I rarely venture out to new restaurants that are outside of the DC area, because I have been on a car free diet. It is just a lifestyle choice I have gotten used to from city living and I love it! That doesn’t stop me from trying new restaurants that are a little out of the way because I have great friends that picked me up half way .
I was invited to an Event last Thursday and the restaurant that they chose for dinner was Sea Pearl Restaurant & Lounge in Falls Church, VA. I thought why not, the event definitely called for the occasion and I haven’t been to a new restaurant in a while…plus the photos on the website and the menu were quite intriguing. In the end I am glad I attended, I got to experience what Sea Pearl Restaurant & Lounge had to offer. I don’t typically think of fine dining in the Falls Church area because I don’t hear much about it. Don’t get me wrong I am sure there are a lot of great restaurants in that area and if you know any please share them in the comment section.
Onto the ambiance of Sea Pearl Restaurant & Lounge, the place is inspired by the serenity of the open sea at sunset. It is very modern, chic, and luxurious. It’s decor with mother-of-pearl chandeliers, ceiling, and curtains sets the tone for the name of the restaurant “Sea Pearl”. The cool hues of the color blue throughout the restaurant and along the glass tiles behind the bar imitates the open sea. The warm accents of orange, decorative lighting, and the walnut hardwood floors represents the sunset. The restaurant is huge, very open, airy, and there is plenty of room for a large party, they can also accommodate parties/events for parties of 10 – 200 depending on your needs.
Sea Pearl Restaurant & Lounge menu offers brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner and dessert. Chef Liao combines the essence of American cuisine with Asian cuisine inspired by Californian accents. I have always been a fan of the marriage between American and Asian cuisines because it’s a great balance of flavors. Chef Liao’s menu offers bold flavors with beautiful presentation that is pleasing to your taste buds and eyes.
After we sat down they brought out a basket of fresh warm onion bread with whipped butter. It was execellent but I tried to not eat too much of it. For the first course some of us decided to share, so we ordered the Crispy Cornmeal Crusted Calamari with Chipotle tomatoe salsa and the Fire and Ice Hiramasa Ceviche with Thai chilli, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and watermelon ice. I thought the Calamari was good, I usually perfer it with lighter batter but the cornmeal batter was crispy and you definitely got the cornmeal texture. I liked the chipotle tomatoes salsa that accompanied the calamari because it wasn’t your usually marinara sauce. I enjoyed the ceviche more because of the fresh, simple, and clean flavors it had. The waiter warned us that the Thai chili in the ceviche dish was really spicy, which is why they added the watermelon ice to tone down the spiciness. The watermelon ice texture was like an Italian ice but not sweetened, it was on the bottom of a martini glass and on top was the Ceviche. It was the Hiramasa with the Thai chili, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. The combination was great because you got the salty, spicy, acidity, natural sweetness from the watermelon, and the fresh Hiramasa fish. I also ordered a small salad called the pickled beet and peach salad. It included baby arugula, toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, and pomegranate vinaigrette. I ordered that salad because I love all those ingredients and they usually mesh together, but unfortunately it wasn’t as good as it sounded. I found myself picking through the salad and eating things separately because I felt the combination of those ingredients did not mesh as well as I though. For the entree I was in the mood for salmon, so I ordered the pan roasted salmon with tellicherry pepper, curried lentils, sauteed spinach, tomatoe chutney, and sauce chien. I was pretty full from the bread, appetizers, and salad but I still managed to eat the entree dish. The fish was cooked perfectly with a nice crust on it, I didn’t care so much for the curried lentils, but I did like the spinach and Tellicherry pepper. Somehow I managed to make room for dessert. I got thepassion fruit creme brule which was a little disappointing. The the caramelized sugar on top was too thick and over torched, so it was little challenging to to crack open to get to good stuff. I gave the sugar coating the benefit of doubt, but once I dove into the Passion fruit creme it was more like cream instead of a creamy custard texture, the flavor was good but it seemed like the creme wasn’t set or maybe the didn’t add enough egg yolks for it to bind.
Overall I would give it a 2.5 star because they still need to improve and they have a little room to grow. The waiter and staff were friendly and attentive so the service was good. Sea Pearl is a great place to meet for early drinks if you are in the Falls Church area, but I wouldn’t label it as fine dining. Especially if you are used to eating in the city. Below are photos of the dishes that I ate. The photos of the actual restaurants are from the Sea Pearl website itself, the lighting was very dimmed so my photos of the restaurant itself did not come out well. If you would like to see more photos of the restaurant check out their website by clicking on the link below.
Sea Pearl Restaurant & Lounge
8191 Strawberry Lane Suite 2
Falls Church, VA 22042
P 703.372.5161 F 703.372.5166
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 11 am – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday 11 am – 11 pm
Sunday 10 am – 10 pm