A quick shout out to my neighbors, Russ and Berm, who turned me on to Ocean Pacific Grille right when they opened up 4 months ago. They’ve been raving about them ever since. So, I’ve been wanting to try them for some time now, but always had some sort of scheduling conflict.
Luckily for us, Kat from Crave Marketing, invited us to check them out recently. So of course we jumped at the opportunity when it arrived and said, YES!
Ocean Pacific Grille was opened by Managing Partner, Brian Norris, and Chef Partner, Charles Andres. They each have over a decade of experience working for Roy’s across several States and cities. During their time at Roy’s, they crossed paths at least a couple times. Their friendship eventually led to their own venture as Ocean Pacific Grille and is quickly receiving a lot of fanfare throughout San Diego. Ocean Pacific Grille brings Pacific Fusion flavors with an accent of Filipino cuisine.
They are located in the heart of the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego. Parking was easy since it’s only a block and a half away from Horton Plaza, which will validate up to 3 hours for free (after you park, go into the main mall and find the self stamping validation machines).
Darren and I met up with Managing Partner, Brian Norris, to begin the evening. Brian gave us a quick tour through the modern, but warm interior of the property. It’s actually a consolidation of several units into two main areas – the bar and the main dining room.
What’s even more impressive is that Brian and Chef Charles, pulled up their sleeves to really make this interior pop! Chef Charles even made the gorgeous table and bar tops you see here. (Are all great chefs good carpenters too?) They spent countless hours getting the perfect look and feel they wanted and it really paid off.
Some shots of the kitchen, kitchen bar, large group dining room, and the wine wall!
They start you off with a complimentary bowl of seasoned edamame. The edamame was fresh and crisp in texture.
Next up we had the Island Style Ahi Poke. It’s prepared with a ginger oyster soy, sesame oil, and red onion. We loved it! The tuna was delicious in flavor and chilled perfectly.
Darren and I grew up on Poke because our parents were from Hawaii originally. This version was legit!
Here are the Adobo Style Baby Back Ribs with a Garlic Gremolata. These ribs were super rich in flavor and the acidity from the lemon gave it that wonderful Filipino tang. I did think some of the ribs could have been a touch more tender, but it was still a solid dish.
This is their signature Filipino Tocino Toast prepared with Burrata Cheese, Roasted Tomatoes, and a Balsamic Reduction. WOW.
They really hit this one out of the park! This was a fresh burst of flavors and textures coming at us from every angle. It had a perfect balance of from the balsamic (tang), burratta cheese (light savory), toast (soft sweetness), and greens (hint of bitter). The toast texture was great – crispy on the exterior, but light and airy on the inside.
You MUST get this!
This is their Hoisin Glazed Pork Belly Bao Bun with pickled sweet peppers and fresh cilantro. (FYI, a typical order comes in 3, but since we were sampling a bunch of other things, we just asked for two).
The pork belly was super tender and flavorful from the sweetness of the hoisin sauce (plum sauce). We loved the additional textures from the peppers and the bun was just the right consistency (light and bouncy).
Great execution and highly recommended.
Next up is their Olive Oil Charred Octopus with Blood Orange Gelee and Pickled Jicama. It’s sous-vide to make sure the octopus is extra tender before taking it to the grill.
Tip: Eat a bite of octopus with the jicama and a touch of the gelee all together.
This is their Crispy Skin Sea Bass with Green Lip Mussels, Bok Choy, Beans, and a Tamarind Tomato Broth.
As you can see the sea bass was super moist inside and the broth was subtle, but flavorful. I also really enjoyed the texture of the crispy fish skin.
Finally we tried their Calamansi Soy Glazed Hanger Steak with Cipollini Onions and Farro.
I loved the deep beef flavor from this hanger steak. It was super tender and prepared perfectly medium rare. The soy glazed was rich in flavor and offset by the spinach and farro. Farro typically refers to a mix of wheat grains. It had interesting textures of both soft and crunchy which I really enjoyed.
For dessert we tried their Apple Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Vanilla Bean Creme Anglaise and Candied Pecans.
It was sinfully divine. It wasn’t overly heavy in texture, but was rich in body and flavor. The vanilla bean creme anglaise was wonderful.
This last dessert is their Chocolate Passion Fruit Dome. We loved the layers of this dessert and the beautiful presentation.
Inside is a passion fruit haupia and accompanied by a white chocolate ganache. However, because the passion fruit haupia was very bright in tartness, I would have preferred a smaller ratio of the passion fruit, but that’s just me. It was still REALLY good!
A big thanks for Chef Andres and Partner Brian for giving us an inside look into Ocean Pacific Grille and a delicious meal to remember.
Ocean Pacific Grille has definitely brought a distinctive signature to San Diego that will continue to quickly standout. Service was excellent and you could tell the patrons all around us were enjoying their experience as much as we were.
We’ll definitely be coming back to share another meal here with family and friends in the very near future!
Ocean Pacific Grille
531 F St
San Diego, CA 92101 (619) 578-2828 Ocean Pacific Grille FALL 2015 MENU oceanpacificgrille.com