Sunday, July 5, 2015

Oceana Coastal Kitchen Shines Bright Along the Bay!



Out of town guests usually want to experience the sun, sand, and cuisine of sensational San Diego.  I recently discovered the perfect place to showcase our gem of a city. If you want to impress your guests, take them to dine at the waterfront Oceana Coastal Kitchen at the Catamaran Resort in Mission Bay! Myself and a group of blogger friends recently dined here!


The Catamaran Resort recently completed a $2 million renovation and the new upscale eatery, Oceana Coastal Kitchen opened it's doors on February 1, 2015. When you first enter the Catamaran Resort, the Colonial Hawaiian decor emits an island vibe that sets in a relaxed atmosphere. Then when you arrive at Oceana Coastal Kitchen, the smiling sushi chefs manning the cold bar greet you into their home to feed you! The warm inviting atmosphere set by the staff really makes you feel like ohana.

The restaurant's centerpiece is the jellyfish aquarium.  The graceful movements of these iridescent sea animals can mesmerize even the fussiest of babies to a state of serenity. These beautiful creatures seem to be the mascot of the restaurant, beautifully embossed on the restaurant's coasters and daily printed menu.


The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, with the outdoor seating literally steps from the sand. At Oceana Coastal Kitchen, there is also a private dining room available that seats up to fourteen complete with a Dale Chihuly-style chandelier reminiscent of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, California Glam at its fines

We dined outside and probably had the best seats in the house! The picturesque view included the bay and people strolling, bicycling, swimming, surfing and stand up paddle boarding.  

Live music is provided a couple of nights a week, its a great place to people watch.  If you time your dining reservation just right you can watch the nightly Summer Nights fireworks show at Sea World light up the sky. Jamie was one of our servers and she impressed me with her easy banter regarding suggestions from the menu. A number of servers actually floated around and checked on us throughout the meal. Service was top notch! I started off my meal with the passion fruit margarita. Sitting there looking at the water, sipping my drink,  I easily went to a happy place. 

From the cold bar we were served this amazing, tantalizing seafood tower.What a way to start our seafood extravaganza!

 We also had the Oceana House Roll, a sushi roll made with eel, tempura shrimp, crab and unagi sauce.
Then, straight from the oven came a selection of bread. Out of all the breads to choose from, all of us wanted to taste the orange-scented biscuits! Oh my, biscuits, butter and honey! We could have eaten those all night! Dallas, one of our servers, obliged us with a second round!  I would pay a pretty penny to take a dozen of these home!
My entree was the California White Seabass.  This was served over farro with kale, orange, beets and ancho chili. This was my first time having farro! It was so delicious, nutty with some bright tones, and the fish was meaty and flavorful.
My friends enjoyed their entrees as well.  This is the Sea of Cortez Shrimp Pappardelle, tossed with olive oil braised broccolini, mexican dried chile, and house-made meyer lemon ricotta. Shrimp, lemon and ricotta, a perfect California flavor profile!
Twoin our group, Lysabeth and Raquel opted for the Duck Risotto, a duck breast with risotto of braised leg confit, with Japanese pumpkin.  Lysabeth liked it so much she was hesitant to share, hahaha! Please check out her review too. Risotto is one of those dishes that on expert can execute, otherwise it can easily turn out gummy.  Raquel (and baby) also enjoyed the dish. Read her experience here. I'm not a duck person so I didn't taste the protein, but the risotto was cooked perfectly!
Another blogger friend, Deborah feasted on the Filet Mignon served with au gratin potatoes, roasted carrots and white raisins in a red wine sauce with blue cheese butter. See her blog here.  You know its a fancy, schmancy place when blue cheese tops your steak! Everyone agreed the mignon and especially the potatoes were very tasty!
Another star of the night was the 12 oz. Grilled Harris Ranch Ribeye served with mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic and brussel sprouts.  Blogger friend, Ferchil, let me taste the steak and it just melted in my mouth! I think this is what I would order for my next visit! Read about his take on Oceana here.

Our group tasted each other's entrees and EVERYTHING WAS DELICIOUS!  After the starters and entrees, I was already convinced that the food and view combined here at the Ocean Coastal Kitchen was worth its weight in gold!  Then came the sampler of desserts! First up, a warm skillet brownie with vanilla ice cream. Next, warm chocolate-creme-filled doughnuts with vanilla dipping sauce and Trudy's Black Velvet Cake. 


We also tasted the New School Banana Pudding with vanilla cookie crumble. Out of all of the desserts, the brownie kept me coming for more!


The Catamaran Spa is right next door to Oceana Coastal Kitchen.  Amenities are included with hotel stays and guests can also pay a day rate to enjoy the spa.  There is an outdoor jacuzzi to enjoy and numerous machines to burn off Executive Chef Steven Riemer's creations consumed.



The Catamaran also hosts sunset luaus, Tuesdays and Fridays, now until Labor Day. Come see for yourself and bring your family and friends!



I want to personally thank Julia Geis, PR Manager for the Catamaran Resort,  Boryana, Oceana Coastal Kitchen's Restaurant Manager, and Mike Staples, General Manager of the Catamaran Resort for a wonderful evening. They made it possible for our group, the San Diego Filipino Blogger Network, to enjoy the beauty and bounty of Oceana Coastal Kitchen. Oceana Coastal Kitchen truly is a gem that shines bright along Mission Bay!  

Disclosure:  I was treated to a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.
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