Restaurant Reviews

Pacific Catch

September 15, 2015

The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version: 

Winner.
Loved the food and service – tasty drinks, delicious poke and amazing rice bowls!
Check for hours as they vary by location and not all locations have a full bar.

The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:

With its 7 locations, Pacific Catch is a Bay Area chain. However, I would advise you to not be too quick in dismissing it. For a long time I passed by one of their locations never fully aware of what they served and not all that intrigued. I am here to tell you I was wrong – so wrong!!! During Labor Day weekend, I dined at their Corte Madera location and was very pleasantly surprised with my experience.

Everyone from the hostess to the manager was very nice. The location itself is quite large and they have indoor and outdoor seating. The seating inside is pretty standard with a view of the kitchen and a large bar. There are small sections of outdoor seating, which we preferred – their decor inside isn’t anything special and it’s much less noisy outside. Plus, with how nice the weather has been, it seemed like the obvious choice.

PSA: Last year they had a new chef come in so if you haven’t dined here in a while, I’d say it’s worth another try.

What we ate/drank:

  • Raspberry Margarita ($10)
  • Pacific Catch Mai Tai ($10)
  • Octopus poke ($12)
  • Hawaiian poke trio ($19)
  • Rising Sun Sushi roll ($13)
  • Japanese Wasabi rice bowl ($16)
  • Two tacos a la carte ($10)
  • Brownie ($8)
  • Mochi ball ($2)


Thoughts?

I was really impressed with their drinks. For starters, the mai tai has 3 oz of alcohol (making it their strongest on the menu). It is strong, but it’s definitely tasty. The raspberry margarita was my favorite – much sweeter and very refreshing. I was happy to see the full bar and will definitely try a few more options next time! I love a good cocktail and both of these did the job.

This octopus poke was a special which I believe should still be available (I think they are trying it out and seeing how it goes). I liked this, it’s definitely different from the original, but I liked the flavor. This isn’t your typical grilled octopus that usually comes in meatier pieces, these are smaller, chewier pieces. If you’re not a picky eater this is a good one to try because it’s a greater contrast to what you’ll find on the permanent poke menu. The sweet onion and sesame soy dressing give it a very unique flavor.

We decided to order the poke trio, I highly recommend this because you get to try a variety and since it was our first time, it was a great way to sample all the ones we wanted. We chose the original, ahi serrano and the ahi macadamia nut. The original was my favorite, it was light, super flavorful and had a great kick without being spicy. The macadamia nut was my other favorite, the nuts obviously gave it a unique flavor and crunch that worked really well with the ahi tuna. This was a bit spicier than the original, but nothing that was too much. The ahi serrano wasn’t my favorite at first because the texture is different, the fish is almost mushed up, think spicy tuna (in a sushi roll) texture (or tuna tartar) versus large, square pieces of fish. You can see in the photo the difference in presentation – the serrano one is in the middle. This was definitely spicy which I really liked although I had to take some breaks to clear the palate in between (it was pretty darn spicy). The more I ate it, the more I liked it.

We ordered two tacos: traditional baja and cabo shrimp. The baja was much spicier and didn’t have as many toppings as the shrimp. I liked them both, but I was in love with the shrimp taco. It’s very rare that a restaurant can do so many things and get them all right so I don’t know if I had the highest hopes for great tacos, but they really surprised me. The shrimp taco was delicious!!! It was juicy and super tasty! I will be ordering more next time!!!

A rice bowl is a rice bowl right? WRONG! This was delicious and not to mention HUGE (“that’s what she said” naturally pops into my head so excuse me while I remind myself to grow up!) They kindly separated it into 2 bowls for Dennis and I (without asking might I add – remember I said the service was great!) and we couldn’t believe all of that was just one order. We ending up devouring one and saving one so I could greedily finish it for lunch the next day. Reheated, by the way, tasted just as good.

They have 4 different bowls all with different protein options – we chose the Japanese Wasabi bowl with seared ahi. The ahi was warm and perfectly cooked and the Japanese wasabi sauce made the dish! Not to mention all the other extras like seaweed salad, avocado, daikon, cucumber, ginger, sesame seeds, and nori. This bowl was so flavorful and I loved that it wasn’t all rice. The amount of toppings was perfect. I probably will ask for a bit more sauce next time, but that’s just because it was THAT good.

This is a great option for lunch or dinner and I’m pretty sure you’ll have leftovers. I have nothing but great things to say about this rice bowl. Also, Dennis was least excited about this menu item (I guess him and rice bowls don’t have a great history), but he, too, loved it!

We ordered the Rising Sun sushi roll; I loved how fresh it was and how generous they were with the pieces. The roll had a lot of flavor, but it also had a lot of rice. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more without the outer layer of rice (there’s an inner layer too), but everything else was good.

If you love chocolate-y, rich, dense brownies – you’ll love this! It was a bit of chocolate overload with the sauce, but Dennis loved it. I really enjoyed the coconut shavings – it gave it a tropical, Hawaiian feel and added a depth of flavor.

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