There ain't no party like a 4th of July party in the OC, especially in Huntington Beach for their 106th Annual Parade, views of Fireworks from Seal Beach to Dana Point, and Coastal Cuisine at Sandy's Beach Grill right on the boardwalk.
While I love LA, I love 4th of July in OC more. I bike from CdM to HB, Newport Beach & back to see the parade, chow down and drink up, then stop at friends' house parties all the way home. And this year, Sandy's Beach Grill, in the former Savannah's-Chimayo's hot spot on the boardwalk, will definitely be part of the roster.
- nice charcoal flavor, but kinda watery and needs more dressing Grilled Hearts of Romaine with Charred Corn, Pico de Gallo, Roasted Pumpkin Seeds & Creamy Cilantro-Caesar Dressing ($8)
- surprisingly succulent, smokey cumin flavor 6 Dry Rubbed Ribs with Sambol Honey BBQ Sauce ($12)
- a whole lot's goin' on, but it all works Ahi Poke with Red Chile, Chopped Taro Chips, Ginger, Soy, Macadamia Nuts & Seaweed Salad ($12)
- divine, tender, earthy 'n sweet Seared Scallops with Sliced Yam, Fried Sage & Brown Butter Sauce ($12)
- explosively sinful, gigantic S'mores Bomb with Charred Marshmallow Exterior, Chocolate Ice Cream & Chocolate Covered Layered Graham Crackers (on the house for us :)
The first time I visited Sandy's was after my cousin's Master's Degree Graduation. If you've been to this location before, I'm sure you know of it's high turnover. But now that it's Duke's-owned, it's got some sure-fire staying power.
The menu is split into tapas-style smaller plates ($4-14), as well as bigger entrees like Pizzas ($10-13), Burgers ($9), Prime Steak & Truffle Fries ($17), Beer Can Chicken ($16), and Pecan-Crusted Sea Bass ($17). But since I like to split, I stuck to the smaller plates.
Now I love me some Grilled Hearts of Romaine, but I was kind of disappointed with this one. It has nice charcoal flavor and a fantastic presentation, but is bland, watery, and needs more seasoning & Creamy Cilantro-Caesar Dressing.
I was totally impressed by the Dry Rubbed Ribs, especially because I'm one to lather on the BBQ Sauce. However, these ribs with 6 Secret Spices – 1 which is definitely Cumin – are really juicy with a great smokey flavor, no sauce required. But, if you must, their Honey Sambol is light 'n tangy.
The Ahi Poke is also really good too and probably enough for 1 person to eat on their own. This Poke is more Asian-inspired with a Ginger Sesame Soy Sauce (no avocado here.) And while there is a LOT goin' on on the plate, it all seems to marry perfectly. (CAUTION: if you're not one for spice, beware because the Red Chile is definitely prominent.)
I had a bite of the Scallops and immediately wished I'd ordered the plate all to myself. The Scallops are super tender with perfectly Seared edges. The Sweet Yam Rounds underneath balance the Crispy Fried Sage bits. And the Brown Butter Sauce will make you want to lap it up like a dog.
Lastly, and as a nice graduation surprise, our waitress brought us the S'mores Bomb on the house. This thing is ENORMOUS! (TIP: I totally don't recommend getting it unless you've got 4 or more people because you'll want to finish it off and then hate yourself for all the blissful calories.) Layers of Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers – which, you think is some kind of Cookie Dough Brownie when you're eating it – are topped with a Massive Ball of Chocolate Ice Cream, then encased in Charred Marshmallow. Each bite is seriously, sinfully good. And the 4 of us couldn't even finish it off because it's so rich.
As for the service, it was impeccable! Our waitress was super sweet and very attentive.
I definitely hope Sandy's is here to stay. You will too.
315 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648. 714-374-7273.