CAST & PLOW
STUNNING VIEW & STELLAR CUISINE
Life is good at The Ritz-Carlton, especially in lovely Marina del Rey, and even more so at the property’s stunning waterside restaurant Cast & Plow, which offers a stunning marina view and stellar cuisine and cocktails.
Walk into the refined Cast & Plow and you will want to sit at either the lovely living room setting, or it the spacious and elegant dining room, but don’t be too eager to start your meal because dining al fresco doesn’t get any better than here. If you can find an open table looking out into the marina…now that’s what it’s all about.
Cast & Plow specializes in community-made, locally sustainable cuisine with indoor and outdoor seats allow for dining and gathering at patio, terrace, fire pit, fireplace, bar, restaurant, communal table and private locations. Each setting offers the restaurant’s full breakfast, lunch, dinner, wine and bar menu.
Inspired by Southern California’s small plate communal dining experience, the menu of familiar and international dishes is set apart by an approachable style of artisan cooking, and by a special array of signature dishes such as the delicate herb brioche served with organic butter and truffle salt, all-natural house-smoked rib eye and homemade ice cream made daily.
The restaurant is the culinary dream of award-winning chef Umit Kaygusuz, who believes that “we all benefit from knowing more about the source of our food and its journey from seed to harvest to table.”
With an on-property herb garden and hand-picked ingredients from the Santa Monica and Marina del Rey Farmers Markets and from many regional farms, Cast & Plow offers a fresh, international perspective on farm-to-table dining. Opening menu highlights include market beets with local cress, shrimp risotto with grilled Meyer lemon, Brussels sprouts with Marcona almonds, Baja scallops with Santa Barbara sea urchin sauce, and Petaluma chicken presented with house-pickled radish and fennel. Connoisseurs will also appreciate the restaurant’s local wine offering, as well as many flavorful spirits which are infused in-house.
During our recent visit for dinner, we started with drinks looking out onto a killer sunset view. The Red Emerald, impressively made with Redbreast 12-Year Irish Whiskey, Peychaud’s, lemongrass syrup, and ginger beer, is a stiff drink that Irish whiskey lovers will appreciate.
If you prefer something not as strong, the Basil Bliss with Hendrick’s Gin, fresh basil leaves, fresh squeezed lemon juice and agave nectar is very light and refreshing, and is a great starter cocktail.
With drinks in hand, we started with the lovely Market Beets, served with local cress and pickled mustard vinaigrette, along with the Chilled Octopus, which comes with pistachio and cardamom pesto, and focaccia crutons. Both dishes are great starter items.
Other great sharable dishes include the Herb Brioche, served with organic butter and truffle salt; the addictive Kale Chips with sumac, Monterey Bay sea salt; and the Brussels Sprouts with Marcona almonds and Romesco sauce. Not an everyday item, the Pumpkin Soup, with pumpkin seed pesto, pumpkin oil, and Asiago bread crostini, is light yet filling and wonderfully tasty.
Looking for another round of drinks before our entrées, The Perfect Storm, made with George Clooney’s Casamigos Reposado Tequila, Cassis and limejuice, is very nice and packs a punch. This will definitely get you going. Meanwhile, the Old Money, mixed with Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum, lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, blood orange juice, and house crafted coconut water ice cubes, is very citrus-forward.
From the Land & Sea entrée section of the menu, we shared the Local Halibut, served with caramelized cauliflower, romanesco, and hazelnut butter; 32 Days Aged Smoked Ribeye with Asiago cheese potato puree, and herb salsa verde; along with the Duley’s Thyme Tagliatelle served with spinach, preserved Meyer lemon, and parmesan cream.
The halibut is a great guilt free option. It’s light yet tasty and pairs very well with a glass of white wine. On the other end of the spectrum, the ribeye is hearty and filling and screams red wine. If you’re hungry and a meat lover, this is your dish. The Duley’s Thyme Tagliatelle (traditional long, flat ribbons of Italian pasta) is somewhat lemony in taste but still extremely flavorful.
If you have room for dessert, the White Pomelo Pie made with Italian meringue and port reduction is very pleasant and light, while the Brown Sugar Cake with medjool dates and salted caramel ice cream and perfectly decadent and delicious. This is my pick unless you want something not so diet-breaking.
It’s hard not to think you’re on vacation at Cast & Plow, ensconced in the impress Ritz-Carlton, taking in the stunning view and appreciating the first rate service and fine fare. It doesn’t get any better.
Cast & Plow is located at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey at 4375 Admiralty Way. For reservations, call 310-574-4333. Breakfast from 6:30am to 11am; lunch and daytime selections from 11:30am to 5:30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10pm; and a late-night menu from 10pm to 12am.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography courtesy of: Cast & Plow