Seaside Restaurant

CONTRIBUTED BY MELISSA RUISZ NAZARIO

Seaside Sign 1
Seaside Sign 1

Monday and Tuesday closed. Monday and Tuesday closed. If I repeat this mantra over and over, perhaps the next time my appetite craves a meal from Seaside Ristorante, my brain will remember to check what day of the week it is BEFORE I show up to an empty parking lot. Perhaps.

Seaside Exterior
Seaside Exterior

A note on the name: “Ristorante” is not some corrupted translation, but the Italian word for the French (and now English) “restaurant,” which (did you know?) means “food that restores”. Does the Italian food here “restore”? I suppose it depends on what you order, but the “seaside” view of the East China sea is certainly refreshing, so get a table on the patio (or, to be fancy, you might call it the “veranda”) if at all possible.

Seaside View
Seaside View
Seaside Patio
Seaside Patio

The staff are quite friendly, and as you peruse the menu, they will set down a plate of complimentary toasted Italian bread with a blend of olive oil, shredded Parmesan and herbs to spoon on top. They’re also rather patient as you mull over their long list of drinks, with intriguing names like “Shark Bite,” “Mango Moondance,” and “Chocolate Nut Coffee”. I recommend one of their delicious sangrias. Better yet, order both the red wine “Seaside Sangria” and the white wine “Berry Peach Sangria” and share with your companions.

Seaside Italian Bread
Seaside Italian Bread
Seaside Cheese Sticks
Seaside Cheese Sticks

Speaking of sharing, the fried calamari or mozzarella sticks are favorites to sample with friends. Also, the Italian nachos are an interesting take on the classic appetizer, substituting more of that toasted Italian bread for tortilla chips, topped with cheddar, olives, and spicy salami.

Seaside Eggplant Parm
Seaside Eggplant Parm

There are lots of sandwiches, pizzas, and Italian dishes to choose from. I’m fond of the crab, avocado and bacon sandwich–the flavors and textures are quite savory. Sandwiches and burgers also come with a choice of pasta salad, fruit cup, or fries. For something a bit more traditional, the eggplant parmesan is a nice choice; it’s sliced into five pieces and lightly breaded with what seems to be Japanese panko, and of course, smothered in cheese and marinara. With the included side of pasta, it’s very filling.

If you take the kids, they might split one of the gourmet pizzas (ranging from $13 to $18), or order a hamburger, grilled cheese sandwich, or fish and chips from the kids menu, each $5.95 and served with fries. Here’s a tip if the kiddos do tag along: the staff will also give the them some bread crumbs to feed the fish if you ask.

Seaside Chefs Salad
Seaside Chefs Salad

You really can’t go wrong if you just order the chopped chef salad and soup. The hubbie orders this every time we go–pretty soon, I think he’ll just have to ask for his “usual.” The chef salad is a large plate of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, salami, chicken, hard boiled eggs, green and kalamata olives, cucumber, and mozzarella cheese, with creamy Italian dressing on the side. The soup is generous as well, so be forewarned: the “cup” size is really a regular bowl, whereas the “bowl” size is double that–a ginormous bowl. However, the seafood bisque is rich and creamy, and the complex tomato basil soup is much tastier than the watery canned stuff, so you may just want to throw caution to the wind and go for the ginormous bowl. That is, if you’re not planning to also try something off their tempting dessert menu, such as “Warm Pear Bread Pudding,” “Chocolate Lovin’ Spoon Cake,” or the Tiramisu “Martini” (served in a martini glass). Sadly, I haven’t had the room after my meal to try any of these yet. Maybe I’ll go just for dessert later today — wait, what day is it today?

Seaside Interior
Seaside Interior

Website: www.kadenaforcesupport.com/seaside.html

Hours: Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11am — 8:30 pm, Friday & Saturday: 11am–9pm, Monday & Tuesday: Closed, Lunch menu available between 11am–4pm

Payment: American dollars, credit card, debit card.

Discounts: They also offer a $1 discount for each guest if you show your Air Force Club Card. If the patio is closed, they offer a “Rainy Day Special” of 25% off a second entree for lunch; for dinner, it’s 25% off an appetizer with the purchase of an entree.

