I am going to preface this post by saying…this is not a review. I’ve been writing about local places for almost ten years, and in my youth, I was ruthless. As I got older, my tone changed. My direction changed, and our intent with eatSCV is to keep it generally positive. This is just a preview or “first look” as Todd likes to call it. It is just meant to give you a taste of what this new restaurant is all about, while keeping in mind that it is a soft opening, and that’s when restaurants work out the kinks.
So, having said all that, here is a first look for Canyon Country’s newest restaurant, Tiburon Grill & Bar. When I first heard about this place weeks ago, I had assumed it was going to be a Mexican seafood restaurant (Tiburon meaning shark in Spanish). However, the actual menu is leaning more towards Mediterranean, with hints of Italian, BBQ, a hamburger, and some seafood dishes. They also have a variety of gelato for dessert.
When I tried it for lunch today, I wasn’t sure what the interior would look like. This space was home to the original Rattler’s which I was a regular at since the day it opened, and from there it was home to two BBQ restaurants, and most recently a seafood buffet. Well, currently, the space is gorgeous. They have really turned it into a high end looking restaurant, which lends itself easily for banquets, large parties, special occasions, etc. They have kept the buffet set up along the back of the restaurant, and the front side with plans of adding a champagne brunch in the future. Additionally, they have a beautiful bar area where they will be hosting happy hour M-F with complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 4-7. They also have a podium/stage near the front of the restaurant where they will be adding entertainment, like jazz music. There are a lot of plans in store for this space. It will be interesting to see what it becomes. Perhaps the new special occasion place in town.
As we looked at the menu, grilled pita bread was brought to our table. At first they attempted to put two of these plates at the table, but logic (and years of eating in restaurants) told me that we were probably just supposed to share one…as turned out to the case.
We started with the calamari and rock shrimp appetizer that was served with marinara sauce. The calamari was bland, but the most notable thing was that the shrimp was missing. We thought that perhaps it was calamari or rock shrimp, but after looking at the menu, it was clear that the kitchen had forgotten the shrimp. Regardless we ate the calamari (we added salt). When we asked about the discrepancy between the menu and what we got, our waitress said she would ask the kitchen, apologized, and then brought us another portion that included shrimp. In hindsight I guess I should have said we didn’t need a second portion, but at least they took care of us.
Pictured above is the steak sandwich, served on ciabatta with a side of fries and a side of sauce that was good, but I’m not exactly sure what it consisted of. The menu said garlic aioli, but I’m not sure this was it. Regardless, it was a good.
I ordered the chicken kabob plate, but I started eating the above before my lunch companion pointed out that I had ordered chicken and this clearly was beef. What is odd is that the menu says the beef kabob is ground meat, but this kabob was perfectly seasoned quality pieces of beef.
After we pointed out the error, our waitress brought the chicken portion (while letting me keep the beef as well). She had put in the order correctly, but the kitchen had misread the order. However, I have to say, the chicken was perfectly moist and flavorful. Probably the best thing I ate. And even the leftovers (as I write this) taste amazing.
I write this with the understanding that this restaurant barely opened a few days ago and is very obviously in a soft opening phase. There are clear discrepancies on the menu, that will be worked out in time. The manager was incredibly professional and polite, and everything was handled perfectly. I struggled with writing this post, because it is not my goal that this will deter people from trying out a new place, rather I did it because I want people to go in with realistic expectations. Our waitress was great and the space looks great.
In this day, it is incredibly difficult to find good employees, and this place has the front of house well trained, but has recently made some changes to the kitchen. I believe that in time, they will find their focus in terms of menu and will find their stride in the kitchen. This is what a soft opening is about, like a dress rehearsal. I look forward to returning in a few weeks…if only for the chicken kabobs.
Tiburon Grill & Bar is located at 19319 Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita (same shopping center as TJ Maxx).