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Dija Mara

232 S. Coast Hwy. (Michigan Ave.) Send to Phone
760-231-5376
Oceanside restaurant serving up innovative Southeast Asian plates and biodynamic wines.

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Tues.-Sun., Brunch Sun.
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Dija Mara Restaurant Review

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About the restaurant & chef: This unassuming eatery on Coast Highway is a noteworthy dining option amid Oceanside's culinary bloom. Chef Ryan Costanza dropped into the North County scene after stints in San Francisco working for chef Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn) and chef Daniel Patterson (Coi), and chef Govind Armstrong in LA. Time spent in Singapore and Bali honed his expertise in Southeast Asian fare. Chefs, foodies and locals fill the seats of the striking Dija Mara (which means "Where have you been" in Indonesian).

Likes: Cool ambience with graffiti art and Balinese wood; standout menu and unusual flavors.
Dislikes: None.

Food & Drinks: Costanza’s inventive dishes are delicious. Eggplant is redefined in a smoky tomato sambal with Meyer lemon crème fraîche, while tai snapper coddled in coconut milk, lemongrass oil and makrut lime arrives under a parasol of sliced daikon --- almost too pretty to eat. Satay skewers like chicken thighs with a kiss of chili or lamb shoulder dusted with tamarind and turmeric, both rich in flavor, are grilled over binchotan charcoal. Costanza's take on nasi goreng, a Balinese staple, means a medley of bay shrimp, duck confit and pork belly over fried rice with a fermented hot sauce and sunny side up egg. Savvy owners Rob Jones and Simran Soin spent time in Singapore and their low ABV cocktail program complements the cuisine. The Paloma #231 blends grapefruit-infused agave wine with passionfruit syrup, lemon and salt for a robust yet balanced sipper. The team is fully committed to biodynamic wines, which fill the tight list.



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