Gulf Coast Grill
As a native San Diegan, it has become a tradition for me to attend the Earth Day festival held every April at Balboa Park (an indication of how backlogged are my posts). Since I moved to Orange County four years ago to attend UCI, the Earth Day festivities have extended to the night before the fair, allowing me the opportunity to catch up with my friends in San Diego. This year, we stayed with friends who live in North Park and they suggested we try a restaurant they had heard positive reviews about.
Gulf Coast Grill offers fare that has “Louisiana roots, California style” and offers happy hour nightly from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. We decided to heavily partake in Gulf Coast Grill’s happy hour because of the half-price appetizers and drinks and because our friends only live a block away from the restaurant.
With many of their regular appetizers half-priced for happy hour, I figured it was okay to order everything I wanted to try rather than limit ourselves. The warm Cornmeal Crusted Brie was served with toasted baguette slices and a lightly dressed mixed green salad. The salty brie was soft enough to spread on the baguette slices and was complimented by the sweetness of the candied pecans. Brie is one of my favorite cheeses and I really enjoyed the medley of flavors and textures, the sweetness paired with the saltiness, and crunch paired with the soft cheese.
The Sweet Corn Hushpuppies were freshly fried and served with a creamy house remoulade sauce. The balls of cornmeal were fried to a dark brown and biting into the crisp shell revealed a soft interior with a hint of spice. I especially enjoyed mopping up the slightly spicy and tangy remoulade sauce with the fluffy hushpuppies.
Also served with the house remoulade sauce were their Fried Oysters. The oysters were first coated in cornmeal and then deep fried. The cornmeal crust provided a hearty crunch that contrasted with the meltingly soft oysters within. I was surprised that the oysters retained their moisture and brine through the deep fry process, rather than dripping with grease from their hot oil bath.
Luckily for me, some of my dining companions had an aversion to seafood, so after a taste of the oysters went around the table, I was left with three and a half large fried oysters to myself. I was able to make a meal of the appetizers while my dining companions shared the rather large entrees.
Gulf Coast Grill
4130 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92103