• ON THE MENU:
It may be brand-new, but already OB Warehouse is often packed. The restaurant — which opened Aug. 7, 2014 — is the latest venture from the Cohn Restaurant Group, known for its dozens of award- winning eateries around San Diego County.
“This project has been a long time in the making, and we’re incredibly pleased to bring this fun, world-cuisine dining option to the area,” David Cohn said. “Ocean Beach is a vibrant community known for its character and originality, and we’ve created a menu and design that complements the neighborhood.”
The 6,000-square-foot OB Warehouse, in the heart of Ocean Beach, is designed by the Cohns’ go-to visionary, Philippe Beltran. The industrial space features repurposed materials and eclectic, vintage artifacts that Beltran collected during his international travels, including oversized tables from an old shoe factory in Portugal, push carts from India, and a bisected 1965 Airsteam trailer that permits guests to peek into the restaurant kitchen.
Such diversity carries over into OB Warehouse’s cuisine. “The food has a global thread through it,” said Chef Amiko Gubbins, the Cohn Restaurant Group’s “Special Ops-Food & Flavor.”
Gubbins — who was formerly executive chef at Café Japengo in La Jolla and chef/ owner at Parallel 33 in Mission Hills — uses local ingredients to create foods with Asian, Mediterranean, Moroccan and Middle Eastern influences.
For starters, there is fare such as the Golden So-Cal Crabcakes with honey red chili aioli, and Hoisin Chicken Potstickers. Another option is salads: One that’s light and “summery” is the Nectarine-Heirloom Tomato Salad with fruit wedges and slices, creamy burrata, bunches of watercress, and a white balsamic-honey lavender drizzle.
Patrons looking for shareables can turn to flatbreads. There are nearly a half-dozen varieties, but one of the standouts is the spicy Merguez Sausage, covered with oven- roasted tomatoes; sprinkles of feta cheese; and harissa.
Main entrees range from burgers and steaks to chicken and seafood. Among the highlights is the Royal Goan Shrimp Curry, served with toasted basmati rice and crispy shallots; and the Grilled Loch Duart
Salmon, composed of rich fish on a bed of “fruits of summer” ratatouille (a medley of red-and-yellow tomatoes, zucchini, onions and eggplant medallions) and accented with fresh basil coulis.
To round off the dining experience, patrons can choose the Coconut Tapioca with crispy phyllo and lemongrass pink guava coulis; Bittersweet Chocolate Cake finished with espresso sauce and a candied lemon twist; and the Making Whoopie Pie, which consists of a dark chocolate soft cookie sandwich filled with silky dulce de leche, surrounded by crushed pretzels, shaved white chocolate, mini dark chocolate chips and house-made whipped cream.
The restaurant’s bar program offers hand- crafted, warehouse-themed cocktails, which include The Welder, a blend of Kolsch beer, Pavan liqueur, grapefruit juice and lemon juice; and The Mason, a fizzy favorite made with Svedka Vodka, King’s Ginger Liqueur, St. Germain Elderflower, lime juice and ginger beer.
Further emphasizing its international influences, OB Warehouse has a list of more than 50 wines from regions such as Slovenia, Greece and Lebanon; and 20-plus draught beers.
4839 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach
The Vibe: Casual, lively, hip
Open Since: Fall 2014
Take Out: Yes
Signature Dishes: Better Than a Classic Burger, Killer ‘Greek’ Lamb Burger, Hoisin Chicken Potstickers, Merguez Sausage Flatbread,
Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday
• On The Menu RECIPE: Each week, you'll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. This week: OB Warehouse's Grilled Morrocan Spice-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak on crushed potatoes with caramelized pearl onions and kalamata olive vinaigrette.
— Ingredients for the Steak:
1 each - Flat iron steak
1 pinch - Salt and pepper
Enough Morrocan spice rub to coat the steak
3 cloves - Sliced garlic
10 oz - Red potatoes, diced and cooked
1/2 oz. - Kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise
1 oz. - Caramelized pearl onions
1 pinch - Parsley, chopped
1 oz. - Clarified butter
2 oz. - Kalamata olive vinaigrette
1 tbsp. - Red bell pepper, brunoise
— Preparation for the Steak: Season steak with salt & pepper. Coat with spice rub, grill, and allow to rest. In a sauté pan, heat butter and sauté garlic. Add potatoes and heat through. Using a masher, crush potatoes. Add olives, onions, parsley, and salt to taste. Stack finished potatoes on center of plate. Slice steak against the grain into nine pieces. Arrange slices into three fans around potatoes. Drizzle olive vinaigrette over steak. Garnish with red pepper, parsley, and onions
— Ingredients for Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup - Minced shallot
4 cups - Balsamic vinegar
2 cups - Brown sugar
2 cups - Violet mustard
8 cups - Olive oil
8 cups - Kalamata olive-slivered
— Preparation for the Kalamata Olive Vinaigrette: Mix together the vinegar, mustard and brown sugar. Add the shallot, olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Add olives.
— Serve on a 12-inch white plate.
Recipe courtesy of OB Warehouse