Shades Ocean-Front Bistro, located across the street from the Pacific Ocean on Santa Monica Ave, is a decent place to stop in for breakfast when in Ocean Beach. We tried the smoked salmon benedict and traditional eggs benedict, and while the food was pretty average, you can’t really get a better view with your breakfast for that price!
Hookers for HootersT: This eggs benedict reminded me of the first eggs B I ever had, at Mel’s Diner in Lafayette, Louisiana.
A: really? mel’s diner’s eggs benedict was just mediocre? they must have used a fake hollandaise, huh?
T: actually I loved it. Yes, they used a fake hollandaise- but keep in mind, it was my first eggs benedict, and I didn’t have another until several years later. So my idea of hollandaise was formed based on their “fake” version. And it was good! Another thing that was good about the Mel’s egg’s benedict was that they put it on a biscuit instead of an English Muffin.
A: yeah… actually that does sound good…minus the jarred or powdered hollandaise, that is.
T: The hollandaise tasted exactly like this version from Shades. I still think that kind tastes pretty good, I gotta say. It’s like liking Spaghetti-O’s. You like em’ as a kid even though they’re fundamentally wrong, and… hell, you still like em’ as an adult just because you learned to like them as a kid!
A: maybe that’s what it is for me: as a kid, when my dad served that fake hollandaise stuff, i just didn’t like it. It wasn’t until i had real hollandaise that i actually realized i enjoyed the stuff! maybe my tastes were more refined than your’s as a kid… (and yes, i did like speghetti-o’s… with meatballs! )
T: or maybe you were just a picky little brat..? ever consider that?
A: oh HELL no! i know you didn’t just call me a picky brat! when i was growing up, there was a rule in my household where “you don’t have to like it, but you have to try it”. and actually, this was a great rule. i like nearly everything that i tried… and i tried a lot of stuff normal seven year olds weren’t eating. like raw oysters
T: we didn’t have a rule that we had to eat everything once, but my dad definately instilled that in me (for which I am very thankful). Actually, at one point we did have a rule like that… yes, and, I had a deep-seated aversion to the smell of canned asperagus. So one wretched night, when I was about 4 or 5 years old (i remember this perfectly), we were sitting at the coffee table, eating dinner, and Mom and Dad decided I had to eat some asperagus. I told them I didn’t want it. I really didn’t want it. Well, they stuck the fork full of asperagus in my mouth and I vomm’d all over the table. And from that point on we didn’t have any rules about what we had to eat.
A: you know, maybe it has to do with fresh vs. canned thing. we never ate canned veggies growing up – almost all of our veggies were grown in my dad’s huge-ass garden. and thankfully my mom didn’t cook (or i might have had the same canned veggie experiences as you)! i don’t think i ever ate anything as a child that made me vomit. actually, i don’t think i’ve ever eaten canned asparagus, to this day.
T: you should try it. maybe it’ll make you puke.
A: you know, you’re totally right, T! i should try things you think might make me puke! who doesn’t love a good vomm, right? NOT!
T: awe come on, party time, excellent
A: for sure, wayne! party time sooo… what do you think about Shades?
T: I think that it’s better than most of what’s in Ocean Beach, but not too special… good but not great. It is a good place to go every now and then, though… it does have one thing kickin- the pacific ocean which is across the street in plain view.
A: hell yeah! that is definately the highlight! we happened to visit Shades at the begining of the Relay for Life three day, 60 mile walk for cancer. It almost seemed like california’s version of mardi gras. there were women with fake boobs that had tassles on them, worn over their shirts. vehicles that had all kinds of pimps and hoes…i think Hooters was a key sponsor.
T: it did seem like Mardi Gras a little bit. It’s not every day that you see women driving by with “hookers for hooters” painted on their car. The main difference between this and mardi gras was the lack of alcohol, public nudity, and smell of urine.
A: welp, that pretty much rules out everything about mardi gras!
T: yeah, except there were people walking. And… some beads. So it was kinda like mardi gras in that sense. Seriously, though, it reminded me of a really small-town mardi gras parade… local people that usually wouldn’t even say “shit” in public were getting as racy as drunk people in new orleans are everyday.
A: uh… maybe not quite that racy… although i don’t know how new orleans is now…
T: true, drunk people in New Orleans… that’s a scary thought that we should not entertain, although we’ve both been them at least a time or two.
A: to say the least So, should we rate Shades as a whole, or just the breakfast we had at Shades this weekend?
T: My ratings are the same for Shades and the breakfast itself. I give em a 4.15/5. The food would have gotten a 3.7, but the whole ocean view kicks it up a notch. Plus the fact that there aren’t too many other places around Ocean Beach that are much better. What’s your rating?
A: well, i’m certainly not going to give them extra points just because they don’t have any competition. I wasn’t particularly impressed with my dish (the smoked salmon benedict). there was soooo much cold smoked salmon that it really made it feel like a chilled dish. that combined with the “fake” hollandaise really knocked the meal down for me. sooooo… I give the meal a 3.2/5 – just average, at best. but Shades, i would give them a 3.75/5 as a whole. the view really is killer. and a few months ago we ate dinner there and i had a pretty tasty sandwich – some kind of sausage ruben.
T: sausage ruben? I don’t understand… that doesn’t register in my tiny little head.
A: it was like, polish sausage, or something… with kraut, swiss, mustard, and thousand island on rye. it was quite tasty.
T: Sounds tasty. Anything sounds tasty. I think I’ll hold off my hunger with a sip of Natural Light.
A: man, i think we need to start lying about what beer we drink! i swear it’s only because we’re po’! we really do like good beer when we can afford it!
T: I know, and we haven’t had bud light in so long.
A: shut up! we do not drink bud light! we drink better shit than that!
T: that’s right, it’s all or nothing for us- either natty light or something really good. And I’d like to throw out a recommendation for people who like flavorful, nutty type beers. Sam Adam’s Winter Ale. MMmm mmm good.