Cohn Restaurant fans take note: the San Diego restaurateur powerhouse has brought their fine dining expertise to Oceanside with their restaurant, 333 Pacific. It is an ode to Southern California, with breath-taking views of its seaside setting, innovative California cuisine, and a faultlessly stylish design aesthetic. Located on the first floor of the Wyndham Oceanfront Pier Resort, diners can feast on clever creations like Bleu Cheese Crusted Kobe Beef Meatloaf and Maine Diver Scallops seared in apple cider, while enjoying a stunning, panoramic view of the Oceanside Pier and beach. 333 Pacific promises a welcome invigoration of the North County dining scene.Read More ...
Against a quintessentially Southern California beach backdrop, 333 Pacific’s posh modernity distinguishes it from the surf shops and casual eateries that pepper Oceanside’s North Pacific Street. The restaurant is the newest fine dining endeavor by the Cohn Restaurant Group, and promises the same level of creative cuisine, exquisite service, and distinctive decor. Both in its atmosphere and cuisine, 333 Pacific not only reflects its ocean surroundings, but, like binoculars, focuses on new details, and guides diners toward gastronomic discovery.
Distracted by the iconic San Diego setting of swaying palms, crashing waves, and clear blue skies, we nearly miss 333 Pacific’s subtle sign. Upon entering the restaurant we are struck by the dining room’s visual appeal. The Lounge’s large circular bar with its towering display of over 100 different vodkas sets the sophisticated tone for the evening; low upholstered banquettes and high counters with bar stools cluster around it, promising intimate Happy Hour rendezvous. Dimming sunlight filters in through panoramic windows, and we are momentarily arrested by the calm beauty of the Oceanside Pier and glistening sandy beach in front of us. A covered porch overlooking stunning vistas offers up salty sea aromas with protection from brisk breezes. The main dining room is a mixture of textures: exposed cement accent walls reference industrial docks, leather and Op-Art ovoid designs suggest a retro-hip modernity, while rock accents and a naturalistic color scheme of earth tones and cool blues mirror the surrounding landscape. It is an atmosphere that blends the ease of Southern California beach culture with a suave, metropolitan luxury.
Basking in our lush environment, we peruse the menu and wine list in eager anticipation of our feast. 333 Pacific’s extensive collection of over 200 wines offers tasteful, trend-conscious selections, with wines organized according to type and region, in addition to more modish sections like “Female Wine Makers” and “Eco Wines.” The menu is similarly exhaustive, offering a multitude of oceanic odes punctuated by diverse and tantalizing flavor pairings.
The House Salad and Beet Salad “Carpaccio” appear before us in bountifully green tandem. The deep burgundy and sunny gold of the Beet Salad immediately catches my eye. Thin slices of golden and red beets ring a massive mound of verdant arugula, crowned by fried capers and speckles of goat cheese. It proves to be as well-balanced in flavor as it is visually, with each ingredient layering texture and taste: the slight bitterness of the arugula juxtaposes with the goat cheese’s creamy sharpness and beets, while a generous dosing of pepper and the subtle, and unifying application of truffle oil punctuates the palate.
While the House Salad was first eclipsed by the Beet Salad’s color explosion, its merits soon shine through. A delicious and refreshing concoction of mixed greens, pomegranate vinaigrette, plum tomatoes, and hearts of palm, the salad manages to impart a complex progression of flavors: the earthy pomegranate vinaigrette and slightly briny hearts of palm are activated by the acidic burst of tomatoes between the teeth. Long crispy parmesan croutons add salty intensity and a welcome crunch. Refreshing and weighty, earthy and light, these two salads invigorate the palate and prepare our salivary glands for what is to come.
The Citrus Shrimp and Blue Crab Ceviche arrives in a stem-less martini glass, like a delightful aperitif. It resembles a festive present, celebrating gastronomic splendor, with curled lime slices intertwining with green pea shoots, sprinkled with bonito flake “confetti.” Below these delectable “party favors,” pink shrimps and white chunks of crab swim in an orangey-pink sea of citrus juices. The zing of citrus, with the underlying sweetness of pink grapefruit first puckers the palate, followed by the smoky, fishy flavor of the bonito flakes. The shrimp and crab meat are subtle and buttery, punctuated by a lingering heat from the surprisingly subtle application of serrano chilies. It is a revitalizing gift to the tongue.
