Many people think of Chinese food as their go-to, late-night, take-out option, but Del Mar Rendezvous elevates the cuisine and experience. The award-winning restaurant serves modern Chinese dishes for lunch and dinner and is a favorite eatery among Del Mar locals. We like to think Rendezvous’ location at the Del Mar Plaza is part of […]
Many people think of Chinese food as their go-to, late-night, take-out option, but Del Mar Rendezvous elevates the cuisine and experience. The award-winning restaurant serves modern Chinese dishes for lunch and dinner and is a favorite eatery among Del Mar locals. We like to think Rendezvous’ location at the Del Mar Plaza is part of its appeal—after all, we do boast ocean views—but here are five other reasons people love Del Mar Rendezvous.
Awards & Accolades
We really do think Rendezvous is one of the best Chinese food restaurants in San Diego, if not the country. And you don’t have to take our word for it.
San Diego A-List diners continue to vote for Rendezvous as the Best Chinese, Best Asian Fusion, and Best Vegetarian. And the restaurant gained national attention when CNN Travel named it as one of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States. (It was actually ranked in the top five!)
It’s easy to guess that Rendezvous is award-winning, in large part, because of its delicious, inventive, fusion cuisine. You can always choose a traditional rice or noodle entrée or try one of Rendezvous’ signature dishes. Locals love the Pungent Crispy Chicken, Shrimp and Scallop Sauté, Duck Breast Shangri-la, and Buddha’s Treasure.
Their dishes start with an authentic foundation and are built with the freshest ingredients. The menu items are elevated with innovative twists that’ll make you want more.
The good news is that you can have more—with dessert. Chocolate lovers can indulge in the Chocolate Wipeout, a three-layer chocolate cake topped with chocolate ganache and chocolate sauce. For something a little more authentic, order the Xiangjiao (which is Chinese for banana); it’s a banana cheesecake-filled eggroll topped with caramel, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. And those with gluten intolerance don’t have to miss out on the sweets—Rendezvous has gluten-free Carrot Cake and Mango Sorbet for them to enjoy.
Options for Everyone
Gluten-free Carrot Cake isn’t the only alternative option available; Rendezvous’ menu is stacked with dishes that fit the needs of vegetarians, vegans, and those with celiac disease. Diet restrictions won’t stop you from enjoying your favorite foods—the restaurant has full menus for gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan items.
Not only does Rendezvous have a “Happy Buddha Hour” every weekday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., but they have daily specials as well. During happy hour, though, you can enjoy half off all dim sum (with the purchase of two dinner entrees) and get your second glass of wine or draft beer for just $.88.
If you can’t make it for happy hour, Rendezvous’ daily specials are just as enticing.
- For My Wine Mondays, the restaurant waves the corkage fee on your wine or beer.
- Tap Tuesdays is when you can get your second beer for just $.88 all night long.
- On Wine Wednesday, bottles of wine are $8 off.
- On Thirsty Thursdays, your second glass of wine is just $.88.
An Impressive List of Libations
Rendezvous only serves beer and wine, but you’ll be impressed by their selections. You can choose from 11 amazing craft beers from local breweries like Alesmith and Modern Times on tap. They also have Tsingtao Lager (a Chinese beer) available in bottles, so you can have a more authentic experience, if that’s what you’re after. Rendezvous’ wine list is just as impressive; the restaurant garnered a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence with more than 100 wines (including Japanese sakes).
Next time you’re craving Chinese food, make a reservation at Del Mar Rendezvous. The restaurant is open daily at 11:30 a.m. (except on Sundays, when they solely serve dinner, beginning at 4:00 p.m.).
And when you’re in the mood for something else, visit Del Mar Plaza online for our full directory of restaurants.
Del Mar is one of the few cities that is blessed with beautiful weather all year long. While you may need a light jacket after the sun sets, our winter is just as warm and sunny as any other season. Since you don’t have to worry about a winter chill or snowstorm forcing you inside, […]
Del Mar is one of the few cities that is blessed with beautiful weather all year long. While you may need a light jacket after the sun sets, our winter is just as warm and sunny as any other season. Since you don’t have to worry about a winter chill or snowstorm forcing you inside, here are five ways to take advantage of our city’s gorgeous weather, sunshine, and ocean views by visiting the Del Mar Plaza this December.
