Food Observations

A blog for eaters

Archive for the tag “seafood”

Antonio’s Pizzeria 

Tremendous order of fish & chips from a pizzeria of all places!

Descanso Beach Club

Outstanding popcorn shrimp appetizer at the Descanso Beach Club on Catalina Island!  Just a short walk north from the casino is this amazing oasis. 

Red Lobster 

Outstanding display of deep fried seafood goodness at Red Lobster!  Simply called “Admiral’s Feast”, one of my favorite dishes there.  Highlight though is always the fresh, warm Cheddar Bay Biscuits. 


Outstanding dinner recently at Rubio’s! Cilantro Lime Sea Bass Bowl for only $9.29. Grilled sea bass rice bowl topped with a cilantro-lime mojo sauce (made with lime, cilantro and garlic). No idea what this thing they call “mojo sauce” is, but it was excellent. The bowl includes citrus rice, black beans (omitted), chipotle white sauce and a small amount of romaine lettuce along with guacamole and salsa fresca. Of all the times I’ve been here, this dish has to be the best thing I’ve put in my mouth at any Rubio’s.

This was definitely a big league dish for a “fast food” restaurant. It would be a stand out at any of the finer sit-down places in town, that I can tell you. The sea bass was cooked perfectly; flaky, moist and succulent. Not at all overcooked and tough as I was expecting. The flavors going on here, from the so-called mojo sauce to the chipotle white sauce were just dynamite! I recommend a good squeeze of fresh lime over the whole thing. 

Claim Jumper 

Outstanding Salmon Oscar at Claim Jumper!  Grilled salmon fillet topped with jumbo lump crab meat, lemon butter and grilled asparagus spears.  Definitely one of the best seafood dishes I’ve enjoyed at CJ!

Outback Steakhouse 

Happy New Year!  Here’s some of the best dishes I had at Outback last year.  Always loved their perfectly cooked grilled salmon!  Also an outstanding blue cheese wedge salad and loaded mashed tater thing.  

Da Tuna Shack 

While at Da Tuna Shack the other day trying the onion rings I also ordered a Softshell Crab Sandwich. For $11.95 it’s made with softshell crabs (duh), cabbage, red onions and a tangy tartar sauce. All sandwiches include your choice of crispy (crinkle cut) french fries or “tasty” tots and a side of sweet coleslaw.This was a really good sandwich that I would order again. The bun was high quality, warm, soft, grilled and obviously bakery fresh. Softshell crab was a fairly conservative amount, but breaded in a very flavorful, somewhat spicy batter. There were some areas that had nice meaty chunks, but fairly flat elsewhere. The cabbage and onion were a perfect cool, crunchy compliment to the whole thing. Tartar sauce was indeed tangy and very good.  

Tater (tasty) tots are not that common on restaurant menus, so I always order them when available. This plate included a very generous amount, freshly fried. I made my own dip concoction consisting of ranch dressing and some sriracha squirts. Very nice!

I was not a fan of the slaw. It was clearly fresh and housemade, I just didn’t personally care for chunks of fruit mixed in. Not my thing.

All in all, a great meal at a decent value. I might try the mani-mahi or jumbo shrimp sandwich next time.

Marinade on Main

Fish & Chips at Marmalade on Main ($15.50). I was glad to see it served on a real plate rather than a wooden plank. Comes with two huge, thick, meaty cod fillets, beer battered & fried. Perfectly cooked, flaky, moist and what not, crispy on the outside. Served with a fairly conservative portion of fries that are crispy and lightly seasoned. Really good fries. Tartar sauce was outstanding, seemed house made. Malt vinegar and lemons are also available on request. I’m not gonna sugar coat it – the coleslaw wasn’t very good. Basic shredded cabbage and carrot affair, dressed sparingly with some sort of salty vinaigrette. Not at all creamy if that’s what you like. Unfortunately it sympathetically absorbed the warmth of the hot food on the plate. Probably would have been best served on the side in some sort of ramekin to keep it cold.

