Since the construction began at the far eastern end of the Patios at the Westfield Town Center, speculation went wild wondering what would take shape. Word made it out quickly that it would be a restaurant known as “Bonefish Grill.” But little was known about them. And why would they come to where another fish spot (California Fish Grill) had just opened up? Thursday night, in advance of their opening coming up on Monday, August 10th, Lee Morrell and I were fortunate to attend a preview event at Bonefish Grill, and get the chance to learn more about the restaurant.
Right off the bat, as you walk in you realize this place is not like any other in Santa Clarita. Bonefish Grill features a modern interior that is open and warm. When you first enter, you’re in a large bar area that spans inside and out, with some great cocktails and good selection of wines. We were treated with a choice of cocktails and I reached for a watermelon martini made with muddled watermelon, an infused vodka and garnished with two large cubes of frozen watermelon. But fear not teetotalers, they offer some fun hand crafted non-alcoholic beverages as well including a fun berry and mint “mocktail” that Lee sampled and liked.
While waiting to be seated, executives and management of Bonefish Grill mingled with the guests and talked about the appetizers that were being brought around. The Bang Bang Shrimp came out and quickly we were explained how it was easily the favorite item of their guests. I could see why. A crispy fried shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce. When this thing comes out on the table, the portion is huge, and obviously it is quickly devoured.
Generous slices of ahi sashimi were brought around and one of the restaurant team explained that Bonefish sources their ahi from suppliers who flash freeze the fresh catch to -40 degrees and it is kept at that temperature all the way to the restaurant and even while stored in the restaurant. The deep cold storage helps maintain the natural texture of the fish, which was evident. Easily some of the freshest ahi I’ve ever had. We also sampled the lobster flatbread, which featured generous pieces of cold-water lobster with red pepper and a creamy lobster sour cream sauce. This was a head turner with a good balance of the lobster, the cream sauce and the pepper.
Once we were seated, we got to sample a variety of entrees. First up was a blackened Baja fish taco. A great item for a quick lunch, served with pico de gallo, cabbage and a lime sauce, and a wedge of fresh lime. Noticeable change from other fish tacos was a flour tortilla, which I appreciated, since it stays together a bit easier. We were told that for their lunch menu they offer a Bang Bang Shrimp taco as well, will definitely be back to try that!
Next plate was a cilantro lime shrimp salad. An interesting combination of flavors, featuring black beans and roasted corn, paired with feta cheese and red onions, it’s Santa Fe meets Athens, with some shrimp on top. Of everything I ate, this was my least favorite. It didn’t really stand out as anything that would be a must-have.
The main course was the surf and turf mixed grill. Three small portions of proteins served on one plate. Seared ahi tuna served over jasmine rice, Chilean sea bass with a mango salsa and a filet mignon. I love ahi, and this was done right gently seared with a bit of Bonefish’s Pan-Asian sauce, although Lee’s was cooked a bit too much. The filet mignon was served nicely cooked as well for me, but this time Lee’s was a bit undercooked. (Lee would remark that the flavors were right where they should be on both those dishes, so he was ok with the misses on the temperature). Finally, my favorite of the trio was the Chilean sea bass. This was cooked to perfection (for both of us) and just had the best texture and flavor of all three. I would easily order the Chilean sea bass again on my next trip.
Finally dessert. Danny Mullhall, Joint Venture Partner for Bonefish Grill explained to us while we waited, all the desserts are made in-house with some favorites like creme brûlée and key lime pie always on the menu. We were treated to a berry shortcake that was a perfect end to the meal. Fresh berries including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, with a shortcake biscuit that was well made, it was delightful. Then we were surprised with a new item to their menu, a beignet style doughnut served with fresh whipped cream and a chocolate and caramel sauce in bottled that allowed you to inject the sauce directly into the doughnut. Certainly a fun way to end the evening.
I was impressed with Bonefish Grill. Procuring their fish from Anderson Fish out of Orange County, they receive daily deliveries of fish as fresh as it can be. When seasonal local fish are available at market, they will add it to the menu, so expect to see fish like grouper or bluefin tuna from time to time. They also source produce locally and take advantage of that by offering vegetables like artichoke in their California locations and nowhere else. For those of you who don’t do fish, they offer a selection of grilled steaks, pork and lamb chops and even a chicken teriyaki dish if that’s your preference.
One of the best parts (especially for a place at the Patios, where parking can be a challenge): free valet parking for Bonefish Grill customers.
Bonefish Grill opens Monday, August 10th at 11:00am for lunch and a ribbon cutting shortly after 5:00pm. Fifty percent of all sales from the first day will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita.
At the Westfield Town Center Patios
24201 Valencia Blvd
Santa Clarita, CA
Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday – 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.