Saturday, August 24, 2019

California Native

We were recently invited to check out one of the newest additions to the Del Mar Highlands shopping and entertainment center. I really love that place with all of the great little specialty shops, restaurants, and the Cinépolis theater. 

The newest restaurant to call this plaza home is California Native, featuring fresh, California cuisine served in a rustic setting, with plenty of charm and California smiles. 

The California cuisine concept is really played up throughout, but in a way that is fun and classy. I love the California Bear on everything! 

One of the things that truly impressed me about California Native was that it was elegant and fun, but was completely child-friendly. As we dined, several families were enjoying the big-screen TVs and food. As a mother, I'm always happy to find another good place that is child friendly.

We started with some of their house Chardonnay from their vineyard in Santa Inez. I love getting a wine from someone's own place. It reminds me of Italy, where every wine was usually form the owner's vineyard. I'll spare you my tangent narrative on how I think that Southern California and Italy have much in common.

For a cocktail, we tried the Endless Summer, a sweet twist on the classic old-fashioned, with apple bourbon and orange bitters. Not only was it interesting to look at, it was delicious and not too sweet. 

 At our server's recommendation, we started with the sweet and spicy shrimp. The plate was a shareable, but not so huge that it filled us up before our entrees. These shrimp were quite tasty, with a slightly sweet sauce and crispy breading.

 For my main course, I wanted to try the 1/2 of a rotisserie chicken served with black beans and seasoned rice. The chicken was very flavorful and juicy, with a crispy skin. The sides were unusual to serve with a rotisserie chicken, but it kept well with the California theme, and they were both homemade and tasty. 

What is more California than a slow-cooked tri-tip? I had actually never heard of or tasted tri-tip before moving here, but it's a ubiquitous dish in Southern California. This version was incredible, and one of the best I've had. 

The beef was seasoned and tender, sitting atop root vegetables that combined deliciously with the roasted meat. 
Dessert was very special, featuring two churro donuts and homemade ice cream. The donuts were hot and fresh, and had a light crumb and cinnamon flavor. The ice cream was simply amazing, so creamy and full of vanilla flavor. 

California Native is open for Happy Hour and dinner, daily.
August 24, 2019 / by / 0 Comments

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