Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jun 20, 2012 10:48 PM

Surf Spot, Pacifica: Opened this week

A new restaurant opened in Pacifica this week. Great news because we have such limited choices here.

The Surf Spot is located in the parking lot of of the Sea Bowl. It was an ambitious project and I have read that the owners have spent 4+ years to open the space. In addition to the restaurant there is a large, landscaped outdoor area where they plan to offer everything from beach volleyball, private parties, whole pig roasts and live music events.

Of most interest to me was that they had a custom wood-fired oven and rotisserie installed.

Stopped by this evening for a light dinner to check them out. At 8pm on their second day they were full and the hostess quoted a 40 minute wait for a table. There were a couple of open seats at the bar, so we opted for those. They have a full bar with a cocktail list, short but interesting wine list (everything available by the glass) and a short list of beers, a few on tap and bottles.

Their menu is divided by the Surf Spot-themed small plates, inspired by surfing destinations around the world, and then there is the "Locals" menu that has all the standby dishes that will keep people coming in. The price point on these dishes is quite reasonable. A burger is $10, the most expensive entree is a steak at $22. They have porchetta sandwich that is cooked on their wood-fired rotisserie, will try that on another visit.

I was really interested in the wood-fired pizza, so we shared a pizza and a salad. Caesar salad was a nice take, lightly dressed, with two large Parmesan crisps for garnish. The pizza was pleasing, the crust was nicely blistered and crisp on the bottom, but didn't have much chew or flavor of it's own. Toppings were nicely balanced.

Definitely the best pizza you are going to get in Pacifica, but it will need some work to compete with the big names in the City. I am hoping they will continue to improve as they get used to their oven.

This is a great addition for Pacifica, it gives us locals a nice place for a reasonable meal and a also a good option for people who are visiting the beach for the day. The restaurant has a more polished feel than most Pacifica locations, but is still really casual.

Overall, good simple food, elevated by nice touches, with a few more adventurous choices, at reasonable prices. Nice setting and good, professional service.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Can always count on you to let us know what's going on in your nabe, thank you!

    A friend forwarded this note from Surf Spot's FB page, sounds like they've been rocking and rolling.

    "Ok my friends. We have survived a week or two of total chaos and way more crowds than we expected. The best part is...we have listened.

    In the next week or two you will see some rapid evolution as we redefine the locals menu a bit and roll out the market menu for the first time.

    Look for
    Cool pizzas, crazy fish dishes, creative roti items and truly seasonal salads.

    Thanks so much for all your support and input. We are all truly grateful"

    1. Have a recommendation for a lunch spot in Pacifica/HMB? Just driving through from SFO to Santa Cruz next month. Thanks!

      4 Replies
      1. re: anb722

        Skip Pacifica and just drive south from SFO to Highway 92 and then take that directly to HMB.

        Lots of choices in HMB. It would really help to know if you want something quick and casual or a nicer meal. Do you want to sit outside, etc.

        For casual in HMB I would go to Chez Shea, for nicer, Pasta Moon. Both are on Main Street, so no water views.

        Another option is driving another 15 or so miles further south and stopping at Duarte's in Pescadero. Not everyone here is enamored or the food, but I have enjoyed a few things there and it has quite the history, if you like that sort of thing. Also in Pescadero is Harley Farm, goat dairy where they make and sell some lovely cheese (no restaurant).

        Here's a topic from another CH who has reported extensively on HM lunches:

        1. re: pamf

          What do you like at Duarte's in Pescadero?
          I like the ollieberry pie, the artichoke/green chile soup, the cioppino. Mostly, we go for the pie.

          1. re: Cynsa

            I like the crab sandwich. I like the green chile soup more than the artichoke. Cioppino is good, but maybe not the best around. They also have fresh seafood specials. Sometimes they even have abalone, but that is pricey.

            I am not really a dessert person, but their pies are well known. You can buy the pies frozen at some local markets. You can get them at Oceana Market in Pacifica.

            I think it's a great road trip stop for the history.

            1. re: pamf

              I've enjoyed everything I've tried at Duarte's; their homemade pies are terrific but I'd say everything on the menu is a pretty safe bet. If you're in HMB though, Creekside Smokehouse is my absolute favorite stop! Cunha's Country Store is good for picnicking on the beach too.

      2. This was the perfect spot to bask in the sun after a hike along the recently opened Devil's Slide Trail :

        On Sunday afternoon, there was live music and a few spots open on the giant back patio. The menu has standards and a eclectic mix of other stuff:

        Wild boar sliders came two to an order and were juicy and bigger than a McD's burger

        Fried calamari and artichokes : nice addition of deep fried lemon slices

        Indo kale salad : Brown rice, avocado, red onion, carrots, mint, cilantro, kaffir lime chili vinaigrette

        Nasi Goreng : the spicy pickled cucumbers were great, and their combination with the, egg, and Korean BBQ beef, made for a fusion of bi bim bap and nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice).