Dining at Brick Restaurant is always worth the drive to San Clemente. I live in Huntington, so it takes some time behind the wheel to savor the palate joy of chef-owner David Pratt’s cuisine.
David’s house-crafted pasta. His pizzas. His meatballs.
(Such as these farro gnocchi adrift in pork bolognese.)
And his salads are some of the very best in O.C.
The beet salad is a must. It showcases beet “carpaccio”, citrus supremes, dill cream and, yes, home-cured gravlax. The texture and flavor contrasts make it irresistible.
AND now on a new menu, dishes show off his fancy new grill. It was inspired by a restaurant in Baja.
“Deckmans in the Guadalupe Valley in Northern Baja (22766 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico) is a big deal,” he told me. “Drew Deckman is a Michelin-starred chef ( who trained under legendary French chefs Paul Bocuse and Jacques Maximin).
It’s a crazy food scene down there. It’s the real deal.
“I was doing this dinner with him – GreenFeast (with Chef Panisse, Deckman and Brick). There was a guy working the grill. Long story short, the guy builds the grills. This guy is THE man.”
“Two days later he was in my kitchen (at Brick), and now I’ve got this eight-foot wood-burning Santa Maria-style grill. It cranks up and down.”
On the grill? Spanish octopus on skewers, deeply charred … you gotta start with this. Listen and watch chef’s octopus lingo …
Scottish salmon with fava beans, citrus and black rice.
Maine lobster one day out of the water. Steaks (Hanger and Ribeye). Pork Chops. A lot of luscious proteins.
Pointing to the menu, he says that there will be a bigger meat section and a fish section, adding that the menu already has grown substantially in that direction.
Brick is at 216 N El Camino Real, San Clemente.