- Reporters Desk
By Gretchen Williams, Dining and Cuisine Writer
A sea breeze comes up every afternoon in South Shores, often in sharp contrast to heat or pollution elsewhere. It is a delight to come over the hill and feel that refreshing salty wind. The view of Catalina and out to sea is one of the joys of living in San Pedro.
Local custom says, “If they don’t have it at 25th and Western, you don’t need it.” A full compliment of shopping, dining, grooming, petting and vetting is available. With adjacent Vons shopping center on 25th Street, all the vital needs are covered.
Across the street, the new Shore Grille is a very good reason to stop in South Shores for lunch or dinner. Shore Grill is in the former Chicago For Ribs place. It’s now light, bright and full of wonderful paintings of San Pedro by noted artist Mark Beard. The colorful works show parts of San Pedro that are often missed, like Sunken City or Royal Palms, as well as Malibu and the South Bay. The brothers Edgar and Carlos have designed and executed a restaurant perfect for the neighborhood. The welcoming dining room provides comfortable tables, as well as booths made for groups and families.
The menu at the Shore Grille is for barbecue overs — from terrific ribs and chicken and brisket to traditional sides like baked beans and cornbread. But the menu is much more than barbecue.
Small plates and appetizers are great for sharing, such as spicy buffalo wings, house guacamole and chips and crispy calamari on the list with unusual and delicious soy glazed edamame, buffalo cauliflower and killer queso dip with pico de gallo.
Salads at the Shore Grille are fresh and imaginative. Strawberry Bleu is a wonderful mix of spinach, kale and baby greens with strawberries, apples, dried cranberries, glazed pecans and bleu cheese crumbles with great house made vinaigrette dressing. Cobb salad is a glimpse into the days of the Brown Derby and old Hollywood, with applewood smoked bacon, chopped egg, tomato and grilled chicken with bleu cheese crumbles and house balsamic dressing. Asian chicken salad does this classic right, with fresh mixed greens, chopped green onion, grilled chicken and crispy won ton strips, with Asian dressing. Another favorite is the Caesar salad, with romaine lettuce, sourdough crisps and parmesan cheese, with lemony house made Caesar dressing. Roasted tomato bisque is satisfying, smooth and full of flavor. Everything is prepared from scratch, and the in house salad dressings are first rate.
Shore Grille makes a terrific burger, with a half-pound patty and all the trimmings, and house made 1,000 Island dressing. The BBQ Chophouse burger comes with bacon, cheese, onion rings and barbecue sauce on brioche bun. Mushroom and Swiss burger is the best, crowned with a mountain of sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese.
In homage to its barbecue roots, Shore Grille makes tri-tip and pulled pork sandwiches, with their signature barbecue sauce, served on a French roll. Grilled chicken club sandwich is a California take on the traditional, with grilled chicken breast, cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato with tarragon mustard on a brioche bun. Crispy fish sandwich takes this old favorite to new heights with perfectly fried cod filet on brioche bun with grilled onions, tomato and lettuce, tangy tartar sauce, and coleslaw or waffle fries, All sandwiches are accompanied by a pickle and a choice of sides, including baked beans, coleslaw, tater tots, waffle fries, mashed potatoes, fresh fruit, steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus. Beef patties can be replaced by turkey patty or vegan Beyond Burger.
Big plates are just that at Shore Grille, big on flavor and big on choice. Top of the list is the 14-ounce choice ribeye steak, grilled or blackened, or the 10 ounce prime flat iron steak, both served with fabulous mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus or broccoli. Skillet lasagna is bubbling with house made marinara and Italian sausage, topped with cheese, a real favorite. Baja fish tacos are phenomenal, with citrus slaw, avocado salsa and pico de gallo. Fried shrimp tacos will also transport you to Baja, with feet in the sand. Mac and cheese is a house specialty, made with cavatappi pasta, parmesan, mozzarella and white cheddar, topped with crunchy bread crumbs. Grilled salmon and fahi fahi Mediterranean are the pride of the dinner list, with fish prepared beautifully and served artfully, with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.
Save room for dessert, because the Shore Grille has a spectacular selection of sweet treats. Cookie and cream is an oversized, skillet baked, fresh chocolate chip or snickerdoodle cookie topped with a choice of vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and caramel. Dulce de leche cheesecake is a substantial wedge of cheesecake, swirled with caramel. Rockslide brownie à la mode is a freshly baked fudge brownie with caramel and pecans, topped with vanilla ice cream. The Shore Sundae is vanilla ice cream with a rich blanket of chocolate sauce, almonds, whipped cream and a cherry, the answer to any doubt.
Do not miss the new Shore Grille, 1637 W. 25th St.