This article originally appeared in the September print issue of LOCALE Magazine.
We all look forward to Sunday Fun Day, filled with endless laughs and best friends, flowing mimosas and bloody marys that complement brunch-time bites. Jake’s Del Mar ups the ante and anticipation for this special day of the week with stunning ocean views and salty breezes, a creative seafood-driven menu, innovative cocktails and a relaxed, warm ambiance. While this classic Del Mar establishment is best known for their seafood dinner plates, Sunday brunch is a must-try local favorite. LOCALE Magazine takes a peak (and a bite) at your new sunny brunch favorite.
Jake’s Del Mar sits along Coast Boulevard in the heart of the sleepy village of Del Mar, just steps away from the sand and surf. The restaurant itself embodies San Diego. Amidst the coastal decor, the casual restaurant is most widely known for its wall of windows that looks out and opens onto the breezy, sunny beach.
Beyond the relaxed, coastal vibe and stunning ocean views, Jake’s Del Mar offers a creative, fresh take, that’s heavy on sustainable Southern California seafood, on modern American cuisine. The “Brunch on the Beach” menu features a variety of both sweet and savory breakfast options—from Bananas Foster French Toast to the Smoked Salmon Frittata. Craving lunch instead? Lunchtime favorites on the brunch menu include Baja Fish Tacos, Shrimp Puttanesca, Chef’s Burger and the Mixed Seafood Pot. Guests can top off their meal with Jake’s Pink Grapefruit Martini, a Powerhouse Bloody Mary or the POG (Passion-Orange-Guava) Mimosa!
The entire restaurant is casual and friendly, reminiscent of enjoying brunch on your back patio with family and friends. The ocean views, innovative menu and energetic and sunny atmosphere are perfect for chatting and laughing over a seafood-based Sunday brunch while toasting fresh cocktails. Cheers!
Q&A With Chef Duvinh Ta
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Duvinh Ta: I was born and raised in San Diego. I left for a little while for culinary school in San Francisco. I then moved to Hawaii and found this company. I’ve been with this company for about 13 years now. I spent a little over a year in Hawaii at Kula Grill, and I’ve been here around 12 years. I have been the chef for about three years. Jake’s is pretty much my family. The office manager even married my wife and I!
Q: What excites you about your role at Jake’s Del Mar?
DT: Mentoring does. The turnover rate for restaurants is pretty high, but we have been very fortunate the last few years. We have one guy who has been here for 36 years, and we have a lot of 10-and-20-plus year employees. But, we do have a lot of new employees straight out of culinary school. I like to guide them. We run our kitchen as a collaboration; I don’t like to just dictate the menu. Everyone gets input on what will be going on to the menu. The fun part of that is that this gets the cooks and the preps involved creating specials and creating new menu items.
Q: What’s your goal running Jake’s kitchen?
DT: I want the restaurant to be a full experience. I want guests to walk in through the door and feel welcomed as if they are a guest in someone’s home. I want them to leave feeling happy and full.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
DT: I get ingredient inspiration from going out to eat and traveling. Cookbooks as well.
Q: What’s your favorite dish to prepare at Jake’s Del Mar?
DT: The seafood pot—the amount of love that goes into the tomato saffron broth!
Q: What are some hidden gems on the menu?
DT: Our ribs! We’re known as a seafood restaurant, so they’re often overlooked. The almond crusted scallops and Strawberry Shortcake at dinnertime too. My favorite brunch items are the egg white frittata, crab benedict and French toast.
Q: What should guests look forward to at Jake’s Del Mar?
DT: Guests should look for a seasonal menu—that’s a big push. But, we want them to also be able to find things on the menu that they have loved for years. We’ll always be changing, but have our roots.
Try Out These Brunch Pairings
Chef’s Burger with a Powerhouse Bloody Mary
Eggs Benedict with a POG Mimosa
Breakfast Burrito with a Powerhouse Bloody Mary
Huevos Rancheros with a Pink Grapefruit Martini
Bananas Foster French Toast with a Mimosa
Locals and Jake’s insiders know about the side patio, do you? It’s a hidden outdoor seating area just off the bar that offers open seating. Without a brunch reservation, you may find yourself waiting for a table inside the restaurant. Skip the wait and walk out to the patio, sit right down and enjoy al fresco brunch with an ocean view!