On the edge of where the west meets the sea, one finds themselves at the grandiose entrance of the hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. The foyer’s winding staircases greet guests as if they’ve arrived at a grand ball, but the beach palace’s newest restaurant, Catch, has a much quainter and cozier feel.
With the panorama of ocean filling every window view, it’s easy to expect that Catch’s menu would be swimming with the surf’s bounty. And, indeed, the restaurant is a spectacular tribute to market fresh seafood cuisine.
Flawlessly prepared delicacies, such as octopus salad with eggplant and olives, gooey Dungeness crab fondue, hearty Alaskan halibut with thyme and big-eye tuna in anchovy lemon, grace the tables dotted with seashells. For landlubbers, there are the sizzling grilled lamb with gremolata, the silky Parmesan risotto with truffles and parma ham and the mouthwatering, 12-ounce, dry-aged New York strip steak. Executive Chef Michael Reardon’s mission is to keep his food parallel to the Catch’s atmosphere — clean, crisp and modern.
At the center of the eatery is a long bar glistening with mother of pearl tiles, where masters cut sushi, crudo and sashimi starters. The interior’s dark chocolate wood gives way to cream-colored leather woven chairs equipped with comfy pillows and sea green accents, while textured porcelain provides an elegant setting for the house favorites.
Although the majority of Californians prefer to live at a casual pace rather than always have one eye on the clock, Catch is better served on the early side. A dinner reservation for 7 p.m. is a must. Even if appetites are not yet in full swing, no one should miss the breathtaking sunset reflected off the water and glittering through the tops of the surrounding palm trees. No doubt the light floods into the dining room just as interior designer Jim Gillam must have intended.
To fill the time before hunger hits, try the thoughtful cocktails concocted by resident mixologists, including the East West Martini with a hint of chili, which, even if it isn’t enjoyed during lunch or dinner, is alone worth the trip to the restaurant. And after meals, Catch’s attentive and professional wait staff invite foodies to linger at their leisure — especially those who prefer to remain on “beach time.”
1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica | 310.581.1744