Del Mar Rendezvous | Upscale, Modern, and Delicious Chinese Fusion

January 25, 2012

Located on the main strip at the northern end of Del Mar Plaza, Del Mar Rendezvous has been satisfying San Diegans with upscale Chinese and Asian fusion cuisine since it opened its doors in 2004.  With the year of the Dragon before us, Rendezvous has made perfection its resolution for 2012, as it aims to build upon its early successes and maintain its supremacy as one of the finest Chinese restaurants in San Diego County. 

It must be stated at the outset that Del Mar Rendezvous is much more than just another Chinese food restaurant.  Although the eatery focuses on traditional Chinese flavors, it features many other Asian styles, and utilizes elegant plating techniques, making each dish look as brilliant and stimulating as it tastes.  Rendezvous also goes above and beyond and does something that all 21st century restaurants should do – caters to customers with specific dietary preferences by offering full menus specific to gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets.

Del Mar Rendezvous changed hands this past year (within the family so the food remains the same fashion and quality), and with the new owners came welcomed changes.  The interior has been remodeled, adding authentic Chinese adornments, altering the seating options to include marble tables and a circular wood booth, expanding the outdoor patio, and opening up the kitchen for your viewing pleasure and to witness the making of over 100 different dishes, catering to nearly every dietary partiality.  

The menu has also been improved upon with the addition of an expansive and ever-changing list of over 90 wines, available for dine in or take out, offered at half-price by the bottle everyday for take out, as well as for dining in on Wednesdays and Sundays.  To further compliment its cornucopia of dishes, Rendezvous also offers over 20 local, import and craft beers.

Truth be told - I made my way to Rendezvous for the sweet, savory, crispy, and creamy walnut shrimp ($19), which I’ve found myself dreaming about since (over)indulging at the Del Mar Summer Solstice last year. The dish consists of seven enormous shrimp, breaded and sautéed with carrots and peas in a smooth, sweet white sauce, topped with caramelized walnuts and surrounded by steamed broccoli.  While the walnut shrimp were everything that I remembered and more, I found every other dish to be just as tasty and visually appealing as Rendezvous’ famed specialty.  Be sure to ask your server for guidance as they are well versed in the lengthy menu items. 

To start, try the peppery fried calamari ($11) – crispy golden battered calamari accompanied by green and red bell peppers, and white onion in a chili-pepper seasoning, served with a side of spicy Sriracha aioli – probably the best fried calamari I’ve sampled in San Diego.  Another favorite is the sesame crusted seared ahi ($13) – a fresh and flavorful dish layering the cool flavors of sushi grade ahi tuna with mixed spring greens tossed in sweet house vinaigrette, all covered in a vitalizing wasabi aioli.

For an entrée, you can’t go wrong with the five spice braised beef ($21).  The beef is braised for four hours in a soy and spice marinade, until tender, rich, and making it fall apart on touch.  The beef is served over the cutest little baby bok choy and smothered in the savory marinade.  And of course the walnut shrimp is highly recommended, but another favorite is the pungent crispy chicken ($14), a hefty portion of white meat sautéed in a spicy red sauce.

For dessert, go with the Xango ($6.95), a banana cheesecake wrapped in cinnamon pastry and topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream, caramel and chocolate sauce.  This craveable dish looks like a dessert egg roll and makes for a delightful end to an exquisite rendezvous. 

Del Mar Rendezvous has take out and validates up to 2 hours of parking in Del Mar Plaza.  Reservations are recommended.  Check out their online menu for an array of tantalizing photos and descriptions. 

1555 Camino Del Mar, Suite #102 (near the northern most end, street level, right before Il Fornaio)

Free validation for two hours of self-parking in the spacious covered parking garage located directly behind the restaurant in the Del Mar Plaza.


Monday - Saturday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Sunday - Thursday 4 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday & Saturday 4 pm - 10 pm

Closed daily from 2:30pm - 4pm

Del Mar Rendezvous on Urbanspoon