Sea & Smoke is located in Del Mar at the Flower Hill Mall right off Interstate 5 near the Del Mar Race Track. It is a bit closer to me than his other restaurants, so I was really looking forward to their newest establishment.
We went in the other night for dinner, sans kids. The makeover from the previous restaurant (Paradise Grill) was a pleasant surprise. The upstairs is very open, modern and comfortable. The downstairs bar is clean and refined but cozy. Outside is awesome, the new deck floor, overhead lighting and simple tables make it a cool place to hang out and eat.
They do not have a GF menu yet but are working on it. Our waitress was very helpful and was able to speak with Chef to find out what would be safe for me to eat. Luckily, most things on the menu were gluten free so you will not be without choices. Chef had time to stop at our table during the meal to see how everything was going. I was sure to let him know that food was delicious and I was comfortable with the GF dishes.
We started with the "Blackened" Yellowtail Crudo. This was yellowtail sashimi rolled in a jalapeno ash then sliced. The fish was served over watermelon with jicama. It was simple, clean and a great way to start. The jalapeno ash and salt complemented the yellowtail and the watermelon.
Next up, salad. We choose to have the summer salad. This was listed as arugula (although I thought it was baby spinach), roasted corn, spicy corn nuts (yes, GF), jicama, pickled chilies (these were super good) and cotija cheese, tossed with a vinaigrette. Great salad, lots of flavor and textures. You should order this one.
For dinner my wife had the Cast Iron Prawns. These were well seasoned, perfectly cooked and served with avocado and plated over a black bean puree. I was allowed to try one and it was very good. She had the corn bread as a side dish (not GF).
For my dinner I choose to have the Braised Lamb Shoulder. I can't wait to go back and order this again. The meat was perfectly seasoned and cooked - super tender. Then dip it, soak it, run it through the sauce - a spicy broth- and wow. Out of this world - it had just the right amount of kick.
As a side I ordered the Beet Gratin. Yes, beet (not potato). It did play with your brain because the yellow beets were thinly sliced, and looked like a potato, but had the delicious taste of a summer beet. I like beets and really enjoyed the dish but I think if you were considering trying beets this is a delicious presentation.
Dessert. Yes I still had room for dessert. We had the Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. This was a long chocolate ganache over flourless chocolate cake with cocco powder and chocolate sauce. It was a lot of chocolate, very good but we couldn't finish it. Our kids were happy to devour the leftovers when we brought it home.
What are my final thoughts.
I'll definitely be back.
Can't wait for the GF menu (or simply add GF to all of the dishes on the menu that are GF)
I'll reorder the lamb.
Chef Gordon will do really well here - great location and excellent food.
Until next time,
The Un-Gluten Guy
We stopped in and the GF menu is available. The first two images are the breakfast/lunch menu.
These next two are the GF Dinner Menu.
The Niman Ranch Braised Lamb Shoulder is my favorite.