Today is: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Ocean Ave. Seafood Restaurant Review
For seafood and wine lovers, Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar is like heaven, complete with “Wine Angels” who fly to retrieve your fine wine selection from their extraordinary collection. The restaurant’s eclectic split-story design features an impressive Oyster Bar with a large and rotating choice of briny delights and a gorgeous Bar with an extensive collection of wines, champagne, vodkas, providing both gustatory and visual enjoyment in the lounge area. Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar offers fresh seafood, steak, pasta, and exceptional
service for all occasions, from intimate happy hour pairings to banquets.
Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar the Fish House stands tall over the corner of Ocean Avenue and Santa Monica blvd., its presence proudly announced
in playful blue letters. Taking up a full corner, Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar offers a departure from the traditional, with a striking playfully elegant setting, and bold, creative presentations of always-fresh seafood.
Stepping into Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar, we are surprised
by the stunning, modern design, which is among the most striking in the Santa
Monica area. Our eyes are immediately drawn to the commanding, sexy
bar that sits just beyond the entrance, already peppered with
stylish guests. Then we see what sits behind it.
Caramel Apple Martini
Long Island Ice tea
Taking a seat among the soothing tones, we are almost immediately greeted by our server, Jose. First on our agenda are our beverage options; I am quite eager to
peruse Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar's award-winning wine list. The list, which has earned the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence as well as the distinguished Best of Award of Excellence, consists of over thousands of wines, spanning a range of both wine types and price ranges. There is an extensive s
election at almost any price point, offering guests willing to spend both $30 and
$300 a welcoming array of options. Of course, the strength of the wine list lies
in its variety, with hundreds of excellent bottles between $40 and $100.
Chef Sylvano Measta's
Gosset, Grand Reserve Brut
We opt to begin with an aperitif before selecting a wine, and ask Jose to bring a
glass of the Gosset, Grand Reserve Brut, France as well as their classic Martini.
The Champagne proves an excellent beginning to the meal but the standout is
the Martini drink, which is sweet and smooth, a perfect concoction for a
summer evening. Had we not already committed to dinner, we would
have gladly spent a leisurely hour in the adjacent lounge, sipping
our drinks while relaxing in the plush chairs.
Oysters on the Half Shell
As it is, we eagerly turn our attention to the menu, feasting our eyes on Sylvano Measta's menu creations. As Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar's name indicates, the menu is focused on the sea, with nothing other than the restaurant's namesake headlining the show. Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar is offered in the classic fashion accompanied by Oysters on the Half Shell. Even guests who must forgo the luxurious Oyster course will have an opportunity to indulge the small, glistening spheres appear as an elegant garnish on many of Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar's dishes. There are Oysters for every single
one’s taste such as; Oysters from the West Coast; Crassostrea Gigas,
Crassostrea Sikamea, from the East Coast; Crassostrea Virginica.
You may want to try the Oyster Sampler which will pair
very well with the Oyster/Wine sampler.
Big Eye Tuna Tartar
We started with some of their amazing appetizers; the Big Eye Tuna Tartar is a
perfect beginning to a meal of modern fusion cuisine. A cubed form sits on the
plate, four layers of vibrant avocado and purple spicy tuna all topped with
micro herbs and wonton. The oils offer an equally complex
mélange of flavors, and there are so many subtle tastes
vying for attention that we savor each bite.
The Lobster Taquitos offer a lively contrast in texture and flavor. The first bite of this appetizer is perfect—the thin, crispy taquitos gives way to a moist, creamy flesh, creating a harmonious duality of textures. Crowning the dish is a delicate, Lobster flavor, which despite its almost-crumbling texture imparts a rich appetizer. We
also tried the big Eye Wasabi Ahi, again another delicious cold appetizer.
We turn our attention to the wine by the glass selection, called Luxury Premium and almost immediately one beckons: The Justin Isosceles Paso Robles 2004, a waft of the striking floral nose has me to closing my eyes and imagining honeysuckle vines. Hints of blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry bring forth intensely integrated spiced cedar frame by dampened earth and wet worn leather. Opaque as black ink in the glass, the wine carries its own sense of gravity to the bottom of the stem that unfurls hedonistic dark fruit and concentrated eucalyptus leaf. Sweet black licorice rounds
out a bottomless finish of ashen mineral, tobacco, and coffee ground. The
wine carries us through the remaining courses of our meal.
The Clam Chowder is a playful dish, with apple wood
smoked bacon, and plump pieces of lobster and small shrimp pepper
the broth, adding glimpses of texture
to the velvety liquid. The broth bursts
with the flavors of lobster,
backed by subtler flavors of tomato and cream.
Ocean Avenue Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar's main courses vary by season, marrying the freshest available fish with Chef Mestas's unique "flavor creations."
Black Cod with Alaskan King Crab Legs
The Black Cod, Alaska, which we opt to share, is a stunning example of Mestas’ style. The colorful dish is a medley of textures and forms: pale white cod broiled with sake kasu, bok choy hides under steamed rice, the concasse is brilliantly subtle, light and surprisingly elegant, revealing only a hint of sake flavor. The fish pulls apart easily, a seared light brown crust giving way to moist flesh. This dish is a dichotomy of sweet and sour, the sweet sauce, both adding layers of depth to the fish. The Black Cod itself is velvety and moist, offering an almost smoky, woodsy flavor. The dish is,
like the entire meal, both playful and elegant, and a delight to enjoy.
Australian Lobster Tail
We also tasted their extraordinary Australian Lobster Tail and the Alaskan King
Crab Legs, served with potatoes and vegetables. Again, another wonderful
dish for Lobsters and Crab lovers. In fact, this was one of the
best lobsters and crab dishes in town!
Key Lime Coconut Tart
Vanilla Crème Brulee
With our plates clear and our last sips of our wine dwindling in our glasses, we are ready for dessert. A list of sweets tempts us, and we select the most intriguing: the Key Lime Coconut Tart and the traditional Vanilla Crème Brulee, with a glass
of Sandeman 20-year Tawny Port, there seems no more fitting way to
end the meal. As Jose delivers the desserts, each bite is heavenly.
We spend a moment in silence, our forks alternating between decadence and modesty. Taking a last bite of the gold crème brulee on my plate, I feel, like
Ella Fitzgerald, transported to a world of luxury and liveliness, where
cares slip away and all that matters is this moment.
As we stand up to leave, tracing our steps back toward the entrance, past the stunning wine striking bar, we feel energized. With lightness in our steps and grins across our faces, we step out into the now-bustling Santa Monica scene. Feeling infused
with a playful elegance, we float along Ocean Avenue, satisfied.
For map and location click Here!
For more information please visit their website at www.oceanave.com
Article by: Mary Adams
Photos by: Chris Marx
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