Location: 2000 Spindrift Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
If you’re looking for a truly unique five star dining experience The Marine Room should be at the top of your list! Situated right at the end of La Jolla Shores Beach this picturesque restaurant overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean where you can watch passerby jogging, walking their dogs, and families playing along the beach as you enjoy an unforgettable gourmet meal.
The first time I ate at The Marine Room was when I took my husband out for his birthday dinner a few years ago. The restaurant is part of the La Jolla Tennis Club within a quaint upscale neighborhood. When you first enter you are greeted by the giant bay windows and a view of the crystal blue waters of the ocean!
As you dine you are entertained by the constant crashing of the waves coming towards you. If you’re lucky to get a reservation during their “High Tide Dinners” from May to October, the ocean will be right at your window and you can experience these dramatic waves coming right at you as you dine!!! Don’t worry the glass is sturdy so you don’t have to worry about getting a shower.
Complimenting the extraordinary views is the food, which I must say really lives up to the elegance of this unique restaurant. The dishes are new French-American style, skillfully prepared using local fresh ingredients, and artfully plated. Not only are they delicious, I have to be honest, this is one of the few expensive restaurants that have VERY GENEROUS PORTIONS…a super plus plus for me because: (1) you will be full and (2) you will feel you got your money’s worth!
We started the evening with their appetizer: Rooibos Tea Spiced Baja Prawns (see first photo above). What a work of art! These JUMBO SIZED PRAWNS were almost like a mini lobster each…carefully stacked along a side of freekeh salad, piquant red pepper sauce, sea grass garnish, crispy poppadum wedge, and sweet pomegranate and mango sauce for contrast. The prawns themselves were lightly seasoned with some middle eastern inspired spices and tea mixture and sauteed to perfection to retain that great bouncy texture and natural sweetness. Excellent starter!!!
As a second appetizer we had the Star Anise Oak Wood Smoked Mary’s Duck (left photo). The presentation was really quite magical, a beautiful glass dome coming to your table only to be lifted to reveal a beautiful swirl of oak wood smoke! The duck breast was perfectly seared and juicy served with a baby pickled apple and tangy-sweet barberry gastrique.
“Heavenly Deliciousness…Star Anise Oak Wood Smoked Mary’s Duck”
~ The Marine Room~
For the entree my husband ordered the Center Cut Black Angus Filet Mignon (right photo) served with Tartufo potato puree, mission fig chutney, topped with Saint Agur blue cheese infused butter, and sitting on a bed of seasonal baby vegetables and a Garnacha wine reduction. The beef was tender and the richness of the sauce and meat goes very well with the slight sharpness from the blue cheese in the butter.
Meanwhile, I had the Fleur de Sel Crispy Skin Branzino served with bacon dust, a blue crab croquet, and fennel purée with seasonal vegetables and a pomegranate sauce. This dish is light compared to the rich meaty filet mignon, and the wonderful delicate texture of the fish pairs well with the sweet and salty pomegranate sauce. This dish has great texture from the crispy skin to the delicate buttery fish meat!
Since visiting this restaurant we’ve been back twice more over the years and was never disappointed. The service is great and their menu continues to change with the seasons so you can look forward to trying new coastal-inspired dishes. Next time you’re visiting San Diego, be sure to come to La Jolla Shores and end your day with a memorable sunset dinner at The Marine Room!