Cafe Chloe is situated at the north east corner of the Gaslamp District, and seems to cater more for locals than the tourist fodder places nearer the Convention Centre. It is a simple place, with plenty of tables outside the main dining room, no tablecloths and a fairly traditional bistro menu.
The fairly short wine list has choices such as Two Angels Petite Syrah 2006 at $42 for a wine that retails at $23, Paul Hobbs Chardonnay 2008 at $87 for a wine that you can find in a shop for $53, up to Justin Isoscles 2008 at $100 for a wine you can buy for $57. My oddly named "tarte flambee" was really sourdough toast on which was a topping of caramelised onions and bacon, with some frisee lettuce. This was simple but pleasant, essentially an elaborate bacon toasted sandwich (11/20).
My main course was locally caught rockfish with cornichons, a lemon butter sauce, beans and matchstick chips. The fish did not have much flavour but was cooked properly, the lemon in the sauce giving welcome acidity, and the beans themselves were nicely cooked (the dish was pushing 12/20).
The meal was let down by the service. On a quiet weekday lunch my starter took 25 minutes to arrive, and I was then asked whether I would like to keep the dirty cutlery for the main course; no I really did not, to much glowering from the waitress. Is it really too much in a restaurant to expect a clean knife and fork with each course? My main course plate was left on the table for an age, and then when it was finally removed the bill appeared without me asking, presumably signifiying that it was time for me to leave, so I never got to try dessert. Service is usually pretty good in America, but I guess there are always exceptions. The bill came to $36 (£23) for two courses and a single glass of wine.