From South Coast Farms to A Legendary Surfer’s Table
From South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano to an old, legendary surfer’s table at Brick restaurant in San Clemente, owner and head chef David Pratt creates a fresh, unique dining experience for each of his guests.
In the morning, Pratt handpicks a variety of fresh, organic, local produce from South Coast Farms. With the restaurant’s colorful Farm Salad in mind, he selects various greens such as chard, romaine, red leaf lettuce, red butter lettuce, black kale and arugula. Pratt says he uses strawberries in many of his dishes, including the Farm Salad, so he gets plenty of those as well.
He moves on to select some of the vibrant orange carrots on offer, as well as some squash, avocado and potatoes. When he gets to the romanesco, he pauses. If you haven’t yet seen the romanesco for sale at South Coast Farms, you should put it at the top of your to-do list. One look at the bright, lime green, geometric vegetable and you may agree with Pratt’s declaration.
“This is proof that God exists and that he has a sense of humor,” he says as he holds a baby romanesco.
The vegetable’s design is certainly unique and intriguing. When in season, it makes a fun and delicious addition to menu items at the restaurant, such as the roasted vegetables. Pratt sometimes uses the romanesco in the Farm Pizza as well.
The restaurant itself is also a reflection of Pratt’s thoughtful, resourceful and creative approach to the dining experience. He created a warm ambiance with mostly reclaimed materials.
Much of the wood, tile, and furniture like barstools and tables are reclaimed. At the front end of the restaurant sits a long bench style table once used by surfers at Cotton’s Point. They would sit at the table to check out the surf before going out. Pratt used some of the original wood from the table as shelves for liquor above the bar and then repaired the old table so he could use it for dining in the restaurant.
Whichever table you sit at when you visit Brick, be sure to order a few items from the menu. If it’s available, the Squash Blossom Tempura – zucchini flowers stuffed with herbed ricotta cheese and served with Brick marinara sauce – is a good way to start off the meal. The Farm Salad with fresh dill and avocado and strawberries will make you appreciate Pratt’s farm-fresh approach. Of course, you would be wise to try a pizza, such as the Farm Pizza as well.
Pratt also specializes in pasta. He creates 12 different types of handmade pasta per day and plans to make more in the future. You can’t go wrong, no matter what you order from the menu. Your food and your experience will be fresh and unique.