Directions: From Kadena Gate 1, make a right onto 58. Continue for about a mile until you see the sign for “Seaside Ristorante,” make a left and follow the road down to the restaurant. It’s located just before the “Navel Kadena” shopping plaza and before Kadena Gate 4.

17 COMMENTS

  1. This place has made some big improvements with their menu over the past couple years. It is now one of our favorite weekend breakfast spots. Their Chorizo Eggs Benedict is very good.

  2. We gave this place a try while out at the Scuba Shop at Kadena Marina today. The food was very average. It is a little sad to eat frozen fish and crab cakes when sitting at a Marina brimming with fish. But my 6 & 7 year olds enjoyed the aquarium and the view. Even though they had already seated us inside, they offered us a table outside when one became available. I thought that this was very nice, and really appreciated it. Then we could feed the fish in the Marina.

  3. My family has had dinner there 3 times in the past 2 months and loved it. The food was very tasty (much, much better than Macaroni Grill), the portions were generous, the prices were reasonable, and the service was friendly and attentive.

  4. Ok, I gave it another try. This time the entire family went there to eat dinner. I have to say, we were very pleased.

    Everything came out fast and warm and it was busy. Some may have some reservations about the food and how is presented, especially if you’ve been stationed in Europe or other places where you are used to great seafood, but is not as bad as some put say.

    Additionally, the menu has been changed a bit and purged of items that were not very popular. Overall a very good experience and very romantic place to have dinner in especially during sunsets.

  5. Well, its been 4+ month since my last review/critique of Seaside Restaurant and today I went there to see if things have improved.

    I arrived there at lunch time and it was pretty much in the quiet side. I sat outside on the table with the umbrella overlooking the marina. The outside temperature (not too hot and not too cold) was just perfect for lunch. I’ve started thinking that this could be a great lunch experience, but then started to worry that they may forget me being in the corner table, but after 5 minutes of waiting I got my order in. Which was great!

    If you read my last critique you will know that on that day, I ordered the plate of the day. This should have been pretty easy to make and get out of the kitchen and to the table but it took them 45 minutes and was cold. So, this time around I ordered 3 different plates each one different in its preparation method to see if they would still mess it up…also, because I was reaaally hungry.

    I ordered the Bruschetta (correctly pronounce Brus-ke-ta) as a starter; a Tomato Basil and Garlic soup and a Steak sandwich as the main item.

    The Bruschetta and the soup both came out 5 minutes after ordering them. They were delicious! My only complain here was that both items didn’t have enough garlic in them. The toasted bread in the Bruschetta should be rubbed with fresh garlic on it. And the soup might have had garlic in it, but not enough. This is not a big issue, just a minor observation.

    The Steak sandwich came out around 7-8 minutes after I was done with the first 2 items and it was still hot and came out with no hinges.

    My overall experience is Excellent for Seaside Restaurant. I am not sure if my critiques helped them get their act together, but I will proudly take credit for it…:oD

    Another reason they doing their job may be the current inspection going on, but I cannot confirm that other than the IG signs in the parking lot. So it could have been just for show, but we won’t know until I give it another try in a couple of months.

    Recommendation: Eat here!

  6. Okay so I went to this restaurant yesterday (9/24/2012) and I have to say I enjoyed the restaurant. The view was beautiful the staff was great. The food was a amazing we order the Three Cheese pizza delicious, coconut shrimp was super good and fresh the pizza roll where yum and the crab spinach dip was really good. I have to say we are going back. The food was presented good also. We loved it. Nice place to go eat and relax 🙂

  7. This could be an awesome restaurant with just a few changes, but it sucks the way it is. I read that they are going to be open 7 days a week, but how about changing management and the menu? Right now they are offering too many things, resulting in nothing that’s very tasty and long waits for everything. Cut the menu to about 1/4 the number of selections, helping the wait staff, the cooks, and cutting down on storage and waste. The food now is bland – invest in some herbs and spices and use them! If you’re going to be an Italian eatery, then learn to cook Italian, and offer about 10 choices (carbonara, pesto, Bolonese, arabiata, etc.), and make them really well. Seafood would do well on island, too, so you might want to dump the Italian and go with seafood instead – give customers a choice of fried, grilled, or broiled, with blackened seasoning, lemon pepper, or plain. If you want to have a weekly special or something, add that in. Have live music on Thursday nights. Stand up comedy on Wednesdays. Off to grill peoples’ catches for them. These additions will give it more of a community feel and make people want to go. But right now the food sucks and people are only going because they want to see the view.