Get Ready for All the Holiday Parties and Photos
December is the perfect time to refresh your look so that you come out stunning in every photo op of the holiday season. At the Del Mar Plaza, you can get a full makeover—from your head to your toes. Start by visiting Del Mar Nails and Spa for a manicure, pedicure, facial or wax. Then make an appointment at Haim, Ltd. Salon to get your hair cut and colored, or stop by for a quick pick-me-up like a blow-out or makeup application.
Grab Holiday-Themed Drinks with Friends
The holidays are about spending time with the people you love and care about. We know that this time of year can be busy, so scheduling and sitting down for dinner or spending a full day of holiday festivities with your friends might not be doable. But we’re sure you all can carve out enough time to grab a drink or two together at the Plaza. Do a gift exchange out by the fireplace at Il Fornaio Del Mar, or ask the bartender at Pacifica Del Mar to use one of 100 vodkas they have to create a seasonal cocktail to get you into the holiday spirit. You can check out our restaurants’ Happy Hour specials online.
Hit the Waves
You may not be able to hit the waves in December at other beaches in the country, but here in Del Mar, you’ll find surfers in the water all year long. That’s not to say the water isn’t colder than it would be in the middle of summer though, so before you head out to the beach, make sure you have a wet suit ready. Once you’re out of the water, head to Urban Beach House to grab some San Diego and Del Mar branded gear to commemorate all the waves you caught.
Take a Hike
Even if surfing isn’t your thing, Del Mar still has plenty of opportunities to be active in the middle of winter. With a beautiful, sprawling coastline, wetlands, and lagoons, getting active and immersing yourself in nature is as easy as taking a hike. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Dieguito River Trail, Scripps Bluffs Preserve, and San Elijo Lagoon each offer a unique experience and breathtaking views. Just make sure you stop by Lorna Jane to stock up on some stylish activewear before you hit the trails.
Earn Your Holiday Restaurant Voucher, Then Use It
If you did your holiday shopping at any of the boutiques in the Del Mar Village, chances are, you’ve earned a Holiday Voucher. If you haven’t earned one yet, you have until December 31st to shop at the Plaza and in the Village and get one for yourself. When you spend $75 at any participating shop within the Village, you’ll receive a $15 voucher to use at one of more than a dozen participating restaurants, including Plaza favorites like Del Mar Rendezvous, Pacifica Del Mar, Pacifica Breeze Café, and Shimbashi Izakaya. You might have been saving the voucher for a special occasion, but this month is an excellent time to put it to use.
The holidays are a time to get together with the people you care about most. Whether it’s a tradition to grab holiday happy hour drinks or it’s the first year of Secret Santa with your friends, choosing the right restaurant for your holiday get-together can make all the difference. At the Del Mar Plaza, we […]
The holidays are a time to get together with the people you care about most. Whether it’s a tradition to grab holiday happy hour drinks or it’s the first year of Secret Santa with your friends, choosing the right restaurant for your holiday get-together can make all the difference. At the Del Mar Plaza, we have many award-winning restaurants, each offering its own unique menu options and ambiances to make your holiday dinner with friends a special one.
Make a reservation at one of these restaurants ahead of time, so all you have to worry about is finding the perfect gifts for your besties.
Del Mar Rendezvous
If your group of friends likes to mix it up a bit, then try the award-winning Del Mar Rendezvous. It was named one of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States by CNN Travel, and serves a wide variety of dishes that will please everyone. Vegetarians, vegans, and those who follow a gluten-free diet will be happy to know the restaurant offers dishes to fit their needs.
And, if you visit between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you can enjoy Rendezvous’ “Happy Buddha Hour,” when all dim sum is half off (with the purchase of two dinner entrees) and your second glass of wine or draft beer is just $.88. The restaurant also has daily specials—like My Wine Mondays when you can forgo any corkage fees or Wine Wednesday, when bottles of wine are $8 off—so you and your friends can save a couple dollars during the holidays.
Il Fornaio Del Mar and Enoteca del Fornaio
Teach your group of friends to say “Buon Natale” and opt for dinner at Il Fornaio Del Mar or Enoteca del Fornaio. Both restaurants offer authentic Italian plates like Pennoni alla Vodka, Linguine Mare Chiaro, and Filetto di Bue, that can all be shared family style, which gives you the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to finish your meal with something dolci, like Tiramisu, Cannoli Siciliani, or Gelato. And start your night by their outdoor fireplace, enjoying an aperitivo or two from their amazing wine selection and cocktail list.
