Monday, January 08, 2007


I imagine most that happen by to read this blog have already ate a meal or three here – Restaurant Week in San Diego kicked off for us at The Oceanaire at 4th and J. This ain’t a Joe’s Crabshack, baby! I went in expecting a seafoodie version of Ruth’s Chris – I think that is pretty accurate. It has a reputation as a $$$$ restaurant so it was a surprise that they remained at the $30 price point when many have went up to $40 (even The Yardhouse fer chrimey sakes! WTF?) Anyway, the week is perfect for bargain hunters.

They present the restaurant week menu a little differently than others. Instead of one sheet of listed 3 courses and the 3 choices for each and that’s it, they present their regular menu with some options highlighted in bold to indicate you could pick them as part of restaurant week (no mention of this until we asked.) And they had an extra 2 or 3 choices for both the main course and apps. Sweet!

Shortly after being seated they set down a half loaf of bread and a relish plate filled with a couple of celery and carrot sticks, a couple of radishes, etc and a little bowl of herring. My wife is a big fan of herring (picked fish – usually in a wine sauce) and it is a New Years Eve tradition to eat it (said to bring good luck even though we’ve had a checkout girl nearly throw up in her mouth at Von’s recently – well, not quite but it did draw a “wha?, ewww” reaction.) Besides the wine list - they have a list of "classic old school" cocktails like the Harvey Wallbanger and the probably the Howdy Plunger and so on. We ordered a Tequila Sunrise and a "James Bond" Martini. Both good!

Appetizer Course
  • Maryland Inspired Blue Crab Cake. This was a pile, slightly flattened, of crab meat. Delicious! Almost total crab meat – no breadcrumbs to be found in this puppy! Thumbs up.

  • El Diablo Squid. Let’s not be disgusting and just call it calamari! It’s lightly battered, deep-fried and then mixed with a whoa-nelly hot (to us) sauce.

Main Course

  • Oregon Stuffed Petrale Sole: Blue Crab, Bay Shrimp and Brie with Lemon Beurre Blanc. You could really taste the beurre. I’m just kidding. This was a real winner.

  • Swordfish “drunken” with a cherry reduction. It was pretty good – not too dry or anything. There were some nuts mixed in with the cherries (pretty much covered the fish.)


  • Cappuccino Praline and Raspberry/Chocolate Cake. Both of these were a layered cake with either alternate layers of mousse or raspberry filling with a sponge cake.

A tremendous value as the entrées were listed around $28. The crabcake is listed around $13 and the squid over $10 and I’d assume desserts would be $7 or $8 (no price listed.) Cocktails are in the $8 to $10 range. Because of the way the menu is presented (with RW options in bold) I suppose they caught some unsuspecting visitors paying normal price. I wonder. Of course, they are probably pretty booked up each night – I’d think that reservations would only be available booking with a hotel concierge.

The menu did vary somewhat from what was posted online as it was missing Lobster Bisque and Oysters Rockefeller. No biggie – what we got was great anyhow. They were out of a couple of desserts (Crème brûlée and a Fruit Crisp) but still had 4 or 5 to choose from. Maybe their “real” desserts are a little more elaborate. I did pull some descriptions directly from the RW website – if they prove to be slightly incorrect from what was served. In the end, we had lots of food, it was all tasty and oh yea, the service was fine.

No pictures this round – I had the cell phone camera at the ready but without using the flash any previews of photos looked too dark. I wasn’t about to use the flash.

We just have one more restaurant planned for later this week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Scott,
I am glad you enjoyed Oceanaire. I really dig that place.

January 11, 2007 7:30 PM  
Blogger robwonton said...

I also had the El Diablo Squid. It was so spicy (not in a good way) that it ruined the rest of my meal. I was very surpised that the dish was overly spicy like that.

January 23, 2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger Ollylain said...

Wha? No Baked Alaska for dessert?? Although the raspberry chocolate you had sounds great. Hope you enjoyed it.

February 22, 2007 12:21 PM  

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