Dining with The Waves | The Marine Room, La Jolla, CA
La Jolla, CA, October 2022
• GAYOT’s Rating: 15/20
• Cuisine: California / Seafood
• Open: Dinner Wed.-Sun. 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Lounge Wed.-Sun. 4 p.m.-11 p.m. with a minimum food and beverage spend of $100 per person
• The Marine Room is on GAYOT’s:
– 2022 Restaurant Awards, Memorable Dinners of 2022
– Best 10 Restaurants with a View in the U.S.A.
– Best San Diego Romantic Restaurants
– Best San Diego Seafood Restaurants
– Best San Diego Restaurants with a View
– Best San Diego Wine Lists.
The ladies put on their dresses, the gentlemen their suits to honor the waters of La Jolla Shores. Since 1941, the waves of the Pacific Ocean have been licking the windows of The Marine Room, nowadays almost considered a San Diego landmark. Every forty years, the raging sea pushes its way in in a festival of broken glass. Whether the tide is low or high, there is always a spectacle to watch which, as you can imagine, is enhanced at sunset time. Mother Nature plays a large role during your dining experience, or at the new lounge where specialty cocktails (see video below) and small bites are offered. The Marine Room’s magnificent setting has garnered it a place on GAYOT’s Best 10 Restaurants with a View in the U.S.A.
The topography helps with making your entrance a grand one. Push open the door to enter and stop at that level to admire down below the newly redecorated space with its fabulous backdrop. The décor is pairing with the outdoors. The sea is represented by the blue tones of the rich carpets and chairs, the wood flooring is the sand, while the waves are reflected by the curvy bar and the section on top of it, round chairs and stools.
Let’s eat now! Due to the extreme proximity of the ocean, the focus of chef Mike Minor is, or I could almost say, should obviously be seafood. Minor has lifted up his past experiences in the kitchens of others, including Mexican influences, to create his very own style. His culinary approach perfectly matches the lieu and its patrons. It is efficient in tastes and presentations. Just like watching the sea that always changes its looks and shapes, it is easy to perceive Minor’s creativity throughout the meal — just look at the photos below. Everything on the menu is appealing, so the composition of your dinner depends on your choices that evening. I particularly liked the coconut agua chile under the otoro. Vegetarians will be happy with the grilled eggplant served with a harissa spiced hummus, or the grilled fresh hearts of palm. There are two cuts of meats (filet mignon or Prime Tomahawk), but would you really privilege them against the local bluefin tuna, Baja California swordfish, diver scallops, dry aged ora king salmon, whole seabream, or Pacific seabass when dining by the Pacific? Sweeten the end with the lime thyme cheesecake prepared with goat cheese or the ginger dacquoise, a pineapple confit with meringue and star anise. To top it off, surf the expansive wine list which holds more than 1,000 labels with an emphasis on California wines and beautiful Bordeaux and Burgundy Grands Crus.
> Scroll down the food photo gallery for the décor photos.
Photos © GAYOT.com