Pacific Coast Grill


My wife was looking to reward herself for achieving a personal business milestone by having dinner at somewhere pretty special…with me of course. After some discussion we chose here ( the menu looked more enticing ) over another very highly regarded local restaurant in Del Mar which we had been to before. It’s always a thrill to try somewhere new so my wife made a reservation here for 6pm on Saturday. This landmark restaurant sits virtually right on the beach in Cardiff so it has an amazing view !

However we now had a reservation and were looking forward very much to enjoying dinner here….with the great ocean view. On Thursday I decided to drive over here and have a peek inside to see where would be the best place to sit for dinner. Soon after I walked inside I could see that everywhere downstairs had an ocean view….inside and out on the patio. I bumped into a server named Marcos who told me Saturday night is their busiest time.

And he told me where he thought was a great spot to sit. The upstairs dining and bars doesn’t open until 4pm Marcos explained. I decided to go up the stairs and see if the view was much better and it was. I met a friendly hostess named Grace who said the top patio was a great location to dine so that was my plan. I went downstairs and spoke with Sam the charming hostess working at the reception desk. Sam was so helpful and said she would pencil us in for a table on the upstairs patio.

My wife and I arrived in front of the Pacific Coast Grill at 5.45pm. It was very busy in the valet carpark so while my wife waited to be relieved of our car I nipped around the ocean front side and snapped a pic. A hostess named Natasha greeted us just inside the front entrance and confirmed we had a table for 2 on the upstairs patio. Thanks Sam ! And indeed we did….right beside the glass wind barriers with a spectacular ocean view. We also had a wonderful chat with Joel the restaurant GM.

A server named Joe….a cool looking dude wearing dark sunnies who I thought resembled David Lee Roth called at our table to see what we needed. We had not even looked at the dinner menu yet but I asked for a Swami’s IPA and an iced water for my wife. The upstairs dining area was completely packed with diners as far as the eye could see. We had a very good idea what we wanted for dinner but it pays to get a good server’s advice…..and we had a very talented server in Joe.

For appetizers we chose Shrimp Dumplings ( on Joe’s advice ) and Dungeness Crab Cakes. My ice cold IPA tasted great and the ocean view couldn’t get any better…maybe a tad when the blazing sun went down. Our sensational looking appetizers came out before you could whistle Dixie. We shared and my goodness it was hard to decide which one was tastier. The serve of Shrimp Dumplings dipped in the incredible Port Wine Sauce was off the planet delicious. However the Dungeness Crab Cakes each topped with a Seared Scallop just blew us away. So far so good ……great tasting food with a view to to die for. For Entrees my wife chose the Lobster Tail and I decided on the Chile – Rubbed Filet Mignon & Lobster.

I like my Filet Mignon Steak cooked medium rare ( pink in the middle but no blood ) I told our server Joe who suggested medium minus 1. The whole restaurant upstairs and down had a vibrant fun atmosphere which we loved. A smiling server named Jen brought out my 2nd beer…a Sculpin IPA. And then our huge entrees arrived together and both looked amazing. My Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection the way I like it….pink in the middle and very tender. My wife loved her Lobster Tail with sides of Truffle – Chive Cake ( Mashed Potato with Crumb Coating ), Artichokes, Green Beans & Baby Squash. Of course I totally enjoyed my Lobster and the same delicious sides.

The dessert menu was sitting right in front of us now and was too tempting to ignore. My wife ordered Dark Chocolate Custard and I chose the Tahitian Coconut Cheesecake. We also asked for a decaf Mocha and a decaf Latte. Our incredibly presented desserts came out followed very quickly by Joe with our coffees. I don’t think I’ve ever seen desserts more beautifully plated and they tasted so good. My wife loved her delicious Mocha and my Latte tasted excellent. We couldn’t eat another morsel and sat there so pleased that we had chosen this great restaurant with it’s wonderful staff, incredible food, fun atmosphere & amazing ocean view. It’s like living the California Dream !

Restaurant Details


2526 S Coast Hwy 101 Cardiff, CA 92007


(760) 479 0721

Link to Menu:


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About the Author

Picture of Michael Burke

Michael Burke

I'm an expat Aussie ( now a naturalized American citizen ) who moved to Southern California in 2006 with my American born wife Sherri. I like to write reviews about the most memorable restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, brew pubs and anything new that we find in our travels. I particularly look for excellent food & beverage consistency, good value for money plus friendly service.

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