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“Dine in a Mediterranean Setting" Café del Rey, Marina del Rey, California

Cobia fish with artichoke hearts, crispy potato, garlic haricot vert, fennel and black olive powder.
Cobia fish with artichoke hearts, crispy potato, garlic haricot vert, fennel and black olive powder.(Photos shot by Sandy Zimmerman)

Imagine a beautiful Mediterranean seaport with boats docked at the marina. The Café del Rey waterfront restaurant captures the essence of being there. Marina del Rey is near Los Angeles yet you feel so far away.

Guests enjoy spectacular views of the marina and sunsets from every table.

Executive Chef Chuck Abair seeks ways to make his guest’s dining experience more interesting. Chef Chuck’s menu includes popular fish as well as those with unfamiliar names like cobia, fluke and others.

Chef Chuck explained, “We search for great places around the world to source our fish and bring new taste combinations to our guests. We focus on sustainable fish and the environment.

With our coastal location, we often serve fish the same day they catch them.

Our cuisine is Mediterranean with California influences. We buy most of our food in California. The Farmers Market spoils us with fresh produce.

This unique combination of ingredients creates different taste profiles.

Cobia comes with artichoke hearts, crispy potato, garlic haricot vert, fennel and black olive powder.”

Haricot vert is French for green beans. Haricot means beans and vert green. French green beans are longer and thinner than most American varieties. They are tender and have a complex flavor.

The crunchy and slightly sweet fennel combines well with the softness of the fish.

Usually the chefs fry the Dungeness crab cake but not at Café del Rey. Chef Chuck explained, “I focus on the crab without overpowering it with fillers. The crab cake, wrapped in Kadayif shredded fila dough, becomes crispy after cooking in a pan. I add red grapefruit, piquillo pepper purée and arugula to heighten the taste.”

The piquillo chile pepper has a sweet taste with no heat.

For those who want a traditional Mediterranean entrée, lamb Osso Buco takes hours to prepare and cook. After the chef spends all of this time, the tender pieces of lamb are worth tasting as they fall apart at the touch of your fork. With every bite, you will savor the roasted mushrooms and crunchy pine nuts. The Osso Buco also includes Gremolata, lemon zest, garlic, parsley and olive oil.

Executive Chef Chuck Abair’s special section of their website draws attention to sustainable seafood. It explains the seafood in season, which seafood is safe to eat with best choices and good alternatives.

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