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Oasis Bar & Grill

Oasis Bar & Grill is true to its moniker. In the robust corporate community of Sorrento Valley, it’s hard to find a “good” place to grab lunch in an area full of chain restaurants, fast food and family joints. Oasis does indeed stand out as a refreshing departure from the usual culinary wasteland surrounding it. The only thing is that like most oases, it’s darn hard to find.

Located in the immaculate Woodfin Hotel just off of Sorrento Valley Road and Pacific Heights, it is not too difficult to see the hotel from the street, it’s just a little tricky to find the parking lot. Like all great wonders, seek and yee shall find, and find we did. Slip through the hotel lobby and you are in Oasis. This is a great place to impress clients and co-workers alike.

The inside has a cozy feel, almost like a living room. The booths are spacious and large enough to easily seat four – no bumping elbows here. The booths also have a smattering of soft pillows to add to the homey vibe. There is a long cushioned bench partitioning off the dining area from the bar, and bar stools abound for counter eating. A Mediterranean inspired outdoor patio with prolific umbrellas and fountains beckons as well. You certainly have choices of where to enjoy your meal. Soft music caresses the air, creating just the right ambience.

Glancing at the menu selections, you discover these are not the usual hotel restaurant offerings. Oasis delivers robust; chef inspired culinary treats as scrumptious as any restaurant around. The fact that Woodfin Hotel went to such great lengths to bring upscale dining within its doors speaks highly of the venue.

The menu boasts sandwiches, salads, pizza, starters and satisfying main courses, all with flavors and ingredients to tickle you palette. Tasty Olive rolls were delivered, particularly enjoyable if you request a bit of their high-end Olive Oil for dipping. For starters we thoroughly enjoyed the Delicious Trio consisting of mozzarella, roasted peppers, grilled green and white asparagus, prosciutto and Parmigiano crostini. Lively and a nice medley of flavors for $9. We made short work of the Air Cured Beef Bresaola with grilled artichoke and lemon infused EVOO. (if you watch the Food Network, you know that stands for extra virgin olive oil, $10). We were informed the beef was uniquely from Executive Chef Patrizio Sacchetto home of Switzerland. It was delightfully salty, tender and a real winner with distinctly subtle flavors.

For entrees we gorged on the Home Made Tagliolini Pasta with alla checca heirloom tomato, basil, olive oil and garlic ($14) and the Gnocchi with field mushroom Ragout. The pasta dish was something of an unusual plate of flavored nuances – you’re either gonna love it or pass on it. A strong Anise presence with squid ink created a black sauce over the pasta. Not being big black licorice fans, the sauce was a tad overwhelming, although it grew on us after a few bites. Not a criticism of the dish at all, just be prepared for a distinct flavor. The pasta was to die for, perfectly cooked with a wonderful consistency. The gnocchi was one to write home about (which we sort of are) with its creamy center screaming with flavor, and the mushrooms added a varied mingle of texture and gusto. This dish is a real showstopper.

Oasis bar & Grill also has Tapas evenings if you just want to grab a few bites after work. They also feature Winemaker events with Prix Fixe meals to add to their body of work. Add local singers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can see how Oasis is trying to create, well, an oasis! Being in a hotel with a relaxed atmosphere, bringing along the kids is fine. Prices are moderate, so you’ll drop a couple bucks but it’s truly worth it. If you’re looking for a largely undiscovered spot a cut above the rest, Oasis Bar & Grill is the place for you. Enjoy!

The good – Unexpectedly great food with a nice atmosphere

The bad – Hard to find, even on our second visit.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: 858-410-0656
  • Name: Oasis Bar & Grill
  • Address: 1044 Pacific Mesa Blvd.