Jake’s Del Mar- Sunday Brunch spot
1660 Coast Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014
So it's Monday again. Just five more days until the weekend! I had some visitors this past weekend, which means only one thing: lots of fooding! So I was busy fooding and didn't have any time to post, but I took lots of pictures in preparation for my blogging.
So since my friends were from out of town, my boyfriend and I took them to one of our favorite Sunday brunch spots when guests come to visit: Jake's Del Mar! It's located right on the beach and therefore had a beautiful dining view, allowing out-of-towners to experience beautiful San Diego beach front dining. Jake's also has a fine dining type atmosphere, allowing you to enjoy clean tablecloths and good service, but with very reasonable brunch prices. You can choose from a variety of breakfast type entrees or lunch type entrees which range from about $11-20. I just realized I didn't take any pictures of the menu. Perhaps too much wine tasting the night before? However, the full menu is available on their website. Brunch comes with a complimentary glass of fresh squeezed juice and an assortment of pastries. You can also get a glass of champagne with your brunch for $6.50. If you have a big party though, it's cheaper to just buy a bottle. It used to be $25 for a bottle, I'm not sure if the prices have changed. No one was really in the mood for mimosas that morning, so we skipped on the champagne. I've always had pretty good customer service there, and even though they are super busy, they don't seem to mind if you linger over your brunch.
Here are some pictures of the view from our table:
Now onto the food! I mentioned that this is my go-to spot for out of town guests. One of the reasons why I don't go here on a normal basis is that the food is just okay tasting to me. It's not bad, but it's not food I absolutely love either. This brunch was no exception.
We started out with some pastries. We had four: two croissants, a cinnamon filled pastry and a slice of chocolate croissant. Everyone enjoyed the croissant and the chocolate croissant. I thought the cinnamon filled pasty was too sweet, especially with the icing on top. The chocolate croissant piece was tiny. Between the four of us, we had one tiny bite each. The one bite I had was pretty good though! The pastry was soft and flaky, and not too buttery and the chocolate was not too sweet. The croissant was pretty good too, and tasted like it had just come out of the oven.
For my entree, I ordered the French toast. I've had good experiences with french toast lately at brunch spots. I've had the Coast Toast at Brockton and the stuffed french toast at The Cottage. Unfortunately, this will not go down on my list of good french toast spots. My french toast came with potatoes which was surprising. I don't remember there being potatoes in the past when other people in my party ordered it. It also looked a bit weird presentation-wise, next to the sweet french toast and powdered sugar.
I ended up not liking the french toast at all. I didn't even finish it. And the potatoes ended up being the best part of the meal. I couldn't really tell what kind of bread went into the making of this french toast. The top portion had crusty bread, but it was cut into cubes, reminding me of the bread pudding I recently saw on a Bobby Flay bread pudding throw-down. The rest of the bread seemed to have different layers, some of the layers had what I presume to be raisins in it based on the description in the menu. But the bread was super soggy tasting. Soggy, like it had been drenched in egg batter and then not cooked. It needed to be toasted or cooked in some form to save the taste. There was also some sort of yellow cream sauce to go with the toast, which didn't go well with the toast because it didn't enhance it in any way. The sauce was less sweet than the toast, but was meant to be a sort of syrup for the toast. And it really didn't taste anything like french toast. I ended up eating most of the top portion of my french toast which had the dry bread that was not drenched in sauce and was not soggy. The potatoes were pretty good though, so I'm glad they were on my plate. They were cooked in a creamy, flavorful sauce with black pepper. Now looking at this picture, I should have taken a better one to show the layers of the french toast. I think I was starving at the time and couldn't wait to dig in, so I only took this one photo of my food.
My boyfriend ordered the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. The portion size was pretty big. I had a bite, and thought that the smoked salmon was too powerful and completely overwhelmed the eggs and english muffin. I couldn't taste anything else. He agreed, but seemed to enjoy his dish for the most part. He got potatoes with his eggs too.
One of my friends ordered the lemon ricotta pancakes. He didn't get any potatoes with his pancakes. The pancakes came with a lemon-flavored cream syrup that was very sweet and a little bit tangy.. It reminded me of the filling in a lemon filled donut. I had a bite and thought his pancakes were too sweet and lemony for my taste. But he seemed to enjoy them, though after he finished he was craving something salty.
My other friend had a vegetarian omelet. She seemed to enjoy the omelet and they were able to make it without the mozzarella cheese, like she requested.
Our server was pretty attentive and even gave us a refill on the pastries. We asked if we could just get the croissants and chocolate croissant, since none of us really like the cinnamon pastry as much. He said that the plates were pre-set, but he when he brought us the second plate, he told us he was able to get us another croissant. Unfortunately this plate had no chocolate croissant at all! Oh well.
We also decided to try the Hula pie for dessert. I had read reviews about the pie and read about it on their website as a signature dish of theirs. It was served on a plate that actually says "Hula pie" and has some pictures of hul
a girls dancing. I personally didn't care much for the design of the plate. I think if they were going to make a plate especially for this dessert, it could have been a nicer design. The dessert was also not that impressive. I will say it was pretty big slice. It's basically vanilla ice cream with macadamia nuts, with a cookie crust bottom and some chocolate fudge poured over the top and some more macadamia nuts sprinkled on top of the fudge. The ice cream was a bit icy and then nuts in the ice cream didn't blend in that well. In other words, it didn't really taste like macadmia nut ice cream. It just tasted like a cheap vanilla ice cream (think the vanilla ice cream in the grocery store ice cream cakes), mixed with some chopped macadamia nuts. There was also some whip cream, but that was melted within a minute of the dessert reaching us, and just became a pooled mess in the plate. No one in our party was very impressed with the Hula pie, and I will probably not be ordering it again.
Overall, while the food was not a great experience, the place still has a good view and good service. The pastries are pretty good too. It's a nice place to take friends who are visiting from out of town, but would not be a regular food spot for me.
Tip for parking: I usually do the valet, which is only $3. Parking in Del Mar near the beach is really hard to find and the city is super super strict with their parking violations!! When we were driving, we saw the ticketing guy several times. They don't just check the meter constantly, but they give you tickets for you parking slightly outside of your lines and other things too! This one time, my friend was forced to park a few inches past her marked line at the meters because the car in front had done such a poor parking job. She got a ticket for that! It was like $40 or something big like that. So from now on, we always just do valet parking.