7 Reasons You'll
Crave Oceana Coastal Kitchen San Diego
San Diego has no shortage of fantastic restaurants,
in early 2015 a fresh face appeared on the region's distinctive
dining scene in the form of Oceana Coastal Kitchen. This airy
bayside eatery dishes up chef-driven, seafood-centric California
cuisine amid sweeping waterfront views that'll keep you coming
back for more.
the helm of Oceana Coastal Kitchen, which is
ensconced in the Catamaran Hotel and Spa situated
on Mission Bay, is Executive Chef Steven Riemer-a prodigious,
sustainability-oriented chef who boasts more than twenty-five
years of culinary experience in San Diego and beyond.
own visit to Oceana Coastal Kitchen was anything but ordinary.
That dinner dining experience, coupled with my dialogue with
Chef Riemer, revealed a multitude of reasons this alfresco eatery
is sure to endure.
are my top 7.
Location, location, location. There's just nothing like eating
stellar seafood in an outdoor locale overlooking a picturesque
waterfront vista. This Oceana Coastal Kitchen delivers in spades
since it's located mere steps from the sand of Mission Bay in
Pacific Beach. It offers outdoor patio seating with a panoramic
waterfront view befitting the fresh ocean victuals it offers.
The restaurant is part of the iconic Polynesian-themed Catamaran
Resort Hotel and Spa, located a mere 8 miles from San Diego
International Airport. This property is known for its casual
tropical elegance replete with palm trees, lush vegetation,
tiki torches, koi ponds, waterfalls, and exotic birds. Either
before or after dinner be sure to take a stroll around the grounds
of this extraordinary property.
Sea-worthy interior décor. While Oceana Coastal Kitchen
makes great use of the outdoors by offering ample patio seating,
its interior also captures San Diego's upscale beach-casual
lifestyle by framing the bay view through two giant windows
that fold open and let cool breezes in. A focal point in the
main dining room is a mesmerizing 800-gallon fluorescent jellyfish
aquarium that captivates both adult and youth diners, alike
(the eatery does offer a children's menu with elevated versions
of kid classics like PB&J). In addition, the 8,200 square
foot indoor/outdoor restaurant combines ocean-inspired colors
like calming blues and greens, textures, materials and fixtures
like custom lighting and wall sconces that, all combined, create
an authentic Southern California ambiance.
Chef Riemer. While the bayside location, view and atmosphere
are truly noteworthy, Chef Riemer and his cuisine are the heart
and soul of the restaurant. Boasting over two decades in the
gastronomic game, Chef Riemer has cooked at The Lodge at Torrey
Pines and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel-two of Southern California's
most notable AAA Five-Diamond resort hotels. Now calling the
shots at Oceana Coastal Kitchen, Chef Riemer describes his approach
to California cuisine as "regional and seafood-centric,"
highlighting the purity and flavors of local, sustainable components.
The integrity of the seasonal, eco-conscious ingredients he
uses, from proteins to produce, shines through in each dish.
Locally-sourced libations. Not only does Oceana Coastal Kitchen
feature California-sourced ingredients in its cuisine, but also
regional wines and brews to accompany it. Its wine list promotes
selections from Sonoma, Napa, Santa Barbara and the Russian
River Valley, to name a few. In fact, the eatery offers more
than 50 labels, including nearly 30 varietals by the glass.
For beer lovers, there's the eatery's own Oceana pale ale in
addition to craft drafts from popular area breweries, including
Lost Abbey, Karl Strauss and Mike Hess. Of course, if spirits
are more your style, the restaurant's cocktail program proffers
a dazzling array of drinks that'll make you feel like you're
on vacation even if you aren't, like Mexican sangria, a passion
fruit margarita and the blackberry lavender lemonade. I'll toast
The ceviche. While the menu offers a plethora of tempting starter
options, the lime marinade-laden Shrimp or Sesame Sea Bass Ceviche
themselves make a visit worthwhile. This is just one of nearly
a dozen delectable options featured at the restaurant's impressive
twenty-five foot cold bar-quartz-topped and beautifully imbedded
with mother of pearl and sea glass. While other cold bar notables
include yellowtail crudo, king crab legs, fresh sushi, tuna
carpaccio and oysters on the half shell, for its part Oceana
Coastal Kitchen's "signature" dish of sea bass ceviche
is an apropos "nod to San Diego's neighbors to the south."
The sweeter shrimp ceviche is accompanied by juicy cherry tomatoes
and a tangy pineapple salsa while the spicier sea bass ceviche
is paired with mango and serrano chile.
Tasty turf. Complementing the restaurant's copious stellar seafood
selections like the Sea of Cortez Shrimp Pappardelle-precisely
prepared sweet fresh crustaceans paired with wide flat ribbons
of pasta tossed with olive-oil-braised broccolini, Mexican dried
chile and house-made Meyer lemon ricotta-Oceana Coastal Kitchen's
menu also features an impressive assortment of dishes from the
land. From this category, my top pick is the Cold Smoked Niman
Ranch Pork Chop-a thick-cut bone-in chop that's paired perfectly
with super savory coarse (large particle size) goat cheese grits
along with a crunchy spiced fresh apple and toasted almond slaw.
This delightful dish is duly rivaled by the Roast Filet Mignon
topped with red wine sauce and blue cheese butter that's served
with au gratin potatoes, white raisins and cumin roasted carrots
(though the kitchen was happy to swap out the carrots for French
fries to satiate my table's collective craving). For the record,
the menu also offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options,
such as the filet mignon, for those so inclined.
The doughnuts. Even Chef Riemer himself has a penchant for this
piquant pastry dish that's become a staple on the dessert menu.
Precisely fried dough is filled with a warm chocolate cream,
and a velvety vanilla dipping sauce accompanies. The doughnuts
are a suitably sweet foil to the lighter seafood fare leading
up to it. This and all other dessert options here are conceived
and executed by Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts graduate,
Chef Trudy Coppin. While her doughnuts are certainly divine,
die-hard chocolate lovers can also bask in Chef Trudy's baked-to-order
Skillet Brownie with vanilla ice cream that's moist, decadent
and simply to-die-for.
there you have it. Seven bona fide reasons to have your own
food and beverage-bent respite at Oceana Coastal Kitchen. It's
a hidden gastro gem in San Diego's bustling beach community
where fresh and frivolous plays on classic California cuisine
(The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa)
3999 Mission Blvd,
San Diego, CA 92109
By Merilee Kern, 'The Luxe List' Executive Editor
Luxe List" Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury
marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary
events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted
Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor
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or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or
service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate
this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of
Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***