Dinner at Coastal Kitchen in Dana Point
Happy first day of February! If you're already planning a dinner or date for Valentine's Day, or Galentine's Day with your girls, I've got the perfect place for you. Scott and I have discovered our new favorite restaurant in Orange County, Coastal Kitchen in Dana Point while celebrating our 3 year anniversary. I typically don't think to venture down to Dana Point for a dinner date unless I'm heading to the harbor, so this restaurant was a pleasant surprise.
Owned and operated by Michael and Christina Grant, Coastal Kitchen has an open airy yet inviting ambiance and a great mix of sea and land menu items. It's a place that can be enjoyed at all times of the day, and the building itself dates back to the 1920s as Dana Point's first commercial building. You can see the building as it was in the 20s and 30s through photographs that adorn the walls of Coastal Kitchen; manager Brittany took us through the history of how the restaurant was once The Blue Lantern, serving as a cafe and service station - the only stopping point between Los Angeles and San Diego.
We started our dinner off with cocktails and wine accompanied by starter plates of pork belly bites and sautéed clams & fried bread. And when I say plates, we may have ordered two plates of pork belly bites because they were that dang good. If you're into yummy morsels of pork belly meat, you'll love these decadent bites. And if you're a shellfish lover like I am, the sautéed clams are delightful and a nice transition into my jumbo lump crabcakes entree.
I don't typically order crabcakes as they can taste too bread-y to me, but these have got to be the best crabcakes I've ever tasted. The top of the crabcakes were perfectly crusted, adding the right amount of texture to the juicy crabmeat. The side of red cabbage slaw and campari tomatoes were a nice complement to the crab cakes. Scott enjoyed the Big Island Rib Eye; initially he thought it may be too sweet, but the marinade was just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering, and the meat just tender enough. He swapped out the baked potato for a side of yummy fries. I could tell that Scott thoroughly enjoyed his meal as his plate almost looked as if it was licked clean.
We ended our meal with lattes and sharing a s'mores pie. Now typically, I absolutely have no room for dessert, but I must say that the portions of each dish were perfect, and you just didn't feel weighed down or bloated after eating. We really experienced such quality, beautifully created and plated dishes. I've never heard Scott rave so much about a restaurant, and you can tell that many others love it as it was packed by the time we left. I highly recommend dining at Coastal Kitchen whether for a casual experience or special occasion. It would be the perfect setting for an effortless Valentine's evening dinner setting. Enjoy Coastal Kitchen for Lunch, Dinner or Happy Hour - see the menus here.
34091 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629
PORK BELLY BITES- (4) braised belly, ginger glaze
SAUTÉED CLAMS & FRIED BREADS - Manilas, shallots, garlic, crispy serrano
JUMBO LUMP CRABCAKES - *limited availability* red cabbage slaw, campari tomatoes
THE BIG ISLAND RIB EYE - 14oz, marinated 72 hours, loaded baked potato (subbed with fries)
SMORE'S PIE - chocolate custard, marshmallow meringue, graham cracker crust
Amanda of Feast.Fashion.Faves was not given monetary compensation to compose and publish this post but was given the meal described in this post gratis. All opinions expressed are of her own.