Kirbie's Cravings

Vessel Restaurant inside Kona Kai Resort

The Kona Kai Resort in San Diego recently underwent more than $20 million of renovations. Last month, Mr. K and I were invited to check out the revamped Vessel Restaurant for a 6-course dinner tasting event.

Tomato & Burrata

I really love burrata cheese. The burrata served during dinner was creamy and fresh. It was paired with a colorful variety of tomatoes. The drizzle of balsamic brought the dish together nicely.

“Loup De Mer” Crudo

The raw fish looked so beautiful with the smattering of edible purple flowers. The fish was seasoned simply with some lime and salt.

Shrimp Ajillo

The shrimp were very plump and prepared in a garlic sauce, but this dish was missing a little something for me. I think adding a bit of spice would have helped.

Mole Marinated Pork Loin

One of my favorites of the night. The pork was tender, with a light pink center. The mole sauce paired perfectly. The room went silent when we dug into this course.

Surf & Turf

I always enjoy surf and turf and enjoyed this dish almost as much as the pork loin. Large scallops were paired with braised short ribs.

Whipped Cheesecake with Warm Berry Cobbler

I don’t normally like eating cheesecake because it’s so rich, which is why this whipped version was so perfect. It was light, not too sweet. I loved the coconut crumble.

We had a good meal here. The wines paired well with the dishes as well. I’m definitely curious to come back at another time for a normal, non-media meal.

Disclosure: As discussed above, we were invited for a media tasting dinner and our food was complimentary. I was not further compensated for this review and my opinions are all my own.

The Vessel at Kona Kai Resort
1551 Shelter Island Dr,
San Diego, CA 92106

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7 comments on “Vessel Restaurant inside Kona Kai Resort”

  1. Hi Kirbie – it’s me again. I’m not sure what the Kona Kai looks like now, but back in the mid 80’s it was very Polynesian/Tiki-like.

    • It was rainy and dark the day we went so I didn’t get to explore too much, but I didn’t see too much of a Polynesian theme.

  2. okay,i just saw the menu photo and it does have smoked paprika. i guess they didn’t put enough for you to notice it.

    • yes it did have smoked paprika, at least according to the menu, but yeah, I don’t think they put enough. That’s so interesting of your past with Kona Kai. I never saw it before so it was hard to compare. You should definitely go see it though. They have a nice lounge too with a live musician.

  3. Wow, very ritzy! Our wedding reception was supposed to be at the Kona Kai way back when but they were remodeling (which they didn’t tell us when we first booked it) and we were forced to find another site (grrr). My first “formal” ball with Bert (back in high school) was at the Kona Kai. It would be nice to go there again to see all the changes!

    All of your food looked so good especially the surf and turf. I’m surprised that the shrimp wasn’t seasoned. Normally that dish has smoked paprika.

  4. It certainly looks delicious and make me very hungry. But is it safe to eat non-fully cooked pork? To me chicken and pork has to be
    fully cooked. Even a lot of the upscale restaurants serve pink pork, I still have doubt eating them pink.

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