The Sweet Chili Calamari is an inviting tangle of sticky, sesame-crusted rings, accented by a frizz of frisee on the plate. Inspired by the sweet spiciness of orange chicken, the innovation of this staple snack is a deft balance of textures and flavors. Each calamari segment is lightly coated in rice flour and then fried, giving it a hint of batter without imparting greasiness. The sriracha and citrus in the sauce alternately heat and cool the palate, while the coriander, green onion, and sesame seeds add spicy, fresh, nutty notes to encourage delicious nuances. As I lick the sticky spiciness from my lips contentedly, I am completely in accord with popular opinion, which has already crowned this dish as a favorite.
The Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Cake is presented, encircled by swashes of color from a chunky mango salsa on one side, and a smear of ancho chili aioli on the other. Pressing the fork through the golden, pan-fried exterior, the cake’s sumptuously flaky insides are revealed: a mixture of buttery shellfish meats that make for a sublimely opulent take on the familiar crab cake. The cake’s accompaniments amplify the flavors in opposite yet complementary ways, with the fresh cilantro and sweet mango enlivening the sweetness of the shellfish and the smokiness of the chili aioli galvanizing the fried crunchiness. Like the Ceviche, the Crab, Shrimp, and Lobster Cake invigorates the palate and prepares it for further flavor forays.
The Grilled Local Swordfish, Seared Maine Diver Scallops, and Gouda Mac and Cheese arrive simultaneously in a climactic gastronomic barrage. Crisscrossed with grill marks, the large swordfish steak is propped against a foundation of two golden manchego cheese and potato croquettes. This delicious structure at one end of the plate contrasts with the minimalist distribution of mussels swimming in a saffron butter emulsion at the other end. A sprinkling of Mediterranean relish, dominated by green and black olives, plum tomatoes, and fried capers, adds warm autumnal colors. The unadorned swordfish meat is grilled expertly, adding a smoky char. The meat acts as a near-blank flavor canvas onto which the accompanying components are layered: the salty brine and sweet roasted tomatoes and peppers blending with the acidity and richness of the saffron emulsion to enliven the meaty swordfish. The mussels at the far end of the plate reveal a rare treat, their chewy flesh having soaked up the buttery emulsion to create a velvety, textural surprise.
In juxtaposition to the Swordfish’s lightness, the Gouda Mac and Cheese revels in unabashed richness. Served simply in a silver chafing dish, the gooey, bloated pasta shells sizzle under a golden baked crust and set our mouths to watering. What appears at first glance to be straightforward comfort food reveals hidden gourmet touches. The creamy cheese sauce of the dish is created from a mixture of five different cheeses: gouda, provolone, parmesan, Monterey jack, and pecorino. The differing sharp, smoky, and nutty characteristics of each cheese work together to build the intensity of flavor and transform this seemingly simple side into an irresistible accompaniment, one that my dining companion and I can hardly resist even by the end of our near-endless feasting.
The grand finale of the evening, however, comes with the Seared Maine Diver Scallops, whose modestly rustic presentation belies its intricacies. Four massive scallops sit in a pool of brown apple cider jus, their caramelized tops glistening under the restaurant’s amber lights. Interspersed between these massive, white orbs, are sections of golden beets, and “peewee” fingerling potatoes, which have soaked up the rich colors of the apple cider. A pile of wilted greens in the center of the bowl adds a deep color to the warm, earthy hues of the dish. Each bite of silky scallop dissolves into pure buttery sweetness, accentuated by the subtle apple cider sear. A bite of beet lends a deeper sweet note to the scallop and adds a wintry heartiness, while the roasted potatoes contribute a salty, starchy juxtaposition. This inspired dish manages to maintain the delicacy of the scallop while infusing it with unconventional flavor depths and ingredient combinations: unanimously favored by my dining companion and me, we agree it is a dish worth returning for.
