By David Wayne
I know I’ve used the term “hidden gem” a few times as of late, but when referring to Oceans restaurant in Cathedral City, I couldn’t resist. Located on East Palm Canyon in the Canyon Plaza shopping center across the street from Target, this quaint little “hidden gem” has it all. When you first walk through the doors you understand why it is called Oceans. With a fish aquarium and Ocean decor, the atmosphere is breathtaking. We were seated by Nino, a very professional waiter, who carried a white board on a stand to our table, with the specials written on the board. He then began to describe in detail (he made the dishes sound so appetizing) all of the specials. We had our drinks and bread served to us by Israel, (who is nicknamed “Lalo”), my wife had a pleasant, fruity glass of Josh Sauvignon Blanc, and I had a tasting glass of iced tea and a cappuccino to wet the whistle.
We started our meal with two appetizers, sharing a Lobster Cocktail and a Royal Salad. The Royal Salad is fresh chopped tomato with hearts of palms, kalamata olives and feta cheese, sprinkled with a vinaigrette dressing. The delicious Lobster Cocktail is high quality lobster with mixed greens, horseradish, and cocktail sauce. For my entrée I chose the Surf and Turf, which was the most tender eight ounce filet mignon I have had in a long time, and an eight ounce Lobster tail, both grilled to perfection and served with creamy mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. My wife had their special, Chilean Sea Bass: lightly floured, baked in the oven with fresh tomato, basil and garlic, also served with mixed vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, and bok choy. The Sea Bass, moist and tender, melted in our mouths, and both dishes left us satisfied, but not uncomfortably full.
Dessert is a must for us when dining in a fine restaurant, and with the choices we made, we were not disappointed. One was a raspberry cheesecake that interestingly had mascarpone in it, layered with white cake, and covered with fresh raspberries and sauce. The other dessert was cappuccino ice cream, topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and finely chopped nuts. My wife had a hot cappuccino with her cappuccino ice cream, and got tickled by the idea of the two together.
With a seating capacity of seventy, this small restaurant makes good use of its space without crowding the tables together for their guests; partly because they have a nice patio area with a television. I enjoy when a smaller restaurant has its owner involved in the production, and Bakir (who is originally from Bosnia) did just that very well. It was obvious he has a lot of regulars, as he greeted most of his guests by name, and made sure that their dining experience was perfect. Open for lunch and dinner; don’t miss this fascinating “hidden gem”.
67-555 East Palm Canyon, Suite C-101, Cathedral City
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