Fans of the contemporary cuisine found in downtown Redlands will get to add another go-to dinner spot to their repertoire when Redlands Oyster Cult opens to the public next week.
First-time restaurant owner Emanuel Jacobson is bringing fresh seafood from around the world to the Inland Empire’s quaint little town.
After working for his family business Ozel Jewelers, also on State Street, Jacobson says he wanted to create a place where he could have unique cocktails paired with stimulating food.
“We are trying to capture what the whole world is doing, like a worldwide scene with what is happening with wine.”
Redlands Oyster Cult’s horseshoe-shaped bar will make for excellent conversation over Jacobson’s inspiring liquor menu, creating a more personal feel than the average head-down, eyes-up, bar.
Along with the perfect after-work drink, Jacobson is going for a worldy take on seafood.
Yes there will be locally sourced halibut from the California coast, but there also will be menu items imported from France and Norway.
“My halibut dish is made with French country beans, heirloom organic beans that will make you feel like you are in the countryside and your French grandmother is cooking something amazing for you.”
Another item that Jacobson says is a must-try is his spin on aguachile, a traditional Siniloan cold soup made with seafood. Jacobson’s aguachile features scallops sourced from Japan, that will leave the customer in a whirlwind of balanced flavor.
“You take one bite and the most amazing things happen,” he said.
“You have the sour hitting you from the lemon, you have the sweet hitting you from the scallop, you have the heat hitting you from the jalapeño and you have the fat hitting you from the oil.”
Jacobson says the first time he tried aguachile, he cried. It was that special a dish — one he hopes will capture the hearts and taste buds of Redlanders.
The name dish of course is the oysters, as fresh as can be with flavors that don’t require pounds of Tabasco sauce.
Jacobson says he wants his restaurant to compete with the best oyster bars around the world.
“If you go to an oyster bar in Japan, I want us to be at that level. If you go to South Africa or New York, I want this to be up there.”
If halibut, aguachile or oysters don’t fit your palate, try the seafood tower, which features mussels, shrimp and a dollop of caviar on top.
Jacobson says his menu will not be extensive, but will instead be made up of six or so items that may evolve and change as the months go on.
A night at the Redlands Oyster Cult is as much about a fulfilling dining experience, as it is with a fulfilling human experience.
The décor gives off a chill study-chique vibe, as if the consumer was in 1920s New England instead of modern-day Southern California.
In about 1,000 square feet, there are brick walls, gold light fixtures, marble countertops, and brown leather seats that offer a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere.