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St. Martin/St. Maarten Restaurant & Dining Reviews
La California 01/01/2004
Reviewers Rating: Excellent
La California is in the center of Grand Case's restaurant row run by Alan in the kitchen and Zuzu, his wife, in the dining room. It's an eclectic, colorful place on the water that's open from morning 'till night serving crepes, pizzas, and lots of appetizers. However, there is a complete menu and a specials board that produced our lunch that started with frog's legs and a salad topped with brie baked in a crepe. The frog legs were perfect in a creamy garlic sauce laid out around a centerpiece that started with carrot and zucchini strips, topped with a touch of polenta, several zucchini and eggplant slices, the final one sprouting a sprig of dill. It was not only interesting given the colors, textures, and depth, but quite tasty. The salad was also quite good, but what does one expect from brie, especially baked in Alan's crepe?

We then went too far and had lotte and shrimp in a saffron sauce and lamb chops, like the frog's legs, in a creamy garlic sauce. Lotte used to be a trash fish in the the US in the 70s, but now much of the world eats it with good reason. Add saffron and the reason is even better. The lamb chops were tasty, done to my specification, and accompanied by a potato gratin and several veg: zucchini, carrot, and sweet potato. With a bottle of Bouchard's non-vintage Borgogne (perfectly good and quite reliable) and a bottle of water, the bill was just a touch north of 100 euros, which via the magic of an accommodating restaurateur, became about $100. That's a lot for lunch, but we didn't have much for dinner. It's a lovely place to while away the afternoon, as they have beach chairs. Stop in for lunch and sleep it off in a chair on sleepy Grand Case Bay.

Rick

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