I first learned about Pacific Catch at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival in Golden Gate Park. A server was walking around with samples of the restaurant’s Hawaiian Poke—and I was instantly hooked.
Fast forward several years (and yes, I’ve had the poke at every Outside Lands since!), and I was lucky enough to visit one of Pacific Catch’s restaurants (its first, in Corte Madera; there are seven Bay Area locations) for a full review.
The restaurant sits at the north edge of the Corte Madera Town Center and has a large dining room as well as several covered patio areas. There’s a nice-sized bar with seating at its center, and an open kitchen just beyond that. Everything has a tropical feel to it.
Once we ordered our drinks (a smooth and lovely Kiwi Flash with gin, kiwi, cucumber and lemon juice as well as a refreshing Prickly Pear Margarita), some edamame and pretzel goldfish snacks were placed on the table. The soup of the day was New England-style clam chowder, which smelled as good as it tasted and was flavor-packed with clams, ham and potatoes.
Having only ever tried the restaurant’s original poke, we decided to go for the Hawaiian poke trio, which came with crispy wonton chips, seaweed salad (both perfect—fresh and crunchy) and a light daikon salad. There are six types of poke (sushi-grade ahi tuna) on this portion of the menu, and we chose original (of course), which has sesame-soy marinade and is so fresh it always makes me smile; ahi serrano, which has sweet onions, spicy aioli and serrano chilies mixed in (this one has a big kick and is not for anyone who fears some heat); and California style, which is sassy and has snow crab, lemon aioli, avocado, tobiko and nori mixed in. We were off to a great start.
Next up was the Japanese wasabi rice bowl, which is a large bowl piled with ahi poke, seaweed salad, avocado, daikon sprouts, cucumber, pickled ginger, shredded nori, soy-wasabi sauce and sesame seeds. It was absolutely delicious and not too hot (still thinking about the heat-shy folks out there; I love it myself).
We switched up our beverages for the rest of the meal. First we selected a glass of Simi Winery’s Rosé of Syrah (dry with medium tannins; perfect for seafood), and second, a Spicy Pacific (vodka, serrano chilies and passion fruit), which was fruity with a kick.
The Island Taco platter had three tacos (there are five choices) and came with spicy (they weren’t really all that spicy) fries. We went for traditional Baja (crispy Alaskan True cod, shredded cabbage, jalapeño tartar, avocado-tomatillo salsa), Cabo shrimp (crispy shrimp, shredded cabbage, avocado, pico de gallo, jalapeño tartar and lime crema), and steak (skirt steak marinated in a sweet barbecue-style sauce, fresh cilantro, crispy sweet onions, shredded cabbage, sriracha aioli and lime crema—this one was our favorite of the three, but they were all excellent).
For fish and chips, we chose Thai coconut shrimp with sweet potato fries. It came with a side of really great coleslaw as well as wasabi aioli and sweet Thai chili sauce. The shrimp was fresh, plump, crunchy, sweet and fried perfectly with plenty of coconut in the batter.
Dessert was Equator coffee (rich and smooth) along with fried dulce de leche spring rolls. There were two rich rolls with a huge scoop of thick vanilla ice cream, all covered in plenty of caramel sauce and excellent texture play. Top this with excellent service, and we left full and happy.
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