“This is not a views restaurant,” long-time chef and Pacifican Derek Burns said of his newest venture, Surf Spot, which is set to open on Highway 1 on Tuesday. “But it happens to have some great views.”
Six years in the making, Surf Spot is meant to be an attraction not only for tourists and weekender San Franciscans, but locals as well.
“It’s a lifestyle restaurant,” Burns told Patch, referring to the venue’s celebration of Northern California culture and surfing. Each menu item is named for a prime surfing spot, such as Troncones, Mexico or Anchor Point, Morroco.
The menu also features locally sourced produce and meat, and will frequently change, depending not just on produce seasons, but surf seasons as well. Dishes will change to reflect surf competitions or big swells that are going on around the world.
As part of Surf Spot's celebration of Northern California, several of its tables, as well as its bar, are each made of single pieces of salvaged redwood. The restaurant also showcases action shots of perfect waves by veteran surf photographers Tom Servais and David Pu'u.
The restaurant is built with several spaces for private parties, including what Burns calls the “fishtank,” which features several large windows, and the “greenroom,” or what surfers call the sweet spot inside the curl of a wave.
Outside, behind the main dining area, workers are still putting the finishing touches on two private cabanas with bars, roof-top seating, and a stage that all surround an open patio that can fit up to 250 people.
“If [your party] wants to book the full luau effect,” Burns said, Surf Spot has ticki torches and a traditional Hawaiin imu—an underground oven for pig roasting.
In addition to bringing local musicians to the stage, Burns hopes to attract some bigger acts from the Bay Area, such as Metallica.
“We’re the only full-blown outdoors music venue on the coast that I know of,” Burns said.
After being immersed in the San Francisco food scene for many years, running his own restaurant consulting company, and becoming known for what he calls “fussy, ten-course meals,” Burns is happy to turn his sights back to Pacifica with an eclectic menu he hopes will cast a wide net for a variety of customers.
“Pacifica’s not just a lame bastard step child of the Bay Area,” he said. Burns said that some ethnic restaurants in town tend to "dummy up" their dishes in a way that makes them less authentic, though that trend is shifting.
“Even taquerias are seeming to step it up," he said. "New restaurants are raising the bar for each other.”
Surf Spot's chef de cuisine is Steven Long, and its other partners are Taitten Cowen and David Szeto.
For a sneak peak of the menu, go here.
The Surf Spot is located at 4627 Coast Hwy. in Pacifica.
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