California Market at Pacific's Edge - Carmel, CA - 5 Golden Spoons
Located in the newly renovated Hyatt Carmel Highlands, California Market at Pacific’s Edge boasts astounding views and a fantastic menu. However, the star of this restaurant may just be the staff and service! Our visit began at the bar where we were greeted by bartender, Reynaldo. He poured us a couple of fantastic Tito’s Vodka Martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives. Perfection. Reynaldo was quick to tell us about the history of the restaurant and bar and to detail the upgrades with the new décor. He, like many others we met on the property, has been working at the hotel for years. You can tell he really enjoys his job and interacting with his customers. He introduced us to the restaurant’s hostess, Diana, who was vibrant, warm, and engaging. What a fantastic way to begin our dining experience! She escorted us to a corner window table with a stunning view of the Big Sur coast. Wow. She pointed out her favorites on the menu and introduced us to our server, David who was quick to take our drink order and answer any questions. The menu was extensive, offering a wide range of dishes with locally procured seafood and produce. For starters, we chose the Ceviche and Octopus. The ceviche was made with black tiger shrimp, avocado, cilantro oil, and an Ecuadorian sauce. It was a large portion accompanied by taro and beet chips (the menu said organic tortilla chips which would have been better). It was fresh, bright, and absolutely delicious. A perfect complement to the Octopus appetizer which was accompanied by local heirloom baby potatoes and Kalamata olive aioli. This dish was outstanding. Full of flavor and the consistency of foie gras! Buttery and perfectly seasoned. David told us the secret was a four-hour poach in olive oil before being charred on the grill. You could tell a lot of work went into this dish.
For our mains, we opted for the Scallops and the Chilean Sea Bass. The scallops were perfectly seared and accompanied by heirloom cauliflower in a light romesco sauce. The surprise was in the pickled mustard seed relish topping the scallops. Something we’ve not seen before that really made the dish memorable! The sea bass was also fantastic. A generous filet with a roasted corn relish in a coconut cream sauce with micro tomatoes. Wonderful.
Overall a beautiful evening with exceptional food and service. Even the gentlemen busing our table, Daisuke, was warm and attentive. Thanks to all.