Restaurant Review: Double Standard
When a Gaslamp restaurant distinguishes itself by serving unusually good food, it becomes positively memorable.
There’s such a torrent of new restaurants opening in the Gaslamp Quarter that it’s hard to keep them straight. That’s particularly true since most have dazzling décor; a high noise level; and menus of craft cocktails, Brussels sprouts, pizza and short ribs. They’re all farm to table too.
So when a Gaslamp restaurant distinguishes itself by serving unusually good food, it becomes positively memorable. That’s the way it is with Double Standard, even though it, too, offers craft cocktails, Brussels sprouts, pizza and short ribs.
The setting is de rigueur dazzling, with roll-up, glass-paneled, steel doors that open the place to the street. Inside are a high ceiling with exposed rafters, brick walls, subway tiles and an eclectic mix of furnishings and lighting. It feels action packed even where there are only a few folks in the place.
Double Standard’s menu is supposedly Italian; but with all the modern fusion and crossover food treatments, it’s Italian-ish. Still, one of the best dishes is a veal meatball. Arriving in a sizzling, cast-iron pan covered with a thick San Marzano tomato sauce, this one humongous meatball is topped with a homemade ricotta so rich that it could be easily mistaken for mascarpone. The mild and tender meat — together with the slightly acidic tomato sauce and the sweet, creamy ricotta — is a quintessential Italian taste, perfectly combined.
Another altogether outstanding and totally unexpected dish is the roasted butternut squash. The squash is cooked, then caramelized on the griddle, then sauced in faintly sweet/sharp vinaigrette. Capers, tossed in for good measure, turn the dish into something distinctive and wonderful.
More than a half-dozen pizzas are offered, with toppings that are creative and generally excellent. The Popeye, made with spinach, garlic, Gruyère, and mozzarella is heavy on the garlic.
Also on the menu are a fish of the day, roasted filet, pasta galore and a dozen starters. Double Standard offers lots of choices and, by the taste of things, is well on its way to nicely differentiating itself from among the abundant restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Patrons: Millennials are the target market, and that’s mostly who shows up.
Service: A little slow and shaky. There’s a discernable lack of experience.
Parking: Street parking is difficult to find in the Gaslamp Quarter. Save yourself the aggravation and head for a pay lot.
Special diets: Vegetarians and the lactose intolerant will do fine; vegans will have a harder time of it.
Details: 695 Sixth Ave. (Gaslamp Quarter), 619-269-9676. Open for lunch and dinner daily. At dinner, starters are $9-$15, pizzas and pastas are $11-$17 and entrées are $22-$27. Full bar.