Pacifica Del Mar
Pacifica Del Mar is known for its fresh, mouthwateringly delicious seafood; the Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Sugar-Spiced Salmon, and Pan Roasted Seabass are all guest favorites. The restaurant has daily specials like Wednesdays’ Martini and Oyster Night, or Half-Off Wine every Thursday; and features awesome Happy Hour deals—like half off small plates, and $2 off beer, wine, featured cocktails, and bar bites—every day from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Plus, with more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas served at the Ocean Bar, you can ask the bartender to whip up a festive cocktail to get you and your friends in the holiday spirit.
Shimbashi Izakaya serves its traditional Japanese food in a unique Izakaya, or “pub,” setting. Its different seating areas each offer their own experience; if you’re dining with a group, you’ll be more comfortable with a booth or table in the dining room, but if it’s just you and one other, opt for the sushi counter or sake bar for a more interactive experience.
Find your favorite roll or experiment with something new—the staff can offer recommendations and the menu explains what’s in each sushi roll or cooked dish. Make the most of your holiday night out and order a Japanese beer or choose from the restaurant’s hundreds of sake options.
Visit Del Mar Plaza online for more information on holiday events, restaurant hours, and to make a reservation.
The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the pressure of finding the perfect gifts for the ones you love…while sticking to your holiday shopping budget. Between our unique boutiques and holiday shopping events, the Del Mar Plaza can help you find the gifts that’ll make your friends and family smile this season. […]
The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes the pressure of finding the perfect gifts for the ones you love…while sticking to your holiday shopping budget. Between our unique boutiques and holiday shopping events, the Del Mar Plaza can help you find the gifts that’ll make your friends and family smile this season. In fact, you can skip the malls altogether and shop in a more relaxed environment, complete with ocean views.
Mark your calendar for these upcoming holiday shopping events at the Del Mar Plaza, and you’ll be sure to find a gift for everyone on your list.
Holiday Pop-Up Market || November 24
Sleep in, skip the Black Friday crowds, and still find some unique gifts at the Plaza’s Holiday Pop-Up Market. If you just can’t pass up the chance to fight over a discounted TV, then come visit the Plaza after the chaos at the mall to unwind with live music, wine tasting, and hot cocoa. Not only will our own shops and boutiques be offering discounts, we’ve also invited local merchants to set up shop on our rooftop deck. Vendors include:
- Ashley Eisenman Design
- be Runa
- Coco Rose
- Gypsy Posh
- Jellyfish Jewelry
- Mantra Makeup Mat
- Mikolich Honey
- Moonglade Brews
- Seam Reap
- Sheri Liebert Designs
- Thyme of Essence
- Wander Wet Bags
Bring the whole family and have your picture taken with Santa before enjoying a late lunch or dinner at one of our award-winning restaurants. Entertainment and vendors will be set up from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Small Business Saturday || November 25
If you can’t make it out to our Holiday Pop-Up Market on Friday, swing by the Plaza on Small Business Saturday to support your local shops. From home goods to jewelry to apparel, our unique shops will be open and ready to help you find the gift you’re looking for. These are some of the one-of-a-kind boutiques and gifts you can find only at the Del Mar Plaza.
- You can find a curated collection of Bohemian-inspired tunics, rompers, and sundresses at Coco Rose.
- Del Mar Art Center is a non-profit gallery that showcases some of the city’s up-and-coming artists; you can pick up a unique piece you can’t get anywhere else.
- Gary’s Studio has a selection of bold, colorful, and sophisticated suits for men.
- If you’re looking for something really special—and sparkly—visit Loghman Jewelers for handmade Italian jewelry pieces.
- Made In Earth also offers unique jewelry pieces, each crafted with beautiful, natural gemstones and crystals.
- Find a photograph that speaks to you at Michael Seewald Galleries.
- Peaches En Regalia is a little boutique with lots of high-end sundresses, blouses, and accessories to choose from.
- Urban Beach House has California-cool and San Diego-branded items (like shirts, hats, and sweatshirts) for the whole family.
- Urban Girl Accessories has a fun and colorful mix of gifts, jewelry, and clothing.
After shopping around, don’t forget to stop by one of our restaurants for a local take on a delicious holiday dinner.
Holiday Voucher Program || November 23 – December 31
Speaking of dinner, the holiday season marks the kick-off of DMVA’s Holiday Voucher Program. When you spend $75 at any participating shop or boutique within the Del Mar Village, you’ll receive a $15 voucher to use at one of more than a dozen participating restaurants, including Plaza favorites like Del Mar Rendezvous, Pacifica Del Mar, Pacifica Breeze Café, and Shimbashi Izakaya. You can save it for a special night out like a holiday dinner with friends or a romantic date with your significant other.
