Inside: 6 reasons to put Del Mar SoCal Kitchen on your must-try list!
Del Mar is officially opening in the Short North and I’m so excited!
I have been following along on the restaurant’s progress, poring over the menu, and
stalking reading about Sonny Pache, the Executive Chef for a while now. I generally love the Southern California vibe, fresh & vibrant food, and anything Cameron Mitchell, so I suspected this was going to be a spot I would enjoy.
So when I was invited to sample a few goodies and get a sneak peek of the restaurant before it opened, I was ecstatic!
Disclosure: I was provided samples for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Here are 6 reasons to try Del Mar SoCal Kitchen:
Reason #1: The Vibe
Del Mar SoCal Kitchen is STUNNING. And you don’t just have to take my word for it.
Columbus Navigator named it “Cameron Mitchell’s Most Stunning Restaurant Yet.”
Adding to the airy space are the large glass doors facing the street and the open shelving lining the bar. Fun details can be found everywhere. I loved the retro subway-style tile flooring, and the itty-bitty oil lamps, but my personal favorite was the vintage suitcases lining the wall around the kitchen.
Reason #2: The Cocktails
The best thing about going out to eat with foodie friends, is that we love to order different things, and then pass them around so everyone gets to try. Every cocktail I tried was fun and delicious.
My personal favorite was the “Aloe, It’s Me.” Made with Lillet Blanc, aloe, persimmon, and apple, this drink was light and refreshing. I was worried it would be too sweet, but it wasn’t. 100% would order this again.
Made with Ketel One Vodka, citrus, mint, and avocado – this was gorgeously hued and 100% SoCal flavored.
This cocktail was called the Pineapple Dance, and it was made with Leblon Cachaça, pineapple, and coconut cream. There was a hint of heat (our server mentioned it had a spiced honey in it as well) that balanced out the sweet notes of the pineapple and coconut cream. Definitely felt like a “vacation cocktail” and I loved the fun glass!
If there exists a more perfectly suited cocktail for my husband, I can’t dream it up. Old Forester Bourbon, Amaro, and Vermouth.
I’ll be honest and say that when I was offered a taste of this, my first instinct, was “nope.” It was a gin cocktail, and I just can’t handle the taste of gin. But I tried a sip, and I was shocked. I would totally order this cocktail! It was a mix of Watershed Guild Series Gin, strawberry, pear, and citrus.
Reason#3: The Service
I am always so impressed with the service I receive at all the Cameron Mitchell restaurants. It’s always excellent and always above and beyond. This is consistent, and it’s been consistent at every stage of my life.
The broke college kid going to cheap happy hours at Cap City Grandview? Amazing service. The exhausted new parent trying to make it through a quick meal at Molly Woo’s before the baby wakes up? Amazing service. A dinner to celebrate a birthday with friends at Ocean Club? Amazing service. Taking your whole (loud and crazy) family to a nice brunch at The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek to celebrate graduation? Amazing service.
I’m especially fascinated by this because I used to be a restaurant manager. I know first hand that you can’t force people to provide good service. You have to inspire them to give good service. It has to be earned, and hats off to their entire corporate culture for being able to inspire such high standards, consistently.
Our server, Aaron, was funny, gave great recommendations, and didn’t make us feel weird or annoying for taking SO.MANY.PHOTOS.
But you know what else he did? When a table asked for root beer, which they don’t serve, instead of saying “sorry, can you pick a different drink?” he decided to instead ask the hostess if she would mind running down to the next restaurant over and grabbing root beer.
Reason #4: The Food
The food at Del Mar was eclectic. Everything from Wagyu beef burgers, to poke to beef chow fun. Lots of fresh fish and seafood options were listed on the menu, along with vegetarian options, steak, and pretty much everything in between.
Reason #5: Vegetarian Offerings are FANTASTIC!
I’m not a vegetarian, but many of my friends are, and it often seems like vegetarian entrees are kind of an after-thought. Like they just took the burger off the burger, and added some extra tomato and called it done. Uninspiring. So I was thrilled with all the veggie choices.
My favorite bite of the night was actually vegetarian, and even healthy. 7 Vegetable Fried Rice. IT.WAS.SO.GOOD. Also, spoiler alert: It’s not actually rice. It’s cauliflower rice and it’s fantastic.
How amazing and fresh and colorful does this look? #Vegetarian
Reason #6: Lincoln Social Rooftop Bar
And if you needed any more reasons to check out Del Mar, after dinner you can head upstairs to Lincoln Social, a rooftop bar with stunning views and a RETRACTABLE roof. This space opens April 30th, just in time for Columbus’s patio season.
My photos won’t do the space justice, you really have to check it out for yourself.
I really enjoyed Del Mar. And I can’t WAIT for Lincoln Social to open up. Maybe I’ll see you there? Cheers!