A successful team is built with great people and Chef Gordon has rallied those people together in Head Sous Chef, Michael Welch and manager Jeffrey Apadoca, who were incredibly knowledgeable about their food, its source and the reasoning behind every plate.
Solace & the Moonlight Lounge is anchored on the corner of Pacific Station in Encinitas, a LEED silver certified retail center. The two story restaurant has an upper deck with views over HWY 101 and out to the Pacific Ocean and just steps from the railroad station, making it a simple choice with great parking options and fantastic ambiance. The area is a hub of life and Solace & the Moonlight Lounge has heightened the experience.
The lunch crowd was a mix; couples, ladies who lunch and business types. The atmosphere has a lively, casual, friendly vibe with background music of Lumineers, FUN and Imagine Dragons piping in.
Special Days to remember: Saturday and Sunday – Brunch Wednesday -$30 three-course vegetarian menu
For Starters: Oysters on the half shell are no ordinary fare at Solace’s raw bar. They have your customary selections for San Diego but if you want something completely different than you will find elsewhere, try their Beau Soleil oysters. These are not the tiny, slick oysters you are accustomed to. Beau Soleils are cold water oysters that have a wonderfully clean, crisp taste and a bit of a firmer texture than your ordinary oyster. The oysters come paired with your choice of either the house-made cocktail sauce (slightly chunky texture…mmm) and a tangy lime tarragon mignonett. I was delighted to hear from Manager, Jeff Apadoca that the perfect pairing for the oysters… BUBBLES! Yes a little bubbly. Who knew!
The seasoned jumbo White Shrimp packs a lot of flavor into a small package and comes with a Tabasco aioli for dipping but the seasoning on the shrimp makes it good enough to eat without the extra punch.
Great for sharing was the Yellowtail Tartare with toasted pepitas, diced chilis and an herb puree on cornmeal crackers. The buttery flavor of the fresh yellowtail with its basil pesto, chives and red bell peppers leaves you wanting for more.
Main Course: Try the Seared Diver Scallops or the Mustard Crusted Sea Bass. Dinner for two… order one of each and taste the best of both! The rich, buttery Diver Scallops are seared and covered in a delicate Meyer lemon roasted onion sauce 9to die for) and a spring veggie medley while the Mustard Crusted Sea Bass has a wonderful twist of textures on a plate. The Sea Bass comes on a bed of sautéed farro, black pepper sauce, peppercress greens and asparagus drizzled with the sweetness of a red wine reduction.
Solace & the Moonlight Lounge provides a casual atmosphere with food that exudes quality and freshness and a staff that confidently believes in the commitment to service, culinary creativity and enjoyment of experience… all the things that make a great meal.
*FYI… They also have the best grilled cheese and tomato soup you will eat; an old classic with a modern update.