If you’re like us, then every so often you hit a social media slump and your Instagram feed becomes a little lackluster. Whenever your grid needs some inspiration, the Del Mar Plaza has the Instagram-worthy shots to impress your friends and followers. Here are five photos and hashtags to help you spruce up your feed. […]
If you’re like us, then every so often you hit a social media slump and your Instagram feed becomes a little lackluster. Whenever your grid needs some inspiration, the Del Mar Plaza has the Instagram-worthy shots to impress your friends and followers. Here are five photos and hashtags to help you spruce up your feed.
It’s hard to visit Del Mar and not take a picture of the beautiful coastline. Luckily, the Del Mar Plaza has endless views of the ocean. Whether you’re dining al fresco, hopping from boutique to boutique, or enjoying live music out on the deck, there is always the opportunity to take a quick snap of a sunny sky or gorgeous sunset—with the stunning Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. It might seem like a basic photo at first, but the cotton candy skies will bring in those likes.
From our ivy-covered wall along the street to the fountains scattered around the Plaza, every piece of architecture is carefully thought out. Take a few minutes to appreciate the “Man Fountain” or the “Old Lion Walkway Fountain.” Play with lines and angles—use building corners, the twinkling market lights, and long rectangular planters—to create awesome, unique images that will stand out in your feed.
There’s always a reason to grab a drink at the Plaza. For example, Pacifica Del Mar has more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas, and Il Fornaio and Enoteca Del Fornaio have incredible wine lists. Shimbashi Izakaya also has an impressive selection of sake that will photograph well next to your fresh plate of sushi. Regardless of if you made it out for happy hour or are getting a cocktail or two with friends, snap your drink, and you’ll probably make all your followers wish they were having as great a time as you.
There are so many award-winning restaurants at the Plaza you could easily fill up your grid with dozens of delicious-looking (and tasting!) bites. Take a photo of a table full of tapas, a colorful sushi roll, a huge helping of pasta, or artfully prepared seafood dish, and your followers will be salivating. Just be sure to take the pic quickly because you’ll want to devour your meal almost as soon as it hits the table.
Spending a day at the Plaza gives you enough time for a full makeover. From lash extensions, to a manicure, to a cut and color—we have every type of salon to bring out your natural beauty and help you look your best. Show off your new look with a well-deserved selfie.
Most of these picturesque opportunities are available at the Del Mar Plaza year-round, so you can visit any time to step up your Instagram game. But with the Breeders’ Cup rolling into town this November, there’s one extra, limited-time chance to capture a unique shot. There are several hand-painted, life-size horses around the Del Mar Village, and we’re lucky enough to have one right in front of the Plaza. The piece won’t be on display for long, so visit soon and snap your picture with it. If you can find all the other “Art of the Horse” installations, take a photo with each of them and post your images by October 31 using the hashtags #DMVA and #BreedersCup, to receive a free Mizu Water Bottle!
Did you find an artistic angle at the Plaza that we forgot to mention? Share your favorite snaps with us on Instagram by following the Del Mar Plaza and tagging us at @officialdelmarplaza. And visit us online for a full directory of shops, restaurants, and services to possibly serve as a little inspiration.
Fall is that magical time of year between the sun-filled activities of summer and craziness of the holidays that allows you to really savor the beauty of Del Mar. While some of our beloved summer concert series have ended, there are still plenty of activities happening at the Del Mar Plaza this fall. Here are […]
Fall is that magical time of year between the sun-filled activities of summer and craziness of the holidays that allows you to really savor the beauty of Del Mar. While some of our beloved summer concert series have ended, there are still plenty of activities happening at the Del Mar Plaza this fall. Here are five fun, family-friendly events to mark your calendar for that will get you excited for autumn.
Varying Wednesdays, October through November: Lil Tritons Club
We know that not every child went back to school this fall, which is why the Del Mar Plaza’s Lil Tritons Club is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house for some fun. On Oct 4th and 18th, and November 1st, 15th, and 29th, the Hullabaloo musical duo will be playing children’s folk music out on the deck starting at 11:00 a.m. Kids who attend this mini-concert will receive a coloring page and crayons. Kids will also be able to eat free immediately following the show at Il Fornaio and Pacifica Del Mar restaurants. At Del Mar Rendezvous, parents will receive 25% discount immediately following the show as well.
October 28: Halloween Sweets & Treats
Bring your kids to the Del Mar Plaza the Saturday before Halloween for a day of trick-or-treating. Each of our stores will have cauldrons filled with spooky treats and candy for little ones in costume. It’s a chance to have some fun with your kids and even grab a bite to eat or treat for yourself to get you into the Halloween spirit.
