THE BOUNTY OF BIG SUR HAS A NEW WATERMARK: BIG SUR ROADHO– USE DEBUTSCall it a respite in the redwoods, a sleek new outpost maximizing Big Sur’s ethos with a dash of fire in its belly. July/2013 marks the opening of Big Sur Roadhouse, where high design meets Seabass Po’Boys and raw and recycled provides a seamless backdrop for organic, regional and real. Set on legendary Highway 1, the 110-seat eatery is the first Big Sur restaurant to open in more than a decade and latest expansion of the third-generation Sanborn family, who operate the coveted Glen Oaks Big; 831.667.2370.


A trio of top talent takes to the stoves as executive chef Matt Glazer, chef de cuisine Brendan Esons and pastry chef Carissa Fritts team up to deliver a fresh concept in California cuisine. Blending classical techniques with a commitment to sustainability and eye to local foragers, fishermen and sausage celebrities, Glazer’s “Coastal Cajun” salutes the best of California’s cornucopia with a spin. Signature dishes include Monterey Bay Wild King Salmon and Halibut (season dependent), expertly blackened with a searing 88-second pan fry, paired with a zesty cranberry bean, golden beet and corn succotash. The “Small Bites” menu sports a Lacinato Kale Caesar served in a julienne format, Southern-Fried Chicken Lollipop and Seabass Po’ Boy served with savory house-made Creole mustard.

Raised in New Orleans, Glazer honed his skills at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Hyde Park before traversing the globe’s farms and kitchens. His journey came full circle in Big Sur holding posts at Esalen Institute and Big Sur Bakery prior to joining the Roadhouse. His passion for big flavors and unorthodox preparations are reflected in the fry-free Monterey Bay Calamari Creole showcasing his signature spice blend and Cajun trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery) as well as a gluten-free Big Sur Seafood Gumbo. Changing daily, the Gumbo’s slow-roasted vegetable roux and rich Monterey Bay halibut stock – infused with okra, spices, hand-made Andouille sausage and seasonal Dungeness crab – is art in a bowl. Grass-Fed New York Strip Steak with caramelized cipollino onions and fresh crimini mushrooms, Stuffed Portobello Mushroom with wilted chard and Braised Chicken Orleans dressed in a piquant red wine vinegar, tarragon and chervil blend then deglazed with a touch of cream round out the entrees. Big Sur Roadhouse is a pending member of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program.

A well rounded wine program compliments the menu, with a cache of locally-sourced gems and Italian imports. The restaurant also offers a half-bottle program and a variety of brews on draft, including Nectar Ales Red Ale and Firestone Union Jack IPA. Corkage is $25.


Inspired by Big Sur’s lush redwood setting and trove of local talent, Steve Justrich of San Francisco’s Justrich Design put his vision into play with a sleek, modern interior design rich in recycled materials, color and geometry. Two alfresco patios with fire pits flank the interior footprint, offering dining and a comfortable lounge area rimmed with couches, native plants and lavender. The design style fuses contemporary lines with Big Sur sensibilities. An open format links two dining venues with an easy, flowing feel. The room is set in a fresh earth-tone palette showcasing soft greens and cayenne with punchy red accents.

The inside-out design includes large spacious windows fronting Highway 1, furnishings and floors set in warm redwood and bamboo, and creative use of copper accents. Local artisans were tapped to create the stunning light fixtures, bar, stools and raw steel fire pits. The majority of the interior is culled from recycled materials, including the redwood door, shelves and bar. The lamp fixtures, which take on a variety of designs from hoops with votives to mid-century modules, are crafted from salvaged steel and accented with copper. A small vignette tucked in the corner pocket includes a playful 1930s vintage wicker sofa, tile tables and swivel wine-barrel inspired chairs; mid-century wall art takes the shape of geometric oil paintings which set the tone for the restaurant.


Big Sur Roadhouse is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Complimentary parking is available. For reservations call 831.667.2370 or visit