I have always loved “The Del’s” fairytale castle exterior and they have done an incredible job with their extensive (read $$$$) renovations.
However, I was not really looking forward to dining at their new restaurant, 1500 Ocean, for two reasons:
1. I usually do not like to eat in hotel dining rooms finding most of them to be stuffy, overpriced, and serving-at best-very mediocre food.
2. I feel the same about most restaurants that offer gorgeous water views.
However, being the big person that I am, I will admit that 1500’s chef de cuisine, Jason Shaeffer, proved me wrong on both counts. (When I later found out that Shaeffer had been the sous chef at Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant in NYC, it all began to make sense.)
The restaurant, filled with warm natural wood, a glass wall that reflects the sunset hues, potted palms, and soft lighting in the booths evokes a feeling of comfortable elegance. Our server was excellent; knowledgeable, professional, yet thoughtfully never hurried us and offered to serve our dishes in several courses so we could relax.
The menu features “Southland Coastal Cuisine” which I would describe as upscale Cal/Mex using only the freshest, quality ingredients sourced from Santa Ynez to Cabo San Lucas.
Highlights from our meal: Impeccably fresh lime and honey cured yellowtail served with a swipe of avocado mousse, mouth-watering fragrant garlic roasted Mexican shrimp,crispy skin salmon with roasted sunchoke,bacon, lemon, and arugula (I was so hoping that there would be some leftovers because it would have made a scrumpy sandwich, but no such luck) and a Warm Chocolate Chipotle Cake with Banana,and Caramel Ice Cream. The cake was interesting but the real winner here was the deep, rich flavor of the ice cream.
Dining here shows San Diego’s potential realized to the “nth” degree!
Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118