When we asked Executive Chef John Medall (of The Patio on Lamont and The Patio on Goldfinch) to talk to us about some of his favorite seafood dishes, he went straight for the Spanish Octopus with Gigante Bean Ragout. “I love cooking with items that some see as unappealing,” he told us. The menus at both the Patio on Lamont and The Patio on Goldfinch) feature a wide range of seafood choices, just in case his guests aren’t in the mood for octopus. Whether they’re in the mood for some creative takes on tuna like the Ahi Poke Tacos or the Broken Down Nicoise Salad or a classic like cioppino or shrimp and grits, they’re in luck at these beloved neighborhood spots. There are plenty of shellfish options – mussels are featured in a variety of tasty preparations, along with oysters and even abalone.
Chef John is also a big fan of fish with high oil content (like Alaska Halibut and Chilean Sea Bass). “These are less ‘fishy’ fish, and can stand up to grilling,” he tells us. He also loves to bring in (and cook) whole fish – look for whole fish to pop up as a “Catch of the Day,” depending on what’s in season.
He’s also known for his commitment to full utilization of his ingredients. For instance, when he works with whole fish, the bones and heads are always turned into stock, and you’ll find high quality tuna trimmings turning up in ceviche and tuna salad.
When it comes to relaxing, Chef John enjoys grilling seafood at home with family and friends, “especially during football season”. Although he’s not much of a fisherman, he does have a lot of fond memories of fishing with his father and grandfather. “I didn’t catch much, but the stories were great and just being around the two greatest men in my life is priceless.”
Since Chef John leaves the fishing up to the pros, he finds himself doing a lot of product research. He’s concerned about issues of sustainability, keeps up with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch list, and stays in touch with his Santa Monica Seafood Representatives, Brian and Lisa. “They have been instrumental in training my staff and allowing me to provide the best quality sea products to our guests. We are super excited about our future ventures and having Santa Monica Seafood as our partner to all that is living in our beautiful oceans.”
The Patio on Lamont
4445 Lamon Street
San Diego, CA 92109
The Patio on Goldfinch
4020 Goldfinch Street
San Diego, CA 92103