Adjacent to the Hard Rock Hotel is a cute little restaurant normally entitled Maryjane’s Coffee Shop. But, for one week this year of ComicCon, it was transformed into Café Diem, the signature coffee shop from Syfy’s original series Eureka. The chairs, napkins, décor, menus, and more are completely changed out for Café Diem and Syfy-themed paraphernalia, giving the restaurant a wonderfully geek chic feel and a great place for con-goers to get some real food.
The first time we found this place was on Thursday while wandering around, and we dined there on Friday afternoon. When we put our name on the list, the nice lady said it would be about 20-30 minutes. I was hungry but this seemed reasonable considering Gaslamp was almost as packed as the convention itself. No more than 5 minutes later we were shown to seats at the bar! Kyle said that a lot of people would put their name down, be told the wait time, then wait for a couple of minutes (if that) and walk out. Score! We were greeted promptly by a server named Dani who got us all settled in. Going through the menu kind of made us falter for a moment due to the prices, but we still ordered exactly what we wanted and hoped for the best. I ordered the Haven’s Secret Catch of the Day Fish & Chips ($18), Kyle ordered the Being Human-themed “The Free Spirit” plain burger ($16). (Here’s a link for the full menu.) Everything was themed after Syfy shows, which made it so fun! They also served breakfast.
Food was up in a more-than-reasonable amount of time considering the restaurant did not have an empty seat. The taste? Absolutely blissful. I have not had better fish & chips since my visits to Pier 39 in San Francisco, and that says a lot! Kyle said his burger was well-done with quality meat (he’s a burger snob, too). Both of our plates were almost overflowing with food – they do not skip on the portions. For my fish & chips, I had 4 full-sized filets! Way plenty for leftovers had Kyle not helped me eat them. Several fries were actually left behind. We returned Sunday afternoon for some last-minute milkshakes before we left the convention and they were painstakingly good. At $8 a milkshake, they knew how to make a darn good milkshake. Dare I say the best I’ve ever taste? I might.
The food, ambiance, and service was worth the price. For the non-stop hustle and bustle in the restaurant, they were well-organized, cheerful, and always helpful. While the prices are a tad steep for those looking to save money, it is worth it to have a quality meal in the infamous Café Diem. The portions are also big enough to share for those with regular appetites — had we known the fish & chips was so large, my fiancé and I would have split it in a heartbeat. Also, this restaurant is adjacent to the Hard Rock if you go to the back of it where there is a gift shop that had some really fun Syfy shirts. I wish I would have bought the Alphas one.
Chan’s Camera Rating: 8 cameras out of 10 — I want to give it a 9 but I know, realistically, those prices are just a couple dollars too high. Even though we had a lot saved for ComicCon, we still tried to be frugal and this bent that rule (ha). Regardless, it gets a heart because I would go back to this place every single day, convention or not!