Restaurant 608 (named after the address it sits on 608 mission Ave. in Oceanside) is the new, and first solo restaurant, by Chef William “Willy” Eick. If you follow me at all you know the high regard I have for Chef Willy. Article #1 Article #2
I truly believe he is one of the most talented Chefs in San Diego. At age 26 he has only one way to go and by age 30 he will be a powerhouse.
Chef Willy’s food, I think, shows a mixture of New French, mainly in plating (he likes negative space) and its refinement. It also brings touches of New American Cuisine, mixed with a love for Japanese influences and ingredients.
Chef Willy’s path to 608 starts (as I know it) at Bistro West in Carlsbad working alongside Chef Jason Connolly, a great Chef in his own right. When Jason left Bistro West to go to Real Bar and Bistro Willy followed as his Sous Chef along with Felipe Orozco. Jason eventually left Real Bar and Bistro to go to Pamplemousse and Willy took over as head Chef, creating his own menu and bringing personal touches in, like his love of foraging for ingredients.
After getting to know Willy better and talking about his skill level he, as well as myself, knew he was destined to get his own place and soon. I got a message in early may he was finalizing meetings and would be opening a concept in the old Swami’s location June 1st.
I was thrilled but at the same time was thinking “that is a short time span”. The good things, the space was already a restaurant so no real build out. Decor change was an issue but as you see they pulled it off smartly. Minimal effort for maximum effect.
The redone space.
I think it does the perfect job of riding the line between comfort and refined.
The old “ordering counter” now serves as an intimate 5 seat bar space.
Another important fact is he brought a team with him made up of people he had worked with at Bistro West and Real Bar and Bistro. So, the team cohesiveness was already there. Felipe Orozco was a crucial part of this in my opinion and is now Willy’s right hand man and Sous Chef.
Chef Willy and Sous Chef Felipe.
So, there is the history. Let us talk the present and the food shall we?
Though being in “soft opening” for a week, the city,family,and friends turned out June 8th to officially open 608.
Lets look at some of the menu….
Mary’s Airline Chicken Breast ~ Charred corn, mushroom, Cherry tomato, corn mole, cornbread beignet.
Duroc Baby Back Ribs ~ Sweet chili and soy glaze, wild seeds, herbs
It is hard to make a glazed ribs look sexy in a picture..but trust me this dish is sexy.
Vegan Risotto ~ Seasonal and wild vegetables, pine nut milk
lobster Tail Tacos ~ Sweet chili aioli, lettuce, tomato, onion
Duck Skin Tacos ~ Onion, feta, peach jalapeno salsa, cilantro
Beet Salad ~ Strawberry, almond, beet variations, goat cheese, sorrel vinaigrette
This is one of my favorite dishes. If you are a first timer and unsure what to order I would order the ribs and this and you will be very happy.
Strawberry Dessert ~ Vanilla, mint, macha, white cake
Great dessert, basically a smart deconstructed play on a strawberry short-cake.
There you have it the new 608 and Chef Willy Eick. I would encourage checking them out. They are doing something different in Oceanside and the quality and creativity of the food can not be beat. Especially at the price point, dishes run from $6 for 3 Duck Skin Tacos to $13 for the Short Rib. They are open for lunch and dinner starting at 11 am.
608 Mission Ave. Oceanside