Heading up the steps to the second floor of the Conservancy’s Trailhead visitor center, the epicurean aromas immediately delight. Walking into Topside by NDMK is an experience for the senses. The restaurant recently opened at the Conservancy’s flagship facility, reinventing the second and third stories into a fresh and flavorful adventure.
From the vibes to the drinks, Topside by NDMK is immaculate. The team is committed to fresh, high-quality ingredients including locally-sourced seafood. Specialty cold and hot tapas bring a fusion of Italian, Spanish, and American flavors to the forefront. Chef Joel Perez even puts a fresh twist on the traditional oysters Rockefeller with oysters ‘Oaxacafeller’ baked with chorizo, Oaxaca cheese, and Calabrian peppers. There are plenty of vegetarian options as well including a decadent truffle mushroom risotto. Foodies can enjoy a ‘Five Course Catalina Tour’ with choices including local catch tartare and ‘buffalo milk’ bread pudding.
Top off your meal with a Spicy Prickly Pear Margarita, a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shot, or any of Topside’s various creative libations. The restaurant is open each day from 8 a.m. – approximately 8:30 p.m.
While at Topside by NDMK, diners learn more about everything that Catalina has to offer. Catalina Island Conservancy’s plein air painting exhibit is on display in the main dining area, while the top deck includes an assortment of the Island’s native plant life. The last Friday Jan-Oct, the gallery serves as a site for free education about Catalina Island and related topics, with subject matter experts presenting at the Last Friday Lecture Series. Next time you’re on the Island, be sure to swing by to delight your palate and expand your Island horizons.