November 1: Breeders’ Cup Jocktails
This year, Del Mar has the honor of hosting the highly anticipated Breeders’ Cup! Continuing with a favorite Breeders’ Cup tradition, the Del Mar Plaza will be hosting Jocktails—a night out featuring specialty cocktails crafted by the Cup’s most famous jockeys and personalities. A special lounge area will be created near the deck just for the event, and portions of the proceeds from the night will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
November 17: Breast Cancer Cheering Station
Come visit us bright and early to help cheer on the dedicated women and men participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk. Dress in pink and grab a coffee at Pacifica Breeze then head out along Camino Del Mar to join our community in encouraging thousands of walkers on their journey. The event is from 7:30 a.m. to about 9:30 a.m., so you can come back to the Plaza for a well-deserved breakfast or brunch afterwards.
November 24: Holiday Shopping Event
We know the Friday after Thanksgiving can be a little hectic—to put it lightly. Once you’re done with the chaos of Black Friday shopping, you can visit the Del Mar Plaza for a more toned-down affair. Many of our boutiques will be offering special discounts, and we’re even planning a pop-up market so you can find some unique holiday gifts for your loved ones and friends. Of course, no holiday event would be complete without an appearance from Santa! So bring the kids and snap some photos, then hang around and enjoy a relaxed late lunch or early dinner while listening to some live music out on the deck (from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.).
Our calendar of events doesn’t slow down in the fall. Like us on Facebook to keep up with all the exciting activities we have at the Del Mar Plaza. And don’t forget to visit us online to find out more about our restaurants, shops, and services.
Sometimes life can get hectic, and when it does, it’s easy to neglect your girls. Family schedules, work events, kids’ sports, and everything in between can often get in the way of spending quality time with your best friends. It happens. If you find yourself in this boat, come visit the Del Mar Plaza. From […]
Sometimes life can get hectic, and when it does, it’s easy to neglect your girls. Family schedules, work events, kids’ sports, and everything in between can often get in the way of spending quality time with your best friends. It happens.
If you find yourself in this boat, come visit the Del Mar Plaza. From brunch to pampering to happy hour cocktails, we have everything you need—all with incredible ocean views and under a beautiful Del Mar sunny sky. Here’s what you need to know to spend an epic day with your besties.
Start with Brunch
There are plenty of brunch restaurants at the Del Mar Plaza with delicious options to fuel your day.
- Pacifica Breeze Café is a Del Mar favorite for both breakfast and lunch. Their menu includes mouth-watering items like the Del Mar Power Scramble, eggs benedict, shrimp and grits, cinnamon brioche French toast, avocado toast, soup, salad, and sandwiches. The café also has Bloody Marys, mimosas, and beer to start your day off right. Best of all, you can enjoy all these dishes and drinks out on their sun-filled patio, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Village of Old Del Mar.
- You can enjoy brunch favorites like eggs Benedict, sugar-spiced salmon hash, homemade lox and bagel, buttermilk pancakes, and a variety of omelets at Pacifica Del Mar. The restaurant also has an extensive cocktail and wine list, plus more than 100 vodkas behind their bar—all of which can lead to a spirited catch-up session.
- Il Fornaio and Enoteca del Fornaio both offer an Italian take on popular brunch dishes. Try the Frittelle Allo Sciroppo D’Acero (pancakes), Uova Alla Benedettina, Frittata Con Gamberi E Spinaci, or Pizza Papalina and don’t forget to order a mimosa, Leonardo, or Bellini.
Take Some Time to Pamper Yourself
With brunch out of the way, you can head over to one of the salons at the Plaza and spend a few hours spoiling yourself.
- Del Mar Nails and Spa is the place to indulge. Services include six different kinds of manicures, six different types of pedicures, two facials options, and a number of waxing services; the salon has packages as well, so you can spend a little extra time pampering.
- Momma’s Medi Spa offers a little more intensive indulgence. Grab your girls and make an appointment for a peel, facial, cellulite treatment, or even fillers and Botox.
- With your face glowing and nails polished, visit Haim, Ltd. Salon to get your hair done. You can spend some time getting your hair cut and colored, or stop by for a quick pick-me-up like a blow-out or makeup application.
Shop Till You Drop
Now that you’re feeling fab, it’s time to update your wardrobe to match your look. With your girls in tow, you’ll have a prime panel of judges to help you find an outfit that’s totally you.
- Coco Rose has a fantastic collection of tunics, rompers, and sundresses with a bohemian flair. You can find an outfit perfect for the seemingly endless summers here in Del Mar.
- Peaches En Regalia is a little boutique with lots of high-end pieces to choose from. You can find great shirts and sundresses in eye-catching patterns, and grab a couple accessories to match.
- Banana Republic is a tried and true favorite. Their apparel has casual, west-coast vibes that can be worn out on another date with the girls, or even in the office.
Get a Workout In
If you and your girls are a more active bunch, Del Mar is the perfect place to spend the day. After brunch at the Plaza, walk down to the beach and swim in the waves or stroll along the beach. You can even rent a wetsuit and board, and take a group lesson to learn how to surf.
There are also plenty of hiking trails nearby that’ll help you build a sweat, and a new “athleisure” outfit from Lorna Jane will help you break a sweat in style. Head to the trails with your new hiking attire and be prepared for some breathtaking views.
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers easy to moderate routes and has several trailheads that end at the ocean.
- San Dieguito Lagoon is one of the best trails to bird watch and get in touch with nature.
- Riverpath Del Mar is a quarter-mile route that is easy enough to stroll as you catch up with your best friends.
- San Elijo Lagoon is one of the county’s largest coastal wetlands, so you’re bound to see some wildlife as your hike. Most of the trails take about an hour and a half to complete.
End the Day with Dinner & Drinks
After spending quality time with the girls, you’ll definitely want to end the day on a high note—with dinner and drinks, of course. There are so many delicious dining choices at the Plaza, you might find yourselves hopping around and trying them all.
- Del Mar Rendezvous is an award-winning restaurant with modern Chinese cuisine. You can choose from traditional noodle and rice dishes, or try one of their signature entrees like the Pungent Crispy Chicken, Shrimp and Scallop Sauté, or Buddha’s Treasure. They offer gluten-free, vegetarians, and vegan options as well.
- Pacifica Del Mar is another award-winning restaurant, known for their seafood and coastal cuisine. The restaurant also has more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas at their ocean bar and daily happy hour specials.
- Shimbashi Izakaya has a menu of fresh seafood, sashimi, sushi, udon noodles, and other modern Japanese dishes. The restaurant is set up with several dining areas, each with its own unique atmosphere; you can sit in the traditional dining room, outside on the patio, at the sake bar (which has cocktails, beer, and dozens of sake), or at the sushi bar to watch the chefs work.
- If Italian food is more your thing, grab a table at Il Fornaio or Enoteca del Fornaio. Both restaurants use the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques to create authentic Italian dishes. They also offer a wide variety of premium-quality wines and cocktails to pair with your dinner.
The Del Mar Plaza truly has everything you need to bond with your besties and create an epic girls’ day. Visit us online for business hours and more information.
With fantastic weather year-round, it’s hard to believe it’s not summer in Del Mar 365 days a year. But as September rolls in, so do milder temperatures and crisp fall nights. Even though school has started and Labor Day has come and gone, summer isn’t officially over—there’s still plenty of time to soak up the […]
With fantastic weather year-round, it’s hard to believe it’s not summer in Del Mar 365 days a year. But as September rolls in, so do milder temperatures and crisp fall nights. Even though school has started and Labor Day has come and gone, summer isn’t officially over—there’s still plenty of time to soak up the sun and make the most of the year’s warmest season. And there’s no better way to do that than by attending the last Summer Twilight Series Concert or Seaside Sessions of the year.
Both concerts are free and open to the public. Mark your calendar for the Beat Root Revival on September 9, at 5:00 p.m. at Del Mar Plaza and the Sensation Show Band on Sunday, September 10, at 5:00 p.m. at Powerhouse Park (part of the Twilight Concert Series). With the shows kicking off around twilight, the two concert series give you the perfect opportunity to relax, dance, and relish a picturesque sunset. What more could you ask for to enjoy one of the last few perfect summer days in Del Mar?
Spend the Day in the Sun…
Since the shows don’t start until the evening, you have the entire day to spend frolicking in the waves or walking around town. Grab lunch at one of the restaurants at the Del Mar Plaza and dine al fresco under the sun. The options are endless, you can choose from award-winning Chinese cuisine at Del Mar Rendezvous; rich Italian dishes and wine at Enoteca Del Fornaio and Il Fornaio; fresh and authentic Japanese dishes at Shimbashi Izakaya; seasonal seafood at Pacifica Del Mar; lighter bites at Pacifica Breeze Café; or even a quick meal at Smashburger.
