Last week (we visited 3 times) I had a surprising and delightful meal at a NEW restaurant. This doesn’t happen often. Most properties need to get their “sea legs” adjusted when everything is shining and new. But…Vesper on Ocean’s new restaurant Somerset succeeded where many have failed and blew this Gonzo Gidget’s mind.
Upon entering the space was stunning and the entire staff trained correctly in hospitality.
Somerset contained the compulsory open kitchen and a plethora of smiling faces all there to make the guest feel “waited on”. But they went a step further with exceptional food, great service, and stunning scenery.
Executive Chef James King has the look of a Rock Star and the palate of a king. The menu seemed pedestrian (as most hotels are wont to do), but the execution was beyond respectable. The dining area is open with a bit of the ocean breeze sneaking in, with a stunning view of the beach and fireside pits. There are two bars, both stunning and well-stocked, but the outdoor one called me in to linger and enjoy our stunning November weather.
I started with the Smoked Salmon Toast Points. This was perfection in flavor and impeccable accouterments including fried capers, crème fraîche, grated hard eggs, red onions, and scallions.
Gary’s dessert was a trio of chocolates. He went nuts for them. I ordered a bottle of 2014 Labyrinth Tempranillo, that is one of my favorite juices. We moved on to Crab Cakes which were dense with crab. I would have liked a remoulade sauce with them, I found the sauce too mild.
You have to admire a chef that bakes potatoes the “Girl Scout” way by throwing them into the embers of an open fire for hours. There is no better way to bake a spud. This was served Loaded with cheese, bacon, green onions and sour creme. Perfect in its simplicity.
We had to try the Lobster Roll which was packed full of tail meat on a soft white bun. The fries were the standout in this pairing.
We strolled after the meal to the fire pits and finished off the bottle of wine in the dazzling sound of the ocean breaking on the shore only 20 feet from the stunning property.
We returned and tried the Spicy Tuna Poke, Seafood Chowder, Strawberry Shortcake, Succotash, and Short Ribs. Every dish outdid the next for flavor and excellence.
They showed us a room, and everything was stunning. Energy-saving and luscious rarely go together in a sentence, but these rooms accomplished that and more.
My goal is to spend a weekend at the outside bar, noshing on the charcuterie board and drinking Mai Tais. Who’s in?
Somerset is located inside Vespera at Ocean Hotel in Pismo Beach, CA. https://www.vesperapismobeach.com or call 805-773-1011