Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Catch at Hotel Casa del Mar (Santa Monica, CA): Excellent Ocean View Dining

Dining with an ocean view can be disappointing food-wise, but the new Chef at Catch, Sven Mede, aims to make it better at this fresh seafood-centric restaurant inside Hotel Casa del Mar.

View from my seat
Of course, I couldn't say no to the Grand Shellfish Platter for two (Maine lobster, citrus poached shrimp, Alaskan King Crab legs, East & West coast oysters, Cherrystone clams, ceviche, served with traditional garnishes - $68)
The East Coast oysters were Cape Cod Sweet Petite and the West Coast oysters were Crystal Bay. Both oysters were unusually good and fresh, the Sweet Petites were the best oysters I've had in recent memory. The clams were also exceptional. The lobster was unfortunately a little tough, but otherwise we loved the shellfish platter.
The raw seafood continues with Maine diver scallop crudo, blood orange, rhubarb, basil ($14)
Beautiful, delicate flavors.

I was pleased with the cocktails I tried at The Lobby Lounge before so I tried The Perfect Pair (Hendricks gin, fresh muddled pear, lemon juice, pear juice, thyme - $15).
This cocktail seemed a bit unbalanced for me, unfortunately. Maybe the Hendricks with the thyme was a bit too much and needed something else to smooth it out. I moved on with wine which I enjoyed a lot more.

Moving on with the food... I decided to go all seafood that night. Next was the Cedar-smoked Pacific Blue Prawns, heirloom carrots, parsley and pink peppercorn vinaigrette ($16)
As with the other dishes we tried, Chef Mede lets the freshness of the seafood shines through, only lightly dressing them.

The grilled Spanish octopus with smoked potatoes, paprika, and Marula olive oil ($17) is one of their signature appetizer items.

Mustard marinated California black cod, roasted shiitake, sunchokes, green asparagus ($34)
We got the cod because Chef Mede said it was one of their signature items and it did not disappoint. The mustard marinade was not overwhelming and accentuates the sweetness of the cod itself. 

We had an excellent meal at Catch. Chef Mede prepared almost everything perfectly and the seafood was inarguably fresh. When you need to take an out of town guest for dinner with an ocean view, you can be assured that Catch will deliver on both the view and the taste.

Hotel Casa del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 581-7714
Catch on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: this meal was comped


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