School may be cancelled, but SUMMER is not. And, let’s face it, most of us could really use a shaken cocktail on the beach right about now (Aperol Spritz Season, am I right?!) Sadly, Americans are not currently allowed into Italy, so our Summer plans for yachting around the Amalfi Coast have been postponed (Thanks COVID). Not to worry; we can turn our daydreams into a reality right here in our own backyard, San Diego Style. For every cocktail connoisseur longing for an ocean-front drink, here is a full list of where to Sip By The Sea This Summer & WHAT to order- apps & dishes included!
Pacifica Del Mar
With 180 degree ocean-views and amazing seafood, you can’t go wrong with anything on this eclectic menu. For a beach-front afternoon delight, try the “Morning Breeze,” the perfect mix of grapefruit juice, vodka and soda water. If you are looking for a divine appetizer to pair with this spritzy drink, opt for one of our personal favorites: either the Lemongrass Poached Shrimp Cocktail drizzled with lemon oil, or the Grilled Peaches & Burrata, served on a bed of fresh arugula, is an absolute dreamboat. Still hungry? The Sugar-Spiced Salmon over garlic mashed potatoes, dusted with mustard sauce will make it extremely difficult to ever order anything else at Pacifica.
Jake’s Del Mar
While sitting right on the beach at this leisure, local hot-spot, sip in style at Jake’s, and prepare to let your taste buds set sail with our personal favorite, the “Painkiller.” True to its name, this cocktail is a flawless shake-up of Koloa Gold Rum, pineapple, fresh orange juice, coconut puree and nutmeg. Pair this vacation themed drink with the Lime Marinated Ceviche, topped with cilantro and jalapeno, to add a little ZEST to your outing. Set your expectations HIGH, when you dive deep into your first bite of the Artichoke Roasted Fish, served over rustic chayote squash, corn, asparagus, brown rice and roasted tomatillo.
While stopping in for a beach-front bite a-la-Italia, start off your meal with THE DRINK OF THE SUMMER- an “Aperol Spritz.” If you have not yet tasted this blissful combination of Aperol, Prosecco and Club Soda, it is the MOST “Instagram-worthy,” refreshing spritz of semi-bitter perfection imaginable. While we won’t be traveling around Europe this Summer, this drink could definitely fool us into thinking we were on a beach in the Amalfi Coast. For a dish as delightful as this drink, go for the Conchiglie Norcina Con Pollo- a flavourful grilled chicken and porcini mushroom pasta, topped with BLACK TRUFFLE.
The Poseidon Restaurant
Head over to Poseidon for a true taste of San Diego, where the blue waves crash just steps away from your table. Impress your friends, and order the HOTTEST items on the menu. To drink? The “Very Berry”- a shaken combo of iced raspberry vodka, sparkling wine, Chambord and cranberry juice. This “photo-worthy” drink is a play on the famous “Aperol Spritz,” with a vodka infused KICK. And you absolutely must not leave Poseidon without tasting the Lemon Pepper Crusted Diver Scallops, served with soft mascarpone polenta, pickled shiitake mushrooms and corn-fava succotash, topped off with blood orange butter sauce- absolutely MOUTH WATERING.
Duke’s La Jolla
Instantly take off on a quick trip to Hawaii for a lively outing at Duke’s, with an unmatched view of the La Jolla Coast. For a fun take on a crowd-favorite, the “Moscow Mule,” try the “Tropical Mule,” rich with Cutwater Vodka, ginger beer, fresh pineapple, with a hint of lime. Pair this refreshing twist with the simply sinful Poke Tacos or Crispy Coconut Shrimp, drizzled with lilikoi chili water- the perfect appetizers to share family-style. Enjoy the Kabocha Squash & Mascarpone Ravioli, full of locally sourced vegetables and roasted sweet potatoes, served over an inviting coconut ginger broth- truly to die for.
George’s at the Cove
Head over to the ULTIMATE high-end ocean-front restaurant, with an unmatched ambiance and absolutely stunning views of the white water in La Jolla, George’s at the Cove. From the delectable dishes to the divine drinks, George’s is THE place to be in San Diego. Add a little SPICE to your life and order the “La Jolla,” a chili infused Tequila, stirred to perfection with mango, lime and agave. Or, if you are feeling sweet, indulge in a “Field of Flowers,” a candied vodka, shaken with Fino, lavender, cane sugar, oleo saccharum, lemon and Cava. Dive into the savory Grilled Octopus to start, served with a harissa-eggplant puree, fennel, celery, cherry tomatoes and splashed with garlic aioli. Next, you absolutely must try the Herb Alaskan Halibut, a La Jolla Legend.
The Marine Room
MICHELIN ALERT! For an incredible immersive experience, make a reservation in advance for the “High Tide Dinner” at The Marine Room, and watch in AWE as white-wash waves crash right into the glass of the dining room at this elegant eatery. Every bite and sip is what DREAMS are made of, and you simply can not go wrong with anything on this upscale menu, continuously filled with new foods and flavors. Sip on a “High Tide Tiki,” crafted with a duo of Cutwater Bali Hai and Malahat Spiced Campari, with pineapple and lime while watching the waves ebb and flow. Start off with a Nicolau Farm Goat Cheese Brulee, a delectable combination of little red gem, pine nut date bar, rye crisp and agridolc dressing. It is nearly impossible to choose from the Togarashi Sesame Spiced Ahi Tuna, served to perfection on a bed of sticky black rice, avocado and mango, sprinkled with sake hibiscus sauce, and the Maine Diver Scallops, dusted with macadamia yuzu crust, tuxedo barley, tangerine lace and goji berry emulsion.
Nestled in the heart of the La Jolla Hills, with a killer ocean-view, Eddie V’s hosts an active social scene, offering only the freshest seafood and “cocktails with attitude.” Start off your outing with either a “Maverick”- Ketel One Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Lime, Cucumber and topped with jalapeno, or a “24 Karat”- Belvedere Vodka, Grapefruit Liqueur, lemon, butterfly pea flower tea and a diamond ice cube. For seafood lovers, be sure to try the East Coast Oysters and The Shellfish Tower- both a DREAM BOAT. And, for a necessary indulgence, order a side of the TRUFFLED Macaroni and Cheese.
Pacific Coast Grill
Pacific Coast Grill is THE place to be in Cardiff. Watch the waves come in as you enjoy a “PCG Skinny Margarita,” with Don Julio Blanco, fresh squeezed lime juice and organic agave nectar, high in antioxidants. Do not miss out on the Hot Rock Sashimi Ahi, tossed in citrus-chile ponzo and orange-miso sauce. Or, if you are feeling extra COOL, try the Chilled Ahi Poke Tower, stacked high with Dungeness crab, spicy mayo, avocado and crispy wonton chips.
There is no better location, menu or ambiance than at the well-renowned Chart House. Right on the beach in Cardiff, this upscale eatery serves as the perfect place to CELEBRATE any occasion! Start the party with a “Firey Cucumber,” a shaken delight of Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, Monin Cucumber and sea salt, with a cayenne pepper and lime zest rim. Keep the soiree going with the Kim Chee Calamari for the table, an appetizer that everyone is bound to LOVE. Without question, order the Wild Caught King Crab as your main dish- and prepare to dream about it for weeks to come.
Stop into a local FAVORITE, Tower 13, for a fun atmosphere right on the beach in Cardiff. With so many craft cocktails to choose from, it can be almost impossible to make a selection. The “Tower 13 Bloody Mary” is out of this WORLD, served to impress with House Infused Hot Pepper Vodka. Tower 13 is definitely THE place to order a few apps for the table, so you can try a bite of everything- a foodie’s paradise! Our selections? Ahi Poke Tostadas served with wasabi aioli, Buffalo Cauliflower- YUM, Shrimp Ceviche with squeezed lime juice, Crispy Brussel Sprouts topped with balsamic reduction and the Crab Ahi Tower with ahi tuna, mango salsa, seaweed and cucumbers.
After all of this sweet seren-SIP-ity, enjoy a nice detox juice at Ki’s, with the most beautiful beach-front view of Cardiff. “The Hangover” is absolutely amazing over ice, rich with cucumber, celery, kale, lemon, bee pollen and echinacea, and will surely take away yours. For another stellar sip, opt for the “Hydra Smoothie,” a fresh blend of coconut water, coconut oil, mango, banana, almonds, chia seeds and honey drizzle. To finish off the ultimate Californian experience, try the Avocado Toast, topped with avo, fresh tomato, pepper, basil microgreens and a fried egg.