Guests really should not expect to find an actual bonfire at the new Beach Bonfire Dinner Buffet. But if they are seeking a bountiful seaside inspired meal, they are in for a treat—without all that smoke in their eyes or sand in the food.
Offered in the Paradise Pier Hotel at the PCH Grill, the Beach Bonfire Dinner Buffet is a completely new menu, inspired by the kind of food one would expect to enjoy around a roaring fire of driftwood and scrap lumber at any southern California beach. New decorations through the restaurant subtly reinforce the theme. (Be sure to keep an eye out for the bucket of lumber that has the remnants of one of the PCH chairs!)
This is a true buffet, with a number of stations offering savory and sweet menu items. Individual items are kept to small portions, making it possible to sample everything without loading down your plate. Small plates include Shrimp Alfredo, Littleneck Clams cooked in broth, Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese, Smashed Potatoes, and seasonal vegetables served on skewers.
A carving station offers a choice of Smoked Tri Tip or Baby Back Ribs… or both. They are served with honey barbecue sauce, spicy barbecue sauce, Pico de Gallo and cornbread shells with honey butter. Those who crave other meaty fare can also try the Pork Shoulder, inspired by pit oven barbecues, or whole roasted Sustainable Fish.
No California beach trip would be complete without fish tacos. A Mini Taco Stand offers Beer Battered Sustainable Fish or Zucchini Tacos, with all the fixings.
Salads are offered fully prepared, or you can build your own. Choices range from the sophistication of heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella to homier fare like potato salad and deviled eggs. The salad bar starts with crisp romaine or spinach, and includes tomatoes, carrots, roasted beets, olives, onions, cucumbers and more. This can be finished off with house made Buttermilk Ranch dressing or Blue Cheese.
Choosy youngsters will find a number of tempting items. Mac ‘n Cheese (without the lobster) is available, along with cheeseburger sliders and mini hot dogs. Kids can also prepare their own pizzas for baking at the big oven. Fried chicken is also available for the young—or anyone who likes traditional beach food.
Save room for dessert! There are two stations devoted to sweet treats, but some guests may get no further than the “S’more Bar.” No need to crowd around a campfire—this station features house made coconut, strawberry, and plain marshmallows, graham cracker squares, and warm chocolate sauce. Sophisticated palates may go for the Haupia Pudding, with layers of smooth coconut, mango coulis, and toasted coconut. In addition, there are mini ice cream cone treats, brioche fresh fruit pizza, chocolate caramel tarts, and fresh fruit kabobs.
Another dessert highlight is the build your own strawberry shortcake. Mini waffles, strawberries and whipped cream are set out for a sweet bite, or a grand finale. (Server Katie offered this insider tip: drizzle your strawberry shortcake creation with warm chocolate from the S’more bar for a dazzling finishing touch.)
As if all this were not enough, the Beach Bonfire Dinner Buffet is also offering three premium beverages, created just for this location. Party Wave Lemonade combines Odwalla lemonade with flavors of coconut and banana, served in a coconut shell mug, topped with whipped cream, dark chocolate shavings and a sugar-glazed, honey-infused baked banana slice. Beach Peach and Citrus Tea is served in a glass mug, garnished with fresh mint and a candied orange slice. Refreshing Watermelon Lemonade is served in a tall glass, with chilled watermelon spheres.
The Beach Bonfire Dinner Buffet is offered at the Paradise Pier Hotel and is open from 5:30 to 9:00pm nightly. Reservations are available at (714) 781-DINE (3463) between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM daily (Pacific Time), or book on line.