  8. 18th Services–you have a big money-maker going to WASTE on Kadena marina. Add breakfast (with such a beautiful view, it would be a hit..) and make your menu more like the NCO club.

    Also, the bar service is VERY slow…maybe add another bartender (because I usually only see one) and encourage the staff to hand out drink menus to customers waiting. They don’t have to drink alcohol, but non-alcoholic daquiris, shirley temples for the kids…you’ll make money WHILE they wait (because it’s all about the $$ for 18th services..)

  9. Seriously the worst food I’ve had on island (well besides the NCO club which has went downhill fast). It used to be much better. If they just started making good food, along with the great view then people would love going there. Since the merger, my family has been there 4-5 times and EVERYTIME it just plane sucked. We’ve never had good service, rarely get refills and the food is always bland. Will not be returning there until base leadership decides to fix the disaster that is Seaside Restaurant.

  10. Worst restaurant on the island! My food tasted like the cook poured an entire bottle of salt on the meal. I’ve ate there three different times and have had three different meals and they have all been terrible. The only thing this restaurant has going for it is the view and the free drink refills. When I told the manager about my meal she wouldn’t give me my money back or offer me something else unless I paid for it. Kadena Force Support squadron should make some drastic changes there, the food was much better before the mess they serve there now. I will never bring my family there again.

    • When were here on our first tour, we used to like eating at Kadena Marina’s restaurant. The food wasn’t “Italian” seafood, it was regular seafood with some items for people who don’t care for seafood as well. The food was also a bit cheaper as they weren’t trying to present it as classy Italian seafood. I’m not a fan of the food they serve there now 🙁

  11. We have tried this place several times, and each time one of us got very disappointed, long wait on food, waiter not really present, food not that great… So no more Seaside restaurant for us. It was much better before the merging with Mike Italian’s garden. I guess try it for yourself and you might get lucky like the writter of this post.

  12. Well, I for one will not be returning to the restaurant until the current manager is changed. I went there for lunch with my wife about 7 weeks ago. I ordered the special of the day (salmon). They took 24 minutes for her food to come out (pasta), and 36 minutes for my salmon. I asked to see if there was something wrong with my order, and as soon as the waitress went to the back there was my food! MIRACLE! If I hadn’t ask, then I would still be sitting without lunch and also it was cold. Seems like they ignored the plate entirely. I asked for a rebate due to the wait and thought of it as a single time issue. Went there 4 weeks after that and our food was again late. This time 32 minutes. Yes, I understand its busy at that time but why is it that again as soon as I ask where our food is, its when it comes out. Gave it one last try and again the same thing. Our food was not ready on time and as soon as I ask, then its when the food shows up. I’ve never had this issue before with any restaurant and with the previous managers until now. Seems like the waiters are more willing to attend local nationals that the American customers. I say this because two local families were served before us even though they got there after us.

  13. I have been to this restaurant about 3-4 times; mainly because friend’s want to go here… However, all the times, I have had pretty bad food! Their magarita pizza is a disaster! It looked pretty bad too…. Their free bread is pretty dry too.
    I am not a big fan of the food… however the view is amazing!

    A great idea would be to have drinks here at night- however they close at 9 PM! So, kind of a party pooper!

    Honestly, I wouldn’t suggest eating here.

  14. A reader comment left on our Facebook page (6-13-12): “FYI to anyone that just read the article and thought “yum, let’s go there tonight!” The Seaside Restaurant will be closed thru June 20th [2012] for AC repairs.”

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