Pacific City is the hot new spot to take in the views of Huntington Beach, indulge in retail therapy and sip a craft cocktail at a rooftop lounge before seeking a delish dinner at one of the many eateries and cafes. The only recipe better than that for treating Mom…is probably found in the kitchen of Ways & Means.
It can be tough to find a restaurant among the uber cool set, but Ways & Means’ co-owner Jennifer Delcham (with husband, Pharnell and mother, Dena Mathe) assures a warm welcome awaits.
“Our own family frequently dines at the restaurant — until recently four generations of us gathered around the table. Eating together is more than just nourishing our bodies… it nourishes our souls.”
As parents of an adorable preschooler, the Delcham’s have ensured your own mini-me’s will happily belly up to the Oyster Bar.
“Delaney loves coming into the restaurant. In fact, we tested our kids’ menu on her and she has several favorites: for brunch, it’s the chocolate chip pancakes and the crab legs; for lunch, the burger sliders; and for dinner, the Maryland crab cake. Although we know that there are certainly children who stick to either chicken nuggets or PB&J, we see more and more children venturing into the world of adult food. We’ve witnessed many children trying (and liking!) their first oyster. Unless you grew up near New England or the Pacific Northwest, who among us had oysters as a kid?”
Brunch is a surefire winner (bottomless real fruit mimosa!), but parents looking to expand their kids’ palates can take advantage of the amazing Monday lobster night, where 200 “special guests” fly in from Maine each week for, ahem, dinner. The $9.99 lobsters are first come, first serve — finally a reward for early dining!
Small plates offer a great way to try new flavors— Lobster Deviled Eggs, Jerk Seared Salmon Bowl, Chorizo Octopus and Creamy Mango Slaw; while artful Glazed Rainbow Carrots and Tricolor Cauliflower tempt finicky kids. For parents, fresh seafood and oysters can be chased with POC faves, W&M Bloody Mary with jumbo shrimp and brown sugar/chile bacon or the PCH Mule, the vodka and pear liqueur nicely spiced up with ginger, cinnamon and lemon.
Julen’s Ausome Sauce
A clever culinary-minded teen has created a tasty future for himself. Julen Ucar is a senior and former student at New Vista School in Laguna Hills, serving students diagnosed with Autism and similar learning disabilities.
“When Julen arrived at New Vista it was his only option,” says mom, Michelle Ucar. “New Vista gave him the skills to organize his daily activities, manage his homework on his own, the confidence to advocate for himself and the social skills to communicate with teachers and peers. After three years, he was able to transition back into public school.”
In appreciation, Julen wanted to give back. To do so, he brought his affinity for cooking and talents in the kitchen to the next level.
“Julen has experimented with flavors in the kitchen from a young age.,” says Ucar. “When I would make something…he would add to it! He just had a real ability to discern different spices and ingredients. Three years ago, we tested and perfected the recipes for his sauce. earned FDA approval for bottling.”
Julen goes to Ways & Means one morning each week to batch his sauce, which the restaurant uses on several menu items. A portion of proceeds from those dishes is donated to need-based scholarships for New Vista.
“His time in the kitchen with the chef at Ways & Means is giving him real life experience and a foundation for his culinary future. The compassion and support from Ways & Means has been immeasurable.”
Being in the kitchen has helped Julen in many different aspects of his life; measuring incorporates math, ingredients help with reading and spelling, chopping, mixing and pouring has improved his fine motor skills.
“We are very proud of Julen. Our goal is that he is not defined by labels or limitations. When I asked him what he would make me for breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day he said, ‘Eggs, bacon and toast…with a splash of Ausome Sauce!’”