Is it Tab-le? Ta-ble? Or just plain Table? They said it all French-like on Top Chef last week, but it's such a common word it feels mega-weird saying it with an accent I don't truly possess.
No matter. This is an awesome store, however the hell you pronounce it. Years ago, my father, a good cook, took me to the Sur la Table in Berkeley and I remember perilously tall shelves packed with oodles of weird cooking utensils and gadgets I'd never seen before. It was so intriguing. And inspiring. The store in Carlsbad's Forum is no different, really. I have no idea why the company has decided to put their only San Diego store in the far nether reaches of our landscape, but I'd say it's worth the effort to get there. They have Le Creuset in every color and size, including purple (nay, "Cassis") braisers. They have a large assortment of the paper baking molds that the French employ so beautifully in their cafes. ---
Perhaps your New Year's resolution was to get healthier. They have a giant display of juicers that are both attractive and functional. There are zillions of variations on The Rabbit corkscrew. And ceramic potato jars like the Euros use. Crazy expensive espresso machines, again that the Euros use. Maybe that's it: it is pronounced with an accent since all the goods are more popular in France.
And since I've already mentioned Top Chef once in this post, let's go for twice. Two weeks ago on the Bravo show the judge was Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, the author of Modernist Cuisine, the five-volume set that Sur La Table has on their front table, in plexiglass... for $625.
The classroom at the back of the store is state-of-the-art and not one of those lecture-hall types, either—this is hands-on cooking, so you actually learn. The subject matters range, but they're often sparked by genuine chefs—there is an Anthony Bourdain-inspired class that teaches the skills that the opinionated chef feels are lacking in today's cooks, as well as a “Celebrating Julia” class that reflects on her cooking philosophy in tone and food. There are several baking workshops available each month, plus the fun stuff: cooking with bacon, cooking with bourbon and "Dinner Party 101." But my favorite-sounding class, not intended for me, of course, is one entitled "Esquire's Eat Like a Man," and it's taught by a guy named Sal.
Sur La Table at the Carlsbad Forum
1915 Calle Barcelona, Space #130