The name David Fune is synonymous with some of the great food that is in OC, including Splashes and the Balboa Bay Resort. Chef Fune is currently at Dana Point’s Salt Creek Grille, and we sneaked a peek at what he’s been up to since joining.
Salt Creek Grille has been around for quite some time, serving locals and visitors alike. The menu is American, and under Chef Fune, many have been elevated to reflect a modern feel to classic dishes, some strictly Californian, utilizing the abundant produce California has to offer.
Start with a refreshing Watermelon Salad ($9). At first glance, it looks like any ordinary watermelon salad, but once you put it in your mouth, you’ll know it’s a lot more than that. The compressed watermelon is brimming with flavor encompassing components such as cucumber, feta, and lime vinaigrette. The sweet-tart flavors are perfect to whet your appetite for what’s to come.
Butcher Block Meatballs ($11) currently on the summer happy hour menu is a must. These succulent meatballs are baked in a skillet with a tangy house-made tomato sauce and sure to please both adults and kids alike.
Crispy Brussels ($8) comprises varying textures and flavors in one bite. The Bourbon caramel glaze lends sweetness, while grain mustard adds some tartness and texture. Tavern Ham is savory and pairs perfectly with the sweetness from the glaze. Some sunflower seeds offer added crunch.
I’m not generally a huge fan of mac and cheese, but Prosciutto Mac & Cheese ($9) is simply delightful. Instead of the usual elbow macaroni, Chef Fune uses ditalini pasta, combining it with caramelized shallots, applewood smoked bacon, four cheese mornay, fresh herbs, and prosciutto gremolata. It isn’t cloying, and surprisingly light. The flavors are incredibly robust, and is way too easy to eat.
One of my favorite dishes of the evening is Garlic Soy Steak & Mango Salad ($16) which sees tender mesquite-grilled flat iron steak served with an Asian rice noodle salad, tossed with avocado, cabbage, cherry tomatoes. All the ingredients are brought together with a refreshing citrus ponzu dressing. This totally appealed to my palate!
Another favorite is Citrus Glazed Jumbo Shrimp ($28) with plump wood-fired shrimp, baby tomatoes, citrus segments, kale, garlic, avocado mousse, and roasted fingerling potatoes. It is again, a perfect dish for the summer.
Check out all of these items, plus more, at Salt Creek Grille — and partake in what Chef Fune has to offer.
Salt Creek Grille
32802 Pacific Coast Hwy
Dana Point, CA 92629