Jeffrey Strauss, the executive chef and owner of Pamplemousse Grille in Solana Beach brings a life-long appreciation of seafood into his kitchen. “When I was young I would head out to Fire Island with friends and using a rake, dig for clams. Cooking them on the beach is one of my favorite childhood memories. When I was a kid I would always order the surf and turf every time we went out and I always got a smack from my dad for that… now that I think about it, it’s because it was the most expensive item on the menu!”
Even after relocating to the shores of the Pacific, he can’t seem to leave behind his love for the iconic seafood of the East Coast. “I have always loved lobster, which is pretty predictable. However one of the reasons I love it is because of its versatility. Lobster, Avocado, and Citrus Salad, Lobster Ravioli, Lobster Picatta with Black Forbidden Rice…”
In fact, he loves lobster so much he featured it in a memorable meal he cooked for Sugar Ray Leonard in his home – roasted acorn squash with a casserole made of lobster, scallops, blue prawns and jumbo lump crab. Sounds like a knockout to us!
Chef Strauss also enjoys working with some of our speciality items like Louvar, Turbot, and John Dory. He’s currently featuring the latter on the menu. Customers are raving about his Porcini Dusted John Dory with Roasted Root Vegetables, Porcini Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula, and Port Wine Sauce.
When it comes to menu planning, Chef Strauss told us he hates a mess in the kitchen. “I prefer seafood that works well on the grill – shrimp, salmon, oysters and clams are all great grilled.” Chef Strauss’ menu at Pamplemousse Grille draws from his time as Executive Sous Chef and
Executive Chef at Glorious Food, New York City’s preeminent caterer for more than 15 years, and his many travels to Europe to spend time in a variety of kitchens.
He also turns to the seafood experts when trying to decide what to feature. “Trust your Santa Monica Seafood Salesperson! Let them know what you generally like, and find out what they like to eat and what fish they recommend. ”
Since opening, the Pamplemousse Grille has received many local & national awards including “Best Restaurant, Peoples Choice” San Diego Home & Gardens, “Best New Restaurant” “Best Caterer” & “San Diego’s Best Chef” San Diego Magazine, Zagat Rated #1 Restaurant in San Diego for three consecutive years and 2008 San Diego Nice Guy of the Year.
If you’re curious about that “Nice Guy of the Year Award” like we were, you can learn more about it here. In a nutshell, Chef Strauss was chosen because he has helped raise millions of dollars for many San Diego charities including Voice for Children, Walden Family Services, San Diego Humane Society, S.D. Moores Cancer Center, Jewish Family Services, Casa de Amparo, Helen Woodward Center and others.
Nothing makes us happier than counting a certified “Nice Guy” among our customers – thanks for making it easy, Chef Strauss!
514 Via de la Valle, Suite 100
Solana Beach, CA 92075
Ph. (858) 792-9090