OB Surf Lodge
5083 Santa Monica Ave., #1F
Ocean Beach, CA 92107
One of my favorite restaurants in Ocean Beach was Shades. It was my “go-to-it” place for everything – celebrations, brunches, breakfasts, dinners, romantic interludes, etc. There were a lot of us that were sorry to see it close, and hoped that a similar place would take over when the new restaurant opened. I am sad to say, in my opinion, that this is a place that I will not be patronizing again.
In the first place the noise was deafening! I was sitting right next to Eric and we could barely hear each other. We sat at the “bar” directly across the street from the ocean. But the counter top was so low, and the chairs even lower so that we had absolutely no view of what was in front of us. It was disconcerting to be so close and yet not to be able to see out the window. Someone needs to refigure that part of the restaurant.
There were two menus – an extensive drink menu, featuring cocktails, beer and wine.
The food menu was slightly different in their offerings than other restaurants. For example they had 4 different kinds of “biscuits” – a biscuit with gravy ($11); biscuit Benedict ($13) for example. They had a “Shrimp and Grits” ($13); Several kinds of “Toasts” – Poblano Avocado Toast ($8); House Smoked Salmon Toast ($10); Warm Brie Toast ($9).
There is a section called, “Big Waves” that included Omelets – Fried Cheddar Omelet ($13); Sweet Potato Hash ($12); Breakfast Burrito’s ($10.) There was a Smoked Salmon plate ($16). There were also sandwiches – the Lodge Burger ($16) which included French fries, or the “Tahini Chicken Burger ($16) which also included the fries. Additionally there was Polenta ($13) and a “Grilled Hanger Steak ($21) among other things on the menu. There were three salads and three desserts listed also.
The service was good, and the waitstaff was very patient with us while we were making up our minds as to what to eat. We finally decided to order one of the Lodge Burgers and one of the Tahini Chicken Burger and split them between us.
Eric asked for ice tea and I asked for lemonade, but the waiter informed us –after checking – that they did not have their lemonade set up yet. He asked us if we wanted an Arnold Palmer, and we declined. It is a little curious, however, to figure out how they might make one if they did not have any lemonade. (An Arnold Palmer is half lemonade and half tea.)
The two sandwiches were huge! In spite of us cutting them in half, we took home half of each one of them. An interesting feature was the egg on the burger. Since I am not crazy about Feta cheese, I would have liked to have had a more mild cheese on the chicken burger. The two sandwiches were very tasty; the tomatoes and cucumbers (not pickles) were very fresh and crispy. The French fries were wonderful; hot, crispy, and seasoned well. We asked for ketchup and were brought two individual ramekins with ketchup for each of us.
I think what grieves me the most about this new venue is that with the closing of Shades there are only three “nice” restaurants left in Ocean Beach. Three that allow normal conversations; three that are conducive to celebrations and normalcy. (Bo-beau, Kaiserhof, Third Corner – although there is an extensive wine selection at the Third Corner, the wines are not “pushed” ).
As a resident of Ocean Beach for 50+ years I am sorry to think that I need to go someplace else for a meal when I have out-of-town visitors, because conversations are nigh-on impossible at other existing establishments. Too bad. I had such high hopes.
Our total bill, without tip, was $33.94, a little pricey for two hamburgers, particularly when Hodad’s and Raglan’s are just around the corner. If I had to give a grade for the food I would say at “B”; if I had to give a grade for the ambiance I would give it a “D”. I do not like having to shout at my companion to be heard. It just isn’t worth it to me to not enjoy my meal. (And by the way – we were there at 1:00pm. I can only imagine what it must be like at the dinner hour!)