The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Wine and food pairing on the shores of La Jolla

The Marine Room along the La Jolla Shores is the only restaurant I know that publishes the highest tides, along with the times, dates and how high the tides will be. For instance, on Dec. 10, high tide will be at 8:09 a.m. and will be at 6.9 feet. You see, dining here is on the surf, and during high tide it crashes against the floor-to-ceiling windows, normally during breakfast at this time of the year.
The highest tide of the year is the middle of June at about 8:30 p.m. The tide got too big and harsh in 1982 when waves forced their way into the dining room. After upgrades, the restaurant became world-renowned for its surf views and elegant dining. The cuisine has been taken to a new level of adventure and excellence by Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver. They offer global cuisine rooted in French classics. The accolades keep coming for Guillas. Now, he and Oliver have co-authored a book that’s flying off the shelves, “Flying Pans, Two Chefs One World.”
“The book is about our travels around the world,” Guillas said. “I have been to 50 countries. The color photography is amazing, and the recipes are the most creative we could find. It’s designed for food lovers who love to cook at home.”
I asked him how the book is being accepted. “Our first year in print, last year, it received an award as one of the top 10 cookbooks in competition with over 10,000 entries. This year, we took the Peoples Choice Award for the Best Cookbook in America,” he beamed.
Guillas believes that San Diego County is the best farming community in America for fresh, quality ingredients. “There are 45 farmers markets in the city. I am doing the Farmers Market Report in the media,” he said.
It allows him to offer exotic dishes like my choice, Ginger Kalbi Glazed Cobia, with blue crab rice timbale, bok choy, and honshimeji tangerine sauce. It was served with a Pinot Noir wine from New Zealand.
“Cobia is a fish from the East Coast and I glazed it with Kalbi, made from sugar, soy, ginger and cilantro,” he said. “You must let it marinade for days. There is also blue crab meat and mushrooms on the side, over black Thai Rissoto. It’s a recipe from South Korea, although the sauce is French.”
The other menu item that caught my attention was the Pistachio Curry Crusted Rack of Lamb. This was presented with a Zinfandel from Sonoma.
The Marine Room is a rich dining tradition in La Jolla with a menu that reflects global influences from an executive chef and book author who has been there. Every dinner experience is a special occasion, with spectacular ocean views. For more information and reservations, call (858) 459-7222, or visit
Wine Bytes
— Canapes in San Marcos has some innovations for its restaurants. On Sundays, it’s no cost wine night when you purchase an entrée. Wednesdays it’s half-price wine bottles. They provide entertainment on weekend evenings. For more information, call (760) 510-2088.
— Big Zinfandels are the highlight at the weekly wine event at Bacchus Wine Market, downtown San Diego from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 9. Seven giant Zins will be tasted for a $15 fee. For more information, call (619) 236-0005.
— Holiday Wine Cellar of Escondido has a premier tasting from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 12 to the Dec. 17. Admission is $30. RSVP at (760) 745-1200.
— Country Cellars in Julian has a port and eggnog event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 17 and Dec. 18. They are located on Highway 78. For more information, call (760) 765-0089. Cost is $6.
— West and Bistro West in Carlsbad has a Holiday Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 11. Santa will be there along with carriage rides, carolers and facepainting. A Toys for Tots unwrapped gift is requested. For more information, call (866) 431-9378.