Thanks to all the Del Mar CHs for their input. I'd asked for a "beachy" spot for dinner and specifically requested non-white tablecloth places. Several responses gave me plenty of choices. Based on your recommendations, we chose POSEIDON for the fish tacos and their superb outdoor beachfront location.
First disappointment - they do not take reservations for the beachfront patio. We were told to "come early and have a couple of drinks" to secure our table (Ah, the old "have a couple of drinks to run up the bill" ploy. Should have been my first clue.). There are no five-tops in the first row, so we were seated in the second. OK, plenty of ocean for everyone to enjoy. The setting is lovely, the day was beautiful and we were pleased with our choice. A quick look at the menu showed NO FISH TACOS for dinner; confirmed by the server who told us they're only available for lunch. Adios caution! The dinner menu is pricey, filled with all the trendy California cliches (wasabi mashed potatoes, ginger crusted so-and-so, Peruvian purple potatoes, etc). Our guests arrived and quickly threw caution to the wind. One ordered the seafood sampler ($16), followed by a daily special ($36) and a dessert special ($9) washed down by two glasses of pinot noir ($18). FYI: I ordered the bowl of clams from the app section for my dinner ($14) hoping to keep the final bill in three figures!
My husband's sea bass ($28) was tender and delicious but the accompanying Israeli cous-cous had a rancid tinge that only I detected. He was pleased. Ditto for the others. My bowl of clams was a definite OK, C+ on the report card -- raw scallion chunks and miserly/minuscule clams lowered the score of an otherwise flavorful broth.
Excepting the location, there was absolutely nothing - except the prices - stellar about POSEIDON. I would not return. I cannot say the same for our three guests. They are young, easily impressed and thought it was "way cool". I suppose to those of non-CH persuasions, it is easy to dress up the pig. Yet for CHs, the pig still stinks.
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