Pacific Coast Grill offers great food and views


Among the dining establishments where guests can watch the surf from the Cardiff turf is Pacific Coast Grill.

The restaurant — which moved from Solana Beach to this location in 2012 — is mere steps away from the ocean, and takes advantage of the scenery.

“We have the best view around,” Manager Miguel Zamora said, and with good reason: Patrons can enjoy the picturesque setting from every table, whether it’s in the enclosed dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows, on the sun-kissed patios, or from the fully stocked upstairs and downstairs bars.

While its location is relatively new, the 20-year-old restaurant is staffed by chefs who have been there for years. Chef Israel “Izzy” Balderas, Sous Chef Jorge Benitez and “The Creator,” Torrey Hall, continue to plan and prepare dishes that have been served since Day 1, while keeping things fresh by introducing new items.

Loyal customers will recognize longtime standbys such as the Pan Seared Bass with mashed potatoes, sautéed spinach, tomato, basil and white wine sauce, and the juicy Shrimp Dumplings that rest in a port wine sauce, garnished with micro basil.

Among the new items are the Blackened Sashimi Grade Ahi wrapped around Dungeness crab, in swirls of wasabi-ponzu butter sauce and chive oil; and the lunchtime specialty Nuevo Style Lobster. With the latter dish, the sweet meat is served in the shell, on a platter with hot tortillas and toppings such as jalapeno-cilantro salsa and guacamole, plus cheese-topped refried beans in a crispy shell and Spanish rice.

Additional entrees include the 18-ounce Cowboy Steak; Seafood Pasta in smoked tomato sauce; Porcini Crusted Scallops; and Pacific Paella, featuring grilled lobster tail, mahi, clams, scallops, shrimp and saffron Arborio rice.

Nearly all desserts are prepared in-house, including White Chocolate Bread Pudding with caramel bourbon sauce, which has been on the menu since the beginning. A crowd favorite is the Tempura Banana Split: Warm, lightly fried bananas are stuffed with peanut butter and chocolate chips, garnished with scoops of vanilla bean and hazelnut-chocolate gelato. The dessert is drizzled with caramel sauce and macadamia nuts, and finished with clouds of whipped cream.

Pacific Coast Grill further enhances the experience with a variety of drinks, from margaritas (in flavors such as Blackberry and Roasted Pineapple-Serrano) to Bloody Marys. Zamora — who is also a mixologist — created an idyllic beverage for a sunny beach day, the Pipes Pineapple Martini. It’s a sweet-and-spicy concoction of roasted pineapple infused with Thai chili and basil, Tito’s vodka, lime, lemon and agave nectar.

The wine list is extensive — the restaurant boasts about 1,000 bottles from pinot noirs to sparkling wines, with an emphasis on the Pacific region.

Customers who crave breakfast-type fare can satisfy their needs during Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’s everything from Filet Mignon Breakfast Burrito to Surf & Turf Benedict with crab cake and braised short rib.

‪Pacific Coast Grill, 2526 S. Coast Highway 101, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Valet parking is $4. Call 760-479-0721; visit‬