Relishing in the Buffet

An insider guide to enjoying the many tastes of Terranea Resort.

Unlike sit-down dining, the buffet puts the guest in charge of the experience. It’s a “choose your own adventure” for the culinary curious. The best part of a buffet? You can try a little bit of everything. The world is your oyster, and bonus if they are freshly shucked for your enjoyment.

But what truly makes a buffet extraordinary is the quality of its offerings. And Terranea’s epicurean experts have that selection down in spades.

First, a brief history of the buffet. The word actually refers to the French sideboard where the food is served. The term buffet soon transitioned from furniture piece to serving method and increased in popularity thanks to the Swedes and their delicious smorgasbord. A variation on service à la française, the buffet has emerged as a popular guest offering at hotels, restaurants and social engagements around the world. And Terranea is no exception.

In celebration of the resort’s 10th anniversary, Terranea debuted a new buffet experience for Friday night visitors. Under the supervision of Chef de Cuisine Jin Lee, The Night Market at catalina kitchen features a wide array of New American delights. In addition to limitless servings of seasonal farm-to-table soup, salad, charcuterie, cheese, flatbreads and desserts, diners can also add entrée options from the à la carte menu.

A highlight of the experience, the build-your-own old-fashioned station allows guests to put their own spin on the classic bourbon cocktail. Try muddling fresh herbs or citrus, or perhaps splash some aromatic bitters for the perfect combination. If you prefer the grape, they also offer wine flights from around the globe.

A popular dining destination for both weekend guests and outside visitors, the Sunday brunch buffet—also at catalina kitchen—bridges morning and afternoon palates to delightful results. Accompanied by live music, the buffet features traditional favorites such as breakfast pastries, fruit, an omelet station, buttermilk pancakes and French toast.

In the “Chilled” section, enjoy a salad station, fresh house-made sushi and an iced station that boasts chilled crab, marinated seafood salads, mussels and fresh northwest oysters on the half shell. In the “Fire” section, guests can choose from stone-fired oven flatbreads, a butcher’s board charcuterie of chef selections and an interactive carving station of prime rib and grilled pork roasts. If a sweet tooth persists, you can help yourself to delicious house-made crepes and gelato plus seasonal desserts.

Many of Terranea’s daily visitors arrive as part of a larger group conference or as guests of a special event. It is here that the resort chefs find new creativity to satisfy their patrons’ appetites. Lunch buffets might feature one of a variety of international cuisines, including Asian, south-of-the-border, a taste of Italy, Chinese dim sum, Indian and Mediterranean.

Dinner options are true culinary immersions. Oaxacan Nights brings the flavors of Mexico, like pork carnitas al pastor, Yucatan-style saffron rice and cinnamon sugar sopapillas, to your festive table. Summer visitors might opt for the Meadows Barbeque Dinner—a delightful evening on the bluff overlooking the Pacific feasting on farm-fresh garden salads, bone-in cowboy-style roasted prime rib, Santa Ana poached jumbo lobster tail, irresistible sides, desserts and more.

A Taste of California covers the edible joys of the entire Golden State, including comfort foods of the Central Coast, clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl à la San Francisco and a L.A. street taco bar. With the Hibachi Kitchen experience, guests dine outdoors and choose their favorite vegetables, meats, seafood, noodles, rice and sauces; the chef then prepares their custom stir-fry on an EVO grill.

If you want the ultimate resort tour, the Taste of Terranea gives diners the opportunity to sample fare from all on-property venues, like the Sizzling Shaking Beef at bashi, Nelson’s decadent lobster roll and Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti’s sweet treats from sea beans.

If your taste buds have been sufficiently roused, head over to catalina kitchen on Friday nights or Sunday mornings to experience for yourself. Once you fall in line, expect many happy returns.