I’ve been visiting the Island Hotel on and off for a few years now for different events, both food related and non-food related. Therefore, it is just mind-boggling that I had never visited Palm Terrace for a meal until now. But it is just as well that I waited since Chef David Man has since returned to the hotel after a stint elsewhere and was on hand to introduce his creations to us.
We started with Pear & Blue Cheese Flatbread a thin crust pizza topped with Point Reyes Blue Cheese and thin slices of pear finished with wild arugula. What is better than the saltiness of the cheese paired with the sweetness of the pear? Nothing!
“Share Burger” ($13) is the Chef’s version of sliders and comes either in beef or chicken. We had the chicken with applewood smoked bacon, swiss and avocado.
One of my favorites was the Grilled Skewered Prawns, wrapped with prosciutto and brushed with chimichurri sauce. This comprised of two of my favorite items together — what’s not to love?
The Island Ahi Tartare is definitely a take on the traditional with the addition of Asian pears, pecans, cilantro and mint. Delightfully refreshing with a nice crunch coming from both the pears and the pecans.
“New Edamame” was so good we had to order another. Roasted fresh garbanzo beans tossed with sea salt and harissa are not only fun to eat but such a unique alternative to the usual edamame you find everywhere. We loved it!
Salmon poached in California Sparkling Wine is tender with a fabulous spring succotash, potato puree, mache, sauce vierge ($24). The succotash makes use of the beautifully sweet corn that’s currently in season (smaller portion pictured).
Prime Beef Short Ribs ($28) sous vide in California Red wine for 48 hours is fork tender and rich in flavor. Potato puree, gremolata and local braised greens accompany (smaller portion pictured).
One of the more interesting items we tried was Compressed Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Idiazabal sheep milk cheese, Jerez sherry and California olive oil. Both watermelon and heirloom tomatoes are in season right now and are in their prime in terms of flavor — paired perfectly together here with the salty cheese.
One of our favorites was Sauteed Soft Shell Crab amandine style with haricot verts, pea shoots, and Marcona almonds. I’m a huge fan of soft shell crab and honestly I could’ve eaten that entire plate on my own. Crispy on the outside and oh so delicious. I wanted more of those pea shoots!
As if that wasn’t enough food, Executive Pastry Chef Andy revealed some of his sweet creations (all $6) including Valrhona Guanaja chocolate mousse cake with corn sorbet and fleur de sel opal — the corn sorbet was strangely delicious!
My favorite was the Lemon Cream Cheese Tart with mascarpone ice cream. Nice and tart with nice textures, I wish I had more room to eat more.
Almond cheesecake with honey and blackberry coulis was also delicious! I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, and this one had a nice blend of sweet and tart for me to try a few more spoonfuls.
My friend loved the Salted Caramel S’more in a jar with housemade graham crackers. The s’more part was too sweet for me, but I loved the graham crackers with a hint of cinnamon.
Last but not least, Blueberry Orange Crisp with ginger ice cream again mixes sweet and tart in one mouthful which epitomizes what a good dessert should possess.
Some items have prices listed while others do not, the reason being, those are new items which are making their way onto the menu. The Island Hotel has graciously offered one of my readers a prix fixe menu for two created by Chef David Man especially for the winner at Palm Terrace. To enter, simply leave me a comment with who you would bring if you win and why. Don’t forget to leave your full name in the comment. Entries end on Sunday and winner will be announced on Monday. Good Luck.
690 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660