Once you’re fueled up, you can shop around Del Mar Plaza or head elsewhere in the Village. And because the day is about celebrating the last days of summer, make some time to walk down to the shore and walk along the ocean or swim in the surf for a bit.
…And the Night Dancing Under the Stars
If you’ve attended any of the earlier Twilight Concert Series or Seaside Sessions performances, you know that venue (be it Powerhouse Park or the Del Mar Plaza Deck) can get crowded come show time. So grabbing the best seat on is crucial. Instead of worrying about making a dinner reservation for before or after the show, opt for a Gourmet Beach Box and relax, dine, and rock out at the same time.
Created especially for the Twilight Concert Series, the Gourmet Beach Box has everything you need to fuel your night. And it’s now available for the Seaside Sessions concert as well.
You can choose one of your favorite dishes and bottle of wine from some of Del Mar Plaza’s most popular restaurants—Pacifica Del Mar and Il Fornaio. Prices start at just $12.95 per box, and each restaurant will provide all the utensils and dishes you need to have an elevated picnic and properly enjoy your meal.
All you have to do is pre-order your box online (ordering closes at noon the day of the show). Then swing by the participating Del Mar Plaza restaurant you ordered from to pick up your box before the concert starts, and walk on over to Powerhouse Park or grab a seat on the deck, and enjoy the show. In purchasing your Gourmet Beach Box, you also get free parking at the Del Mar Plaza.
Once the concert is over, you can make your way back to Del Mar Plaza and indulge in a couple of cocktails or a decadent dessert at one of our restaurants. Visit us online for more information on our dining options and our upcoming events throughout the remainder of the summer season.
Some days, you need to break out of the ordinary and go out somewhere exciting for lunch or dinner. In Del Mar, there are many choices for a scrumptious meal, but there are very few restaurants like Shimbashi Izakaya. Located at the Del Mar Plaza, the seasonal Japanese tapas and sake bar has authentic cuisine, […]
Some days, you need to break out of the ordinary and go out somewhere exciting for lunch or dinner. In Del Mar, there are many choices for a scrumptious meal, but there are very few restaurants like Shimbashi Izakaya. Located at the Del Mar Plaza, the seasonal Japanese tapas and sake bar has authentic cuisine, an incredible selection of cocktails and sake, and an atmosphere that can’t be beat… It’s just enough to shake up your dining out routine and will probably become one of your favorite restaurants. Here’s what we love about Shimbashi.
Taste the Only Authentic Japanese Cuisine in North County
Shimbashi Izakaya opened with the goal of bringing authentic, home-style Japanese dishes, sushi, and sashimi to North County. With a menu that focuses on seasonal ingredients, you can expect fresh, high-quality fish, meat, vegetables, and other ingredients every time you visit. The menu reflects the seasonality of ingredients and will showcase monthly specials that highlight the ingredients that are in season. For example, Shimbashi uses real crab in its sushi rolls—not imitation crab—and does not use any frozen items in their dishes. If you walk in during a slower period, you’ll be able to catch the chefs cutting and deboning fresh fish at the sushi counter.
While the restaurant relies on local and season ingredients, it flies in specialty items directly from Japan. The chefs tell us that Japanese Yellowtail (as opposed to what’s caught off the shores of California) tastes better raw, and is a better option in sushi and sashimi. They also fly in Japanese Wagyu beef—a specialty you might find at a fine steakhouse but is often missing from local Japanese restaurant menus.
Experience a Dining Atmosphere Unique to Del Mar
Depending on where you opt to sit, you might feel you’re dining at a completely different restaurant. Because it’s located in the Del Mar Plaza, Shimbashi has breathtaking ocean views that can be enjoyed from the restaurant’s patio. Inside, you can choose from three dining sections: the fish counter, sake bar, or traditional dining room.
At the fish counter, you can interact with the sushi chefs, see them in action, and ask for recommendations. The dining room has a cozier atmosphere, and the booths can feel a little more intimate. A seat at the sake bar tends to feel a bit more jovial, as diners share stories and chitchat with the bartender while dining.
Even though there is a different experience depending on where you sit, you can always order off the same menu and ask for recommendations from Shimbashi’s staff if you need help exploring the menu or deciding on a sake to sip.
Give Shimbashi a Try
If you’ve dined at a Japanese restaurant before or consider yourself a sushi or sashimi connoisseur, Shimbashi is the perfect place to try something new. The Omakase Course lets the chef choose your courses for you. Translated from Japanese, omakase means “to trust”—you’re trusting the chef to put together dishes from the kitchen and sushi bar that are to your liking and pair the perfect sake with your meal.
