Vessel’s Summer Menu at Kona Kai Resort, San Diego

What better way to kick off Summer than with an invitation to visit one of our favorite restaurants in San Diego – Vessel at Kona Kai Resort!  IMG_2058

We were invited to check out Chef Roy’s new Summer Tasting Menu along with a craft beer pairing.  Would it live up to the previous menu (Vessel Fall Menu Review)?

First up was the 48 Hour Pork Belly – plantain powder, sweet potato spaetzle, anise, & bitter chocolate

I must say I loved the presentation.  The pork belly was tasty for sure, and it was interesting to have it spiced with anise.  However, I did feel this dish came up a bit short in overall balance of textures because there were too many dry elements together for my liking.



Next up was the Roasted Pear – borage flower, roqeufort, fine herb medley, caramelized black pepper vinaigrette.  This was a light and sweet change, and the floral accents were a nice touch.


Corn Dusted Albacore – serrano custard, bacon powder, and onion jam.  The slices of seared albacore was what you would expect it to be, but this was an inventive dish given the custard pairing.  The custard was one of Jorgina’s favorite dishes.  It was creamy and smooth mixed with dehydrated corn kernels and sprinkled with crunchy sugar crystals on top.  Chef Roy said the custard should have been bruleed, but the custard was still delicious with the sugar the way it was.



Dry Aged Ribeye – blue cheese popcorn, foie gras butter, bordelaise.  For me this was my favorite dish of the evening.  My piece of steak was perfectly cooked, and the foie butter was rich and heavenly.


Confit Game Hen – anise scented couscous, quince lacquer, roasted grape.  We also enjoyed this dish.  The roasted grape was a nice touch, though the couscous was a touch dry.  The game hen was cooked to perfection with nice crispy and caramelized skin.

All of the dishes were nicely paired with a beer that complimented each dish’s flavors.  We aren’t beer connoisseurs, but thought that some of the beers were smooth and had nice citrus tones that made it a great accompaniment to each dish.  Overall, another great tasting from Chef.  I wish we would have had time to stick around for dessert, but parenthood beckoned.  We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store for next season!

Kona Kai Resort – Vessel Restaurant
1551 Shelter Island Drive
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 221-8000

About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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3 Comments on “Vessel’s Summer Menu at Kona Kai Resort, San Diego”

  1. I think it is nice to get all these free meals. But The nagging question in my mind is. Is it worth paying for?

    1. Good question, Tommy! And, yes, it’s worth paying for. I’ve actually taken my wife, family, and friends here to dine on three separate occasions… on my own dime. 🙂

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