The Main Course Restaurant

Great dinner recently at The Main Course! A classic American steakhouse restaurant with a contemporary flair. We’ve been looking forward to trying this place since they opened. I recall remarking back in the day when visiting Thai Time for the first time that you don’t feel like you’re in Ramona (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This place, even more so! Since I have a lot of ground to cover, I’m going to cut to the chase and get straight to the food…
Clam Chowder ($8) – Big (shallow) bowl containing a rich and flavorful chowder. Full of meaty clams with just the right amount of potato, not too much. Also had some bacon which was a nice touch. Lent a smokiness to the whole thing that was really nice. Did not feel the need to add any salt & pepper. I would get this again.  

Lobster Mac & Cheese ($15) – Initial impression was “hot mess”. Presentation was not great and it was clearly a very loose béchamel. Never did tighten up. In fact, we wound up eating it with a spoon. There were only 4 discernible pieces of lobster meat throughout, only one of which I would consider a chunk. It did have a good lobster flavor though. I did appreciate that it was made with cavatappi pasta (corkscrew macaroni), which is how I like to make it at home.
Bread service (complimentary) – This was a highlight for us. A good sized sourdough loaf, warmed and sliced. Served with a side of what seemed to be an herb/garlic compound butter. Best thing was, the butter was perfectly soft! Nothing irritates me more than rock hard butter from the fridge! Although the bread was good, I will say it didn’t taste fresh from the oven. If it was baked the same day, it was very early in the morning.
Grilled Salmon Fillet ($26) – Excellent salmon, perfectly cooked and just the right sized portion. Moist, tender and flaky on the inside with a really nice sear crust on the outside. Highly recommended. Served over a bed of sautéed kale slaw and rice pilaf. The kale slaw was a nice touch and added a somewhat crunchy texture to an otherwise soft dish. Rice was just decent. Seemed odd that a rice pilaf was made with a short grain rice. Rice was on the al dente side and didn’t seem as hot as it should have been. All topped with a lemon herb beurre blanc (butter/white wine type sauce). Sauce was fine, but I thought it could have had more of an up front acidic/citrus note. Recommend they serve with some lemon wedges. I would get this again…
New York Steak ($34) – From Gail: When I have the option for steak, I almost always get my go-to basic of filet mignon. However, I felt compelled to ask our server which cut she felt was best at The Main Course. Our server highly recommended the New York steak. Because she is the one who is always serving them up, I was more than happy to take her suggestion! I am SO happy I did. A New York cut is more often than not poorly done, but not in this case. I chose to order mine medium rare, knowing I could ask to be cooked longer if needed. The steak was almost a thing of perfection! Large in size for a steak service, that’s for sure. There was a nice bark on the outside with the perfect rare center that I had hoped for. Our server did double back with me to make sure my steak was to the right temperature, at which is was! I chose to have the béarnaise sauce with my steak, which there are many sauces to choose from. It was certainly delightful and complimented the New York steak perfectly! I was not a huge fan of the veggies, but thats me on an every day level, they would have been perfect for the veggie lover. Personally, for me, its all about the steak and I look forward to going back to try that filet mignon next!
Kahlua Creme Brûlée ($7) – One of the more perfect desserts… This one was as good as any other fine restaurant creme brûlée that I’ve had. Nothing really that set it apart. The caramelized sugar on top seemed to be a little too thick. Maybe because it was served in such a shallow dish. I think I would prefer to try the flourless chocolate molten cake next time.
The restroom is classy, clean and elegantly appointed!
They incorporated a really nice patio seating area with top shelf furniture. There’s a section that wraps around the side so you don’t have to feel like you’re eating literally on the sidewalk of 620 Main Street.  
Overall a fantastic restaurant and such a gem for Ramona! They clearly focus on attention to detail. We interacted with most of the staff and service from start to finish was outstanding! Friendly, welcoming, personal and very professional. Can’t wait to go back for breakfast sometime on the weekend to try my favorite Eggs Benedict.

Cracker Barrel

On a recent trip to Yuma, AZ we had to stop at our favorite restaurant.  So sad there’s none to be found in California.  This time I went outside the box and ordered the grilled rainbow trout.  To keep it real, I selected my two favorite vegetables, mac & cheese and hashbrown casserole.  Rounded it all out with a nice hot biscuit!  Everything was just excellent.  I could eat here everyday, but I’d weigh 500 pounds no doubt 😂


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