restaurant write-up: jake's del mar

by Stacy

For my birthday a week or so ago, in addition to eating ridiculous lemon meringue cake, our out-of-town guests accompanied my husband and I to Jake’s Del Mar, “quintessential beachfront dining.”

A bit up the coast from downtown San Diego, Del Mar literally means “of the sea.” Jake’s offers a solid seafood-based menu with a generous amount of dishes “from the land.” We had a coupon for a free calamari appetizer, which was interesting:

calamari at jake's

Coated in macadamia nuts with a sweet-and-sour glaze, it was delicious; we missed the curly tentacle bites, though.

We originally had reservations for later in the evening, but all of us were starving and they were able to seat us early. To avoid anyone passing out, we also ordered the “almond crusted brie,” which turned out to the be the fanciest mozzarella sticks any of us had ever seen or tasted:

brie appetizer at jake's

This small plate was so good. The comforting combo of crunchy fried coating and melty cheese with that rich brie flavor? Epic win. There was almost a minor fight over the last piece.

Our table ordered salmon, scallops, and shrimp, and I had the barramundi, only partially because it’s really fun to say.

Try it. Seriously. Barramundi!

It was all quite good. No pictures because we devoured it. (We were so impressed with the brie that we held off long enough to take pictures.) Was it earth-shattering? No. Was it great-tasting, solidly good food? Absolutely.

Since it was my birthday, we also got a free slice of their signature hula pie. An ice cream and chocolate dessert, it hit the spot and was best split four ways.

The service was also great. Knowledgeable without trying too hard, and laid-back but professional. Just what a classy beachfront seafood restaurant should be.

Currently, my husband and I have a rule of no repeat restaurants until we’ve been to enough to start comparing them and making choices. I could definitely be talked into going back to Jake’s, and a quick search brings up good reviews for their happy hour. For a nice North Coastal treat or a special occasion, Jake’s would definitely be on my list.

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