Delectable Del Mar

Kitchen 1540 

When original chef Paul McCabe left the cutting-edge eatery he helped create at L’Auberge Del Mar, it maintained its quality, and still hovers amid Del Mar’s gastronomic stratosphere behind quality ingredients, a talented staff, and a menu unlike any other in the coastal community. Kitchen 1540’s latest iteration centers around Southern-style cooking presented with white-linen flair. Cajun spice-rubbed shrimp over Anson Mills grits get dolled up with heirloom popcorn and a bit of regional infusion care of spicy chorizo. Lobster étouffée is another rich offering capable of sating a Creole bent, while chicken confit and dumplings break the traditional mold thanks to a coconut-curry gravy. (858.793.6460, www.laubergedelmar.com)

Delectable Del Mar

Kitchen 1540’s Arctic Char, Kale Two Ways, Smoked Ham Hock, Succotash, Mustard Caviar, Preserved Lemon, Black Eyed Pea Hummus

Pacifica Del Mar 

Even without the aquatic gems cavalcading forth at this 25-year-old neighborhood favorite, there is plenty of reason for a visit. Namely, an unparalleled view of the ocean and the sunsets that set it aglow atop Del Mar’s cascading hill. Former Whisknladler chef Chris Powell is securely at the helm and bringing new life via dishes such as yellowtail crudo with pomegranate vinaigrette and vanilla-infused salt, and lobster orecchiette dressed in a rich, yolky Carbonara-style sauce and made even more satisfying with bacon and black truffles. (858.792.0476, www.pacificadelmar.com)

Delectable Del Mar

Maine Lobster, Chino Farms Watermelon Aguachile, Heirloom Tomato, Pickled Red Onion, Micro Cilantro by chef Chris Powell of Pacifica Del Mar

Market Restaurant + Bar 

It’s ironic that a restaurant passionately devoted to the freshness of its farm-foraged ingredients gets better with age, but such is the case with standout chef Carl Schroeder’s San Diego Polo Club-abutting flagship. Here, denim and plain white button-ups juxtapose a sleek, recently remodeled dining room. Beets, corn, and tomatoes burst with a level of intense sweetness attainable only by careful seasonal sourcing, and proteins from small yet highly significant ranchers convey an extra level of care via texture and flavor. Cheeses and other artisanal edibles are of the highest order. And all of it is brought together in perfect symphony by gastronomes who know not only where to get the best ingredients, but exactly how to elevate them to the fullest. (858.523.0007, www.marketdelmar.com)

Delectable Del Mar

Sesame-Prawn Crusted Alaskan Halibut, Haricot Verts, Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms, Golden Pea Shoots, Ginger-Dashi Broth by executive chef Carl Schroeder of Market Restaurant + Bar

Agave Del Mar 

Looking to trade California burritos, chimichangas, and similar gringo fare for dishes marked by authentic Mexican style — slow-cooked meats and sauces melding a cornucopia of south of the border chiles, vegetables, and spices? Agave Del Mar draws on the culinary traditions of Mazatlan, Puebla, Veracruz, and the Yucatan. A spicy pasilla sauce and hearty plantains make for Chilean sea bass add-ons that are deliciously unique, huitlacoche (a tasty fungus plucked from underneath corn cobs husks) adds earthiness to poblano soup, and a handful of moles — rojo, verde, and Oaxaca’s toasty, chocolaty negra — provides a variety of colorful, deeply flavorful dressing for chicken and pork. (858.793.0758, www.agavedm.com)

Delectable Del Mar

Agave Del Mar’s Medallones Mar y Tierra: Mexican Surf and Turf composed of 6oz Filet Mignon and Jumbo Sweet Mazatlan Shrimp, Exotic Spice and Herb Red Wine and Mustard Reduction Sauce, Mexican Smashed Potato, Julienned Seasonal Vegetables