If you’re new to the world of Japanese cuisine, there’s no harm in starting with a local favorite—the California roll. Made with crab, avocado, and cucumber, it’s a great roll for getting your feet wet, so to speak. You can also try a cooked or tempura roll, if the idea of raw fish makes you squeamish. The menu explains what’s in each sushi roll or cooked dish so you know exactly what you’re ordering. And of course, if you have any questions or dietary requirements, Shimbashi’s staff can help you find something you’d like.
Being an izakaya, or pub, you should make a point to try one of Shimbashi’s many specialty libations. You can order a Japanese beer or choose from hundreds of different sakes; they make for a more authentic experience and will be the cherry on top of a delicious night (or day) out.
Visit Shimbashi Izakaya online to make a reservation or view their menu. And don’t forget to check out Del Mar Plaza’s website for shopping, services, and other dining options.
One of the great things about the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s summer season is that it’s so accessible. You can easily spend a weekend day gambling (and perhaps enjoying a concert) at the track, or stop by after work to spice up a weekday evening. Races happen Wednesday through Sunday until early September, and gates […]
One of the great things about the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s summer season is that it’s so accessible. You can easily spend a weekend day gambling (and perhaps enjoying a concert) at the track, or stop by after work to spice up a weekday evening. Races happen Wednesday through Sunday until early September, and gates typically open around noon (with the First Post beginning a couple hours after that). So there’s plenty of time to grab brunch, lunch, and a couple drinks before you visit the races.
Make your reservation at one of these 5 Del Mar Plaza restaurants, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the rest of your day betting on the ponies.
Del Mar Rendezvous
Del Mar Rendezvous offers award-winning, modern Chinese cuisine. The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. every day except Sunday (when it’s open for dinner only). Grab one of their popular dishes before heading out. Choose from noodle and rice dishes, entrees like their signature Pungent Crispy Chicken, Shrimp and Scallop Sauté, or Buddha’s Treasure. They offer gluten-free, vegetarians, and vegan options as well.
Il Fornaio & Enoteca del Fornaio
Il Fornaio and Enoteca del Fornaio both have ocean views and outdoor space to soak up some sunshine. You can drop in at 11:30 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, and order from their lunch and brunch menus. Their Italian take on classic brunch dishes include Frittelle Allo Sciroppo D’Acero (pancakes), Uova Alla Benedettina, Frittata Con Gamberi E Spinaci, and Pizza Papalina (a breakfast version of pizza topped with cheese, onions, crispy potatoes, ham, and scrambled eggs). For lunch, try Focaccetta con Pollo, Insalata di Tonno, Linguine Mare Chiaro, or one of their six savory pizzas.
Don’t forget to order a glass of wine, mimosa, Leonardo (prosecco and strawberry juice), Bellini (prosecco and peach juice), or one of your favorite cocktails.
Pacifica Del Mar
With ocean views and a name that honors the Pacific Ocean, it’s not surprising you can get some of the best seafood in Del Mar at this restaurant. Their lunch menu—served from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and 11:00 am to 4 p.m. on weekends—has dishes like baked pacific oysters, mussels, blackened fish tacos, and bucatini pasta with shrimp. You can also get lighter dishes like salads or sandwiches.
And on weekends, if you visit between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you have even more options because you can then order off the restaurant’s brunch menu as well. Pacifica also has an extensive wine list, more than 100 of the world’s finest vodkas, and an incredible cocktail list – not a bad place to start your day before the races.
Pacifica Breeze Café
Lunch is served at Pacifica Breeze Café from 11:30 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, so there’s ample time to grab a bite before heading to the track. The popular café serves sandwiches, soup, and salads, and if you show up early, you can choose a dish from their hearty breakfast menu as well.
Open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 3:00 p.m. on the weekends, Shimbashi Izakaya has a menu of fresh seafood, shashimi, sushi, udon noodles, and other modern Japanese dishes. If you can’t choose just one thing, you can order the Shimbashi 2-Layer Bento Box and select two entrées and a side item to go along with a bowl of miso soup. They also have an extensive drink menu—cocktails, beer, sake, and, Champagne—so you can pair some festive spirits along with your meal.
Whenever you decide to visit the Del Mar Races, the restaurants at Del Mar Plaza should be your first stop. Visit us online to find out more about our restaurants, happy hour specials, shops, and services.