After savoring 333 Pacific’s oceanic homage, we step outside and see the coast with new eyes: the burgundy of the setting sun calls to mind roasted beets, while the salty sea air reminds me of our briny fruits de mer feast. With the tranquil haze of this coastal escapade still clinging to us, we reluctantly take our leave and prepare for the long drive back to reality.
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Compliments to the chef and staff of 333 Pacific for the superb food and excellent service offered to my group of four friends. We sampled a wide variety of food, from coastal clam chowder to seared salmon roll sushi, and ravioli to seared sashimi grade ahi, and all was excellent. I especially enjoyed the chowder with its whole clams and pleasantly different but still familiar base. My wife was particularly taken by the seared sashimi grade ahi. I suspect you'd be hard-pressed to find anything on the menu that is not top notch. The atmosphere had no hint of stuffiness and the service was friendly and engaging. Even the tableware had a personality. The reservations I placed a day in advance made our entry into this fine restaurant a breeze -- no more than 20 seconds in the door and we were being wisked away to the table that awaited on the terrace facing the ocean. Our dinner experience was delightful and we look forward to returning. I would highly recommend 333 Pacific to anyone looking for a unique dining experience with both excellent food and service.
The ice cream, caramel, chocolate, caramel corn (yes caramel corn) dessert was fabulous. My birthday guest was really impressed.
Drive 30 minutes north from UCSD on I-5 for a ocean view & fun lunch after graduation. Tempting fun and wild martinis. Seafood, steak & even burgers. Sweet potatoe fries with a hot spice were a hit with my family. Yum. Staff was very welcoming. I'm ready to go back!
Loved the service and food, lots of choices and very reasonably priced.
The ambiance of 333 Pacific restaurant was great. The staff was warm, inviting, and presented a feeling of "welcome to our world". It was my first time there. I was not disappointed one bit. Keep up the good work!
Easy parking, excellent view, timely seating, knowledge and attentive staff, spectacular food.....need I say more.
I wanted to go to a special restaurant to use a $50 gift certificate from my out-of-state nephew. I love the Cohn restaurants and was certainly not disappointed in the food or service. The vodka list was incredible. We shared the surf and turf and it was absolutely delicious. If you want a special evening, I would highly recommend this restaurant. The waiters are professional and very attentive. Enjoy!!
This is a place to love, Everythhing about it is outstanding.
Excellent food and service...you have to try it!
Great Service from the time we walking through the door. The online reservation made it easy and I was able to add a note about our special occasion. The staff was ready to help us celebrate our 20th Wedding anniversary with a great view of the pier and sunset. The attention to detail during the meal made the flow flawless. I had Lobster and crab legs. Both were served hot and I really liked how the crab legs were cut in half. Made it easy to eat and enjoy with no mess. My wife had a steak cooked medium rare that she described as perfect. We won't wait until another special occasion to be back.
This restaurant has a very unique setting and atmosphere, friendly staff that pays attention to details, and some of the most amazing food I've ever experienced. I highly recommend 333.
We took a colleague to lunch to celebrate her birthday. Even though the sun did not shine, the view was still fabulous. The food and service were excellent as well. The staff is always friendly and helpful. 333 Pacific is ALWAYS a good choice.
A great place to celebrate my anniversary with my husband. Dinner was delicious and the service was amazing. I would definitely visit again.
Great restaurant for a special ocassion. The service, ambiance, quality of the food were all excellent.
Great bar area, excellent ocean views, superior service and food was top notch.
We have been here now 3 times and everytime I am AMAZED!. The service, food, and everything in between always excedes our expectations.
We went to 333 Pacific for our 5 year anniversary, we were treated with complementary champagne and a little dessert. Our waitress was very sweet, we ordered the steak and lobster for two and was the best steak we have ever had! We sat on the patio with a perfect view of the sunset on the beach. We will be returning to this restaurant every year!
This area needed a different upscale restaurant. Its very nice and great food and drinks. A little overpriced though
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Getting together at 333 is upbuilding after a long day. The friendly service and relaxing location does wonders. Then add the great food and extensive bar and viola! Who could ask for more.
