I met Magen a little more than four years ago when I interviewed for my position with the City of Bellevue. When I bought the property in Long Beach, I mentioned it to her and found out that she has a condo in Long Beach and comes down all the time. We kept making loose plans to meet up but never made the effort to coordinate our trips before today. Magen will be retiring from the city next month, so I wanted to make sure that we made this happen before I stop seeing her on a daily basis. We met her at her condo where she served us a quick tour and a glass of wine before chauffeuring us north toward Ocean Park. Our destination was Jimella and Nanci’s Market Café, located in Klipsan Beach.
I’m not sure that we would have stopped at the restaurant if Magen hadn’t recommended it. It sits by itself with a small gravel parking lot, on the east side of Pacific. It would be an easy place to drive past if you’re hungry but have no particular destination in mind.
The interior of the café was charming with twinkle lights strewn about and candles and ears of dried corn decorating the tables. The dining room was small (maybe 10 tables?) but warm and intimate. I ordered a Manhattan which featured Rye from the Woodinville Whiskey company, and Boyfriend had a glass of pinot from Oregon. He said that their wine list was small, but had a lot of really nice wines available. We both had a cup of clam chowder and enjoyed the fresh bread that Nanci brought to the table. For dinner, I ordered the entrée size portion of Skillet Clams which was littleneck clams from Willapa bay simmered with leeks, tomatoes, garlic, and thinly sliced chorizo. Boyfriend ordered Halibut and Dungeness which was pan seared and served with blanched kale and fingerling potatoes. Magen ordered the halibut special which was baked with lemon and wine, and served with green beans. The food was delicious. Even though the restaurant is small, I had a feeling that they don’t plan on turning any of the tables more than once. Neither the service nor the food was hurried.
After enjoying our entrees at a leisurely pace, desserts were brought to the table on a silver tray to be introduced. I ordered a warm toffee cake with rum sauce, Boyfriend ordered the sundae (vanilla ice cream with a housemade huckleberry sauce), and Magen ordered the Swedish Cream (sour-cream based custard topped with a cranberry compote). Everything is made in house, and the majority of offerings are sourced locally. It was fun to know that the cranberries in Magen’s dessert came from one of the 34 cranberry bogs on the peninsula, and that the huckleberries, clams, kale and mushrooms we enjoyed were all harvested on the peninsula too.
The restaurant is nice without feeling pretentious or fancy. We were casually dressed and felt very comfortable, even with the upscale menu. I enjoyed the meal and the company enough that I’d like to go back for lunch soon and try a few more of their offerings!