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The Perfect Lunch

Lean protein, not-lean dessert at Oceana Coastal Kitchen

By Troy Johnson

Evans Hotels recently put $2.1 million into renovating their signature restaurant at the Catamaran Resort. It needed it. The Catamaran was that beloved local spot in Pacific Beach that felt left behind in the Magnum P.I. tropical white-guy era. Along with a pretty stunning floor-to-ceiling jellyfish aquarium in the middle of the restaurant, the renovation maximized the outdoor space overlooking Mission Bay and added a significant raw bar. For the new Oceana Costal Kitchen, they pulled in Steven Riemer, a vet of their other high-end restaurant A.R. Valentien at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.

I had a lunch there recently, and identified a sure-fire way to milk a perfect experience from the new attraction. Now that America has decided that bread or carbs of any sort lead to a form of bodily hell, the first portion of this plan fits perfectly into any diet. The second half throws all that out the window in a gluttonous pursuit of joy. So go, sit on the patio, and order:

YELLOWTAIL CRUDO: This dish relies on some supremely sourced raw yellowtail. Silky, lean and delicious. It’s then lightly bathed with aguachile, which is a chile-lime ceviche style that originated in Sinoloa, Mexico. Chef then adds some avocado for a healthy fat component and some mildly pickled radishes. One of the better crudos I’ve tasted.

NEW SCHOOL BANANA PUDDING: That’s right. You ate light and responsibly, and now it’s time to maintain balance in the universe by blowing those efforts. This riff on banana pudding has a vanilla cookie crumble, topped with carmelized bananas (one of life’s greatest sweets), with caramel sauce, whipped cream and a little mint. It’s a banana pudding that eats almost like a carrot cake.

The Perfect Lunch

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