Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the restaurant week menu offerings at Flavor Del Mar. This restaurant has been on the top of my to-do list after hearing very good reviews about it, and I was already considering trying it out for restaurant week.
Located in the upstairs section of the Del Mar Plaza, the enclosed terrace seating with floor to ceiling glass windows offers a gorgeous view of the coastline, especially if you get there before sunset.
Complimentary amuse bouche
To whet the appetite, we were served corn two ways. The inside of the glass consisted of corn chowder with curry popcorn and tomato. I enjoyed the chowder, but the popcorn was missing its crunch due to the chowder, though I enjoyed the curry flavor to it.
Bread with sea salt
Bread was accompanied with four different flavors of infused sea salts: orange creamsicle, sriracha, yuzu, and rosemary. I thought this was pretty unique though the only flavor I could distinctly detect was the sriracha.
Spicy Crispy Shrimp Frisee, arugula, chipotle, yuzu vinaigrette
Based on my yelp reading and our server, this is one of their most popular dishes, so it was nice to see them offer it on the restaurant week menu.
This was a very rich appetizer. The crispy shrimp are smothered in a creamy chipotle sauce. It’s best eaten together with the raw salad and vinaigrette which tempers the spice. DH thoroughly enjoyed this one. I liked it as well, though I loved my appetizer even more.
Sauteed Greens Broccolini, Purple Kale, 63 Degree Egg, Manchego Cheese, Chili Oil
Never has a plate of vegetables sounded so appealing to me as this description did. It was every bit as good as I imagined. The vegetables were warm and comforting. The chili oil added to the heat of the dish and made the greens even more enjoyable as well as masking the slight bitter edge of the kale. Sitting on top and waiting to be broken onto the bed of greens was a 63 degree egg.
I did a little research into this 63 degree egg cooking method. The egg is cooked sous vide until the egg yolk reaches 63 degrees. Egg yolks actually solidify at a lower temperature than egg whites, so by cooking it sous vide at the lower temperature, you actually can get a just cooked, but still extremely creamy egg yolk, even though the egg whites are still runny. I had mixed feelings about the egg. I loved the yolk and what it added to the greens, but wasn’t a fan of the runny egg whites. DH happily ate up what I didn’t finish.
Big Eye Tuna Tataki Daikon, Avocado, Tomato Ginger dressing
I knew immediately this would be DH’s choice, with his penchant for raw fish. The tuna was a beautiful deep shade of red. It was lightly seared and served on a bed of ginger dressing. Accompanying the tuna were salad rolls made with thinly sliced daikon acting as the skins of the rolls. Inside each salad roll was a lot of lettuce and dollop of avocado. I actually found the rolls to be too plain. I thought they needed some dressing or something so it didn’t feel like I was just eating a mouthful of lettuce.
Ricotta Cavetelli Lobster, Spring Peas, Bacon, Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms
The lobster version is what is normally at the restaurant though for restaurant week they will be serving a shrimp version. The cavetelli were light and pillowy, the lobster perfectly poached. I loved the spring peas and mushrooms as well. The only part I didn’t like was the bacon. Normally I love bacon, but these large chunks were too salty for me.
Despite the cloudy day, we were able to catch a glimpse of the sun set.
I really loved the cut out of “flavor” for the dessert menu.
Butterscotch Budino Italian Pudding, Caramel, Whipped Creme Fraiche, Maldon Sea Salt
This is another signature item of the restaurant. Normally, despite my sweet tooth, I don’t like intensely sweet desserts. This pudding is intensely sweet, especially with the layer of caramel on top. But it was ridiculously good as well and I loved it despite its intense sweetness. The sea salt really helped to balance out the intense sweetness.
Cherries Jubilee Crepes, Candied Almonds, Bing & Rainier cherries, vanilla bean ice cream
We thought we’d go for something lighter and fruitier as our second dessert option. I actually didn’t really like these. As a personal preference, I enjoy my crepes crispy and these were quite wet from all the sauce.
Overall, we had an enjoyable meal here. I definitely think it’s worth considering for restaurant week or any other time you want a nice night out. We thought the food was every bit as good as all the buzz we had heard prior to our visit and we’ll definitely be back again.
Flavor Del Mar
1555 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014