Being the Past President of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach/Five Cities that has met for a decade in the beautiful banquet room downstairs at the now Ventana Grill, our little group of 60+ members had the unusual opportunity to watch the current management go through an extensive remodel of what had become a slightly shabby establishment.
While it always had the breathtaking views, now the restaurant is of a caliber to aptly frame that view in a beautiful atmosphere. Natural woods, stone walls with niches for candles and glass bars that seem to glow all create an entrance worthy of the location.
And you might be wondering if the food lives up to the display — which very often is not the case. The answer is a resounding yes! Amazing Latin-inspired concoctions paired with fresh seafood and the most amazing hand-made tortillas.
The fact that they don’t charge a corkage fee tops my list of positive points. However if you are in the mood for cocktail, the Ventini or Ventana View are both fun and inventive “specialty” drinks that are fresh and yummy. Don’t worry, there is a fully stocked bar.
From the appetizer menu you absolutely cannot miss the Shrimp Cocktail, Poblano Steamed Clams or the new “Corn Dusted Crisp Calamari” that doesn’t have the greasy, bland taste of many calamari dishes.
A fantastic, fresh salad that is perfect for lunch is the Sauteed Sea Scallop Salad with sliced diver scallops, chipotle (fresh) tortilla strips, lemon-cotija cheese, romaine lettuce and a light red-caesar dressing.
Now let’s tuck in to the main course: My husband and I would argue our favorites on this front. Mine would be the Crab Encrusted Mahi Mahi with a red crab and potato crust, carrot ribbons, creamed spinach and apple bacon. His would be the 8 oz. Natural Flat Iron Chimichurri Steak with a Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce and Summer Squash Assortment — although truth be told, he would take any of their steak or pork chop options as they are all scrumptious.
To be quite honest, between client lunches and dinners or drinks with friends we have not been disappointed after Compass Health deftly took the reins and transformed this tired restaurant in a premier location into the current wonderful culinary experience worthy of this perch over the Pacific.
Last but not least, as the icing on this proverbial cake, the staff are lovely, warm and just the right amount of attentive. And don’t let them get away without offering you at taste of the divine “ending” — the Ibarra Chocolate Fondue featuring churros, passion fruit, bananas, strawberries and — yes folks — marshmallows!
2575 Price Street
Pismo Beach, CA 93449