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    Birthday Perfection at Pacific Coast Grill

    Written by: Alexandra Lotzgeselle

    Let me start by saying, I do not enjoy big birthday bashes. I don’t enjoy having all the attention on me, and would much rather do something small and relaxed to celebrate. This year I got just that. This past Saturday I got to spend a perfect birthday with my husband and my son, and capped it off with an amazing dinner at Pacific Coast Grill.

    If you have never been to Pacific Coast Grill located in Cardiff, you are absolutely missing out. Whether you’re eating there for brunch, lunch, or dinner, you will be treated to an amazing meal right on the beach. I have eaten there for both brunch and dinner several times, and have always thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous views from both inside the restaurant and outside on the second story terrace. One time last year, when we were there for my husbands birthday, we were eating right next to Trevor Hoffman while simultaneously watching a whale breach and spout offshore. The location, menu, and ambiance are perfect for all occasions- whether it be a romantic meal with your love or an evening out with girlfriends.

    I have had many of the items on their dinner menu and enjoyed every single one. Their menu is eclectic and varied while still being cohesive- you can get their Hawaiian style baby back ribs (they’re delicious), a couple signature sushi rolls (so good), or their insanely good seafood paella to name a few. For this meal, my 27th birthday dinner, we really dined well and left needing to loosen our pants!

    They start your meal off with some delicious bread and herb seasoned butter. I love carbs, so I’m liable to chow-down on some bread even if it’s stale, but their bread comes out so fresh, warm, and delicious that it is not to be missed. It’s more than just normal table bread and because of it, I was full before they even brought us our actual meals. We started with the incredible ‘West Coast Black Mussels’ served in a Thai red curry-coconut broth. I love all mussels, but these are the best I have ever had. My husband on the other hand, hates mussels. He’s convinced I only order them because it’s one of the only food items he won’t try to eat off my plate. These mussels though, are a different story. These we fight over as we aggressively dunk and soak any leftover bread into the incredible broth. I feel this is a safe place, so I’m comfortable confessing that I sat there with a spoon drinking the remaining broth like a soup. It really is that good, and it’s the perfect flavor profile to accommodate the mussels.

    For our main courses we both made excellent choices. My husband actually wanted a combination of two different meals- the protein from one, but the sides from another. He asked, and they were happy to make the change, as every dish is made fresh and therefore substitutions can usually be accommodated. He had pan-seared seabass with these astonishingly delicious pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi, cauliflower, and pomegranate drizzle. The gnocchi was rich and dessert-like and tasted like the best pumpkin donuts that ever could have been created, and the cauliflower, while normally an afterthought, was probably my favorite part of the dish. I swear my husband always has order regret. Basically, he can never make up his mind, but always ends up saying “I should have gotten the other one” right after he orders. This time he said, with confidence, that he has never been so happy with an entree choice. This time, he chose the perfect dinner.

    My entree was a little more extravagant but hey, it was my birthday right? I ordered what has to be the best thing on their menu…lobster bacon carbonara. The menu claims this entree is “angel-hair pasta, heirloom tomato compote, and ½ a grilled lobster tail” for just under $35. First of all, there is more lobster in the dish than just half a grilled tail. Yes, there is half of a perfectly grilled tail placed on top of the pasta, however, there is so much chunked lobster inside of the dish, that I actually thought it was gnocchi when it came out. I had to mix it up and scoot things around before I could even get around all of the lobster to find the pasta. Not exactly a problem in my mind! I can confidently say that you would be REALLY hard-pressed to find any other restaurant where you can get so much lobster (and such an amazing meal in general) for that price. Carbonara is one of my favorite dishes- I actually had it a week straight when we were in Europe a couple years ago, and even ordered it in Poland (not exactly known for their Italian food!) just because I will always order it when it’s on any menu. So, with my love for carbonara, it’s no surprise I would order it when served with lobster, but this is certainly the most decadent and delicious carbonara imaginable. The heirloom tomatoes are necessary and I wish they would be included in all carbonara. It added the citrus flavor that is needed with lobster, and why you always find lobster served with lemon, and was a very delicious addition to the dish. While $35 is not cheap, I had the leftovers the next two days and enjoyed every single, marvelous bite.

    Just when I thought I was unable to take another bite, our waiter brought out a birthday surprise- a coconut cheesecake with passion fruit sauce. I normally don’t like coconut but with the tartness of the passion fruit sauce it was delicious and I happily ate every last bite.

    Men: if you want to impress your wives or girlfriends, take them here and they will swoon over the amazing food and gorgeous location. If you have out of town guests and want to impress them, this is the place to do it. Ladies: if you want to dine out with your girlfriends and be torn between your conversation and an unobstructed views of the pristine ocean, look no further. Pacific Coast Grill is five-star dining and absolutely was the cherry on top of another fabulous birthday!

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    Photos by: Alexandra Lotzgeselle

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