Dine Marina Side At Café Del Rey With Spectacular Views

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 9:31:00 AM

Brenton Garen

Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in the sophisticated yet laid back atmosphere of Café del Rey’s marina setting.
Courtesy Photo
Enjoy Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in the sophisticated yet laid back atmosphere of Café del Rey’s marina setting.

Since 1991, Café del Rey has been offering its guests the chance to soak up the spectacular views of the marina docks in Marina del Rey while enjoying fine dine food at everyday prices.

The restaurant boasts Mediterranean-inspired cuisine from Executive Chef Daniel Roberts.

Roberts, who joined the restaurant about two and a half years ago, is committed to sourcing fresh fish daily, creating an array of house made products, and sourcing from local artisan purveyors whenever possible.

He said he changes the menu five times a year: the four regular seasons and then the holiday season when he offers special promotions that cater to the holidays.

Right now he is excited for his current winter menu.

“We have dishes on the menu like our braised pork tagine served with black quinoa, medjool dates, pancetta, sautéed yam, cippolini, baby zucchini and some crème fraiche and cilantro leaves to garnish it,” he said. “Keeping with dishes that are warm, we have a black linguini with lobster and lobster white wine cream sauce, caramelized fennel, tarragon, and chili flakes. We also have a braised short rib pasta served with lemon and thyme farfalle.”

He said all of their pastas are made in-house, which includes lemon ricotta gnocchi, black linguini, lemon and thyme farfalle, and a wild mushroom and truffle agnolotti.

One of his favorite winter dishes on the menu is the duck confit.

“We cure our duck legs for 24 hours with herbs and a seasoning mix and then let them cook in duck fat for 3.5 to four hours on low heat,” he said. “When I was putting the dish together, I decided to do it with acorn squash because it’s great for the winter, it’s a healthy product to eat, it’s a heart healthy product, and it marries well with the duck confit.”

To complete the dish, he presents the duck on a bed of faro grain combined with shallots, garlic, black currant, marconna almonds from Spain, and acorn squash before it is finished with a port wine reduction.

When Roberts accepted the position at Café del Rey, he said he was asked to change the concept of the restaurant, which at the time was pan-Asian California cuisine.

“The restaurant was looking to change to Mediterranean, which is a cuisine I had always be interested in and grew up around,” he said.

Originally from New York, Roberts’ Italian upbringing exposed him to the fine art of cooking at an early age.

After making his name in the Big Apple as the chef and co-owner of G! Café, Roberts relocated to the West Coast, where he worked at acclaimed Los Angeles eateries such Asia de Cuba and Baleen at the Portofino Hotel and Yacht Club.

At Cafe del Rey, Roberts has elevated the standard of dining with his new menus, blending classical technique with an inventive approach, as evidenced by his sophisticated yet simple cuisine.

The 225-seat restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with lunch service offered Monday-Friday from 11:30 am to 3 pm, Saturday 11:30 am to 2 pm, and Sunday brunch 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Dinner hours are Monday-Thursday from 5:30-9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30-10 pm, and Sunday 5-9:30 pm.

Happy Hour is offered every day from 3-7 pm, as well as 9 pm to close.

It is located at 4451 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.

For more information, call 310.823.6395 or visit www.cafedelreymarina.com.

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