> South Beach Bar & Grille @ San Onofre Beach | #NuclearSurfer
May 20 2017
Is it just me or does the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s containment shields resemble a massive sized pair or breasts? I know I’m not the first to see that view from San Onofre Beach because they appeared just like that in the 1987 cult comedy movie The Naked Gun. Now that I have your attention, the surf beach at this location contains three surf breaks.
The breaks, from north to south, are known as The Point, Old Man’s and Dogpatch. As there is a rock reef blanketing the area, walking in or out is not easy however, each spot will reward you on the south swell. The beach acts as a brake by slowing everything down so you can get a great view of the nuclear breasts and manage a number of great slo-mo rides at the same time.
The key locations include the “world famous surf break” at Lower Trestles. This is where many pro surfers cut their surfing and riding teeth and on any given day you’ll see power surfing and aerial displays that will equally entertain and amaze you. The easy one to get to is Old Man’s, just South of Trestles. It’s also on the radar of world class surfers for several reasons.
In addition to being the perfect spot for beginners and vets due to the gentle wave action, if you are there just for the atmosphere, beachgoers are known to spontaneously burst into tailgate partiers. There’s also a site known as Trails which is actually three miles of beach from the San Onofre Bluffs State Campground to the large breasts of the nuclear power plant.
The campground is a village all its own with 380 sites for tents, campers, RVs and buses. There’s no hook ups but everything else you need to enjoy camping near a beach is there. Speaking of the beach, you’ll find lots of rock reefs and tide pools when the tide is low. That won’t hamper the fun factor by any means. Chaka say no way to being contained on this beach!
The South Beach Bar & Grille is everything you would expect from a casual surf restaurant with a view of giant surfing waves, babes and well, a lot of water. You know, sun, surf and sand and the smell of delicious food. Which leads me to the grub. The menu is Maui Wowie for sure featuring such local faves as Ahi Poke and Volcano Flauta. Oh, and they have Taco Tuesdays!
If you have never tried a fish taco before, this is the place to dive in and get your fill. Plus, for good measure they even serve Shark Tacos. Ah, and yes, its real shark in that shell you are crunching. Cue the Theme from Jaws…Ba, Duh, Ba, Duh, BA, DUH!!! Food Paradise featured this place in their Local Legends episode for a reason. Lobster, fish, you name it.
Oh, and the menu has more than just fish. There’s Pulled Pork Nachos, Guacamole Bacon and they also celebrate Happy Hour with drink specials that are barely contained in the serving glasses. Did I say anything about the actual facility itself? It’s big. There’s plenty of space to sit, gather, contemplate the next wave of waves. Daydream about those strange concrete breasts.
The South Bear Bar & Grille has two levels, an outdoor seating area and a bitchin’ view of the beach. It’s everything you could imagine in an Elvis surfing movie minus the dated bathing suits and early curfews for the square kids. Even if the nuclear power plant is miles away, this eatery does have a particular glow about it. Chaka say glow-in-the-dark surfers are really cool.
If you are the type that cannot be contained while on a beach, OC Helicopters has got a different kind of ride for you that won’t involve water. Well, at least you won’t be in it. If you thought the pounding surf got your heart pounding or a glimpse of the giant concrete boob-like structures down the beach got your heart pounding get ready for some real excitement.
Riding high above the waves and beach gives you a view that even birds don’t quite appreciate but you will. Rick is your pilot and not only does he come highly rated, he barely crashes anything other than the odd beach party back at the San Onofre Bluffs State Campground. Actually he knows his way around and will certainly give you some big air.
A Chopper Tour is nothing without some historic background and Rick is Da Man! He can tell you not only the basic tourist stuff, he knows some really trivial insider info that only a long time local would pick up. Staring at the nuclear power plant and covering your sensitive parts, just in case? Rick will tell you the place hasn’t run for years and is being decommissioned.
Haven’t pulled out your board yet thinking a chopper tour will give you some kind of unfair advantage once you hit the surf? Rick will give you the deets on where to go, the best places to park and may even hover above the spot so you won’t miss it. He’ll probably steer you towards Old Man’s because it’s so laid back. Chaka want to fly the plane to see the giant boobs!
- Nuclear Breasts!
- While sharks should only be on display in tanks for people to stare at, you can get over your fear of them but dining on parts of one in a taco.
- If you’re goal at San Onofre Beach was to get higher than a kite, there’s a chopper with your name on it. Quarter Mile High Club, anyone?
- Lots of people. Lots of longboards. Not so much parking. Ugh!
- No surf-thru service at the Bar & Grille but now that we’ve mentioned it, expect it to happen.
- Chopper tour does not include a low level fly by of the nuclear plant containment shields. Bummer.