Although certainly a fine-dining establishment, Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill also is a place to come for casual, family-friendly Sunday brunch. The main attractions are beautifully prepared seafood and classic dishes that radiate a California flare.
You can’t avoid a wait during brunch hours, but the restaurant has planned for this. The waiting lounge is large and extends into the bar where you can grab a secret-recipe Bloody Mary garnished with pickled asparagus. Don’t drink too much, though. Once you check out the menu you’ll see in small print at the bottom that each entree comes with two glasses of champagne. It’s pleasantly dry and bubbly, an ideal match for a seafood brunch.
Guests can sit on the outdoor patio or in the dining room, but when it comes to views, it really doesn’t matter which you choose. Every seat in the house affords a view of the Pacific Ocean, just across the road.
Start with Oysters on the Half Shell served with peppery horseradish on the side. Oysters Rockefeller come piled high with spinach, bacon, and cheese.
Main course options include two versions of Eggs Benedict, Monte Cristo Sandwiches, omelets, and scrambles. Staying true to the California location, several entrees include avocado and many incorporate local seafood. If you prefer your brunch to be less breakfast and more lunch, club sandwiches, chowders, and fish tacos are all available, as are salads loaded with flavorful toppings.
The Seafood Omelet is at once simple and luxurious. The plate overflows with buttery shrimp and scallops that are dressed with a sauce made of lobster stock and cream.
If seafood is not a favorite, the Moonstone Egg Stack could be everything you want in a California breakfast. Sourdough toast is served layered with tomatoes and thick-cut bacon. Stacked on top are eggs fried over cheese creating a combination of the two that will spark your curiosity and please your taste buds.
Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill does not take reservations — a common practice among restaurants on this stretch along the ocean. Thus, expect a wait. Rest assured, it’s worth it. You will leave trying to decide whether your favorite part was the view, the cocktails, or the brunch. For us, it’s all three.