Review: New Switchboard Restaurant Makes a Strong Connection to Oceanside
Over the past 18 months, a handful of new restaurants have opened in downtown Oceanside, including the Switchboard Restaurant & Bar, an all-day dining restaurant in a historic Coast Highway building that serves delicious food. Hawaiian-Korean dishes at affordable prices.
The O’siders are known to support local businesses, and Switchboard owner Kevin Shin, Culver City Fire Captain, Navy veteran and longtime Oceanside resident, returned their affection. In the 14 months since Switchboard opened, Shin has raised funds for the families of fallen firefighters, fed the hungry, hosted free concerts by local musicians, and honored history. city with the name of the restaurant.
Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the 1927 Oceanside DeWitt Hotel was requisitioned by the government to serve as an emergency telephone exchange for the future Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton, which was hastily built for combat training in 1942. Eventually the DeWitt became the Dolphin Hotel, which closed after a fire in 2015. In 2018, Hilton remodeled and reopened the property as a boutique Fin Hotel . As a tribute to the building’s wartime history, Shin installed rows of brass toggle switches along the bar and on one wall of the Switchboard.
Born to Korean immigrant parents in Los Angeles, Shin said he grew up visiting relatives in Hawaii frequently, and his wife’s entire family is Hawaiian, so his favorite food is a fusion of the two cuisines. The Switchboard menu, created by former Brigantine and Chart House chef Michael Mitchem, incorporates Korean spices, barbecue and marinating techniques into traditional Hawaiian dishes, including adding the garnish of a dove flower. Hawaiian purple Dendrobium orchid on every plate.
The Tender K-Pop Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich ($ 14) is a buttermilk breaded breast topped with a spicy “Gojuchang Seoul” sauce and a pineapple coleslaw on a sweet Hawaiian bun. The $ 15 Hawaiian Plate, a standard dish on many island menus, comes with protein choices, including Kalua pork or Korean beef bulgogi. And one of Hawaii’s most popular dishes, loco moco – white rice topped with a burger patty, fried egg, and brown gravy – is spiced with Gojuchang sauce ($ 16). .
Most menu items cost between $ 9 and $ 16. But on weekend evenings, Mitchem usually offers a special upscale dinner. On a recent Sunday this special was Maine scallops with a spicy Thai red curry sauce, yuzu pearls, forbidden black macadamia rice, and ponzu braised carrots with jalapenos ($ 30). The tender seared scallops and savory curry sauce were spiced up by the acidic touch of the yuzu and ponzu, and the slightly spicy cooked carrots added a satisfying crunch.
The Switchboard bar only has four beer taps, so it focuses on island-inspired cocktails infused with fresh juices priced at $ 12- $ 16.
With support from The Fin Hotel and the city, Shin opened a second business at the hotel on July 27. Adjacent to Switchboard, North Coast Roastery is a gourmet cafe featuring “strong and bold” homemade roasted beans inspired by its mother’s tough guy. – entrepreneurship at work. And at the end of December / beginning of January, Shin plans to open a third space at the hotel: the KNVS Bar (pronounced “canvas”), a sushi bar and a revolving gallery highlighting local artists.
The Standard Restaurant & Bar
Hours: 6 a.m. to closing (9 p.m. to 10 p.m.) every day
Or: 131 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside
Call: (442) 266-2781
In line: theswitchboardrestaurant.com