling windows; the bar, with its catchy metallic brass stools, and the bustling open kitchen beside it, function as eye candy.
What was the crowd like?
This Hillcrest restaurant lures a steady stream of regulars from around the neighborhood, which, just a few miles north of downtown proper, is the heart of San Diego’s LGBTQ scene—though you’re just as likely to spot dates, work dinners, and family meals in action. Overall, it’s a polished crowd, but feel free to dress down for weekend brunch
What should we be drinking?
Every wine listed on the menu is available by the glass, and selections rotate frequently. If you’re into beer, though, the pickings are a little more sparse; there are just a few, and most are San Diego brews. Trust’s true focus is on excellent cocktails—a mix of rotating newbies and the most popular tipples from their original drinks menu, like the Trust #2 with jalapeño tequila. The less-is-more policy extends to the drinks, themselves, too. Ingredients are kept simple (think gin, elderflower, and Meyer lemon), save for the occasional flourish of ‘Illegal Mezcal’ and ‘Xocolatl Mole Bitters.’
Main event: the food. Give us the lowdown—especially what not to miss.
Chef-owner Brad Wise has built this almost-too-pretty-to-eat menu around wood-fire cooking, and you’ll taste the technique in everything from the cauliflower and fingerling potatoes, to the octopus to the namesake burger. Most everything is served as small plates, which are divided into categories like “Farm,” “Ranch,” and “Ocean.” The ricotta agnolotti is the true star of the menu, though: it comes to you floating in a bed of cream, and topped off with sunchokes, black garlic streusel, and slivers of black truffle.
As tempted as you’ll be to polish off every small plate in sight, you should save room for chef Jeremy Harville’s sophisticated, albeit playful desserts. We’re partial to the rotating flavors of fluffy profiteroles—but that’s just us.
And how did the front-of-house folks treat you?
Trust’s waiters are rock stars: they’re attentive, offer excellent recommendations, and treat you like a friend.
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here?
It’s as much a weeknight neighborhood joint as it is a go-to destination for birthday, anniversary, and bachelorette dinners.