Everything was lovely....just make sure that you are aware of any events or festivals going on at the bandshell..
Service and Ambience were great. Food did not meet expcectations based on value and price point.
We had a great evening for myself, my wife and her younger brother. The meal was well preportioned for everyone in our party. The place was full for a Tuesday night, but with a reservation we were seated immediately. The wait staff were friendly and helpful which was nice because we could tell they were overworked and seemed to be understaffed. Once or twice a side order was forgotten, but it did not diminish the overall appeal of the dinner.
Good food, nice view, good service
We had a lovely experience at 333 Pacific. Service and food and atmosphere were excelent.
Expecting a romantic dinner for two, we landed in an extremely noisy restaurant with waaay too many bus people trying to do their "jobs". The tables are very close so there is a constant trail of "butts in your face" while trying to converse and dine. Waitress was very nice & apologetic after we had to wait for 20 minutes after being seated. (Don't think it was her fault.) Food was good but definitely not worth the price. Portions were huge, but I'd rather have smaller excellent portions than huge "good" ones. Only way I would recommend to someone or go back is if I planned to drink martinis all night ... over the top martini menu.
THIS RESTAURANT COMBINES THE EASY GOING ATMOSPERE OF A LOVELY BAR WITH THE ELEGANCE OF A FORMAL RESTAURANT.
Was above average but wasn't a super experience.
The restaurant chef is fabulous! No complaints at all on the food. Atmosphere is more that of a bar...it was Saturday nite. Crowded and noisy. Server was excellent,did not ever feel rushed. Menu pricey but food and wine selections are worth it. Just need work on the ambiance to meet the quality of the food.
The entree was very good, I had the scallops, but the service was not so good. Had to remind the waiter that the special came with a dessert and then had to remind him to actually bring it. We asked him to split the tab, which he failed to do. The sunset view almost made me forgive the bad service, but not quite.
My boyfriend and I went here for our dinner out last weekend. It was a disappointing experience, to say the least. The martini I received was "watered" down. The second one was not much better. I had the salmon crusted with some type of Halibut breading. It was "disgusting". The breading took away from a fresh-fish taste. The potatoes that came with it were oily and bland. The beet salad was horrible. The beets were "watery" and bland, and there wasn't much else to it. My boyfriend had the veggie stack. Although he did not complain, it looked "ok". The only thing that looked good was the bread, but I don't eat bread so I didn't have any. The sushi rolls were pretty good. The service was mediocre. The server was a young girl who didn't seem experienced enough to be in an "upscale" restaurant. She seemed irritated when I sent the martini back, and really didn't know how to handle the situation. Overall, the dining experience was "not good", and I would definately not go back. Julie from O.C.
My husband and I live in Oceanside and was searching for a upscale restaurant close to us; before 333 opened we were driving to Dana Point and other areas. Our first three experiences there were great, the service was a little slow but other than that the food and atmosphere were great. About one month ago we were there and AFTER we were seated in took them two hours to serve our dinner. Although we did not complain and we attributed it to staffing levels, we decided we would go back. One week ago we went back and the service and food started out excellent. When they served our steaks the were prepared wrong and almost burnt. We sent them back and I guess the chef was a little offended because the next set of steaks that they served us were almost raw, there was blood on the plate! The waitress was shocked! When I spoke with the manager he was rude and did not want to hear about our experience, instead insisting we should pay the entire bill, minus the steaks, and did not care about our overall experience nor did he want to talk about the experience prior to this. He walked away from our table with my husband in mid sentence, needless to say I was embarrassed for him. Before we went back for this second chance experience another couple told us about their bad experience there (food and service). We encouraged them to go back. We won't make that mistake again. This restaurant is a little expensive and I believe you can get better service and experience at another resturant. Not to mention, the manager is extremely rude! Almost confrontational. We would need an apology from the manager before we would even consider going back. Unfortunately, we dine out at least 5 times per week so we are on the search for a great dining experience close to Oceanside.