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Sips & Tidbits
April 2008 | by Liz and Wayne Dernetz


Nikki Ranglas (l) and Poseidon hostess Courtney (r) ready to wecome diners

Longtime residents fondly remember the Poseidon Restaurant , Tommy Ranglas' fulfillment of the American Dream. It was a quirky bit of surfside grinds and drinks, next to the 17th Street Lifeguard Tower. After surviving the Nazi occupation during World War II and several post-war revolutions, Tommy, now 82, left Greece for San Diego. With a loan from his mother in 1968, he bought the Poseidon for $48,500.

Through force of his Mediterranean personality and his shrewd business sense, Tommy converted the somewhat run-down restaurant into a financial success and a favorite among locals, mainly for its burgers and fries. Tommy extended a wooden deck out onto the beach – without benefit of permits of course – where he hosted the “Fairest of the Fair” competitions for several years, with the ever-present Tom Hernandez as Don Diego.

The Poseidon on the Beach today is not like its predecessor; its better! In 2003, Tommy turned over the operation of the old Poseidon to his son Tommy, Jr. and daughter Nikki. According to Nikki, 36, she and her brother “realized the potential” in the old Poseidon and that “it needed a facelift. My brother is more progressive than I am,” she added, “I'm more traditional.” That was a happy combination, for when the new Poseidon opened on April 1, 2004, the traditional ambience of beach-front casual blended perfectly with a progressively elegant style (by David Robinson Design). “It's beautiful,” said Tommy, Sr., on first seeing the finished result.

The Poseidon retains an open feel on warm days with roll-up windows and doors facing the ocean and an expansive new beach-front terrace (now permitted, of course). “We still welcome guests from off the beach,” says Nikki proudly, but in the evening it transforms into a “see-and-be-seen kind of place; we have quite a few celebrities visiting us.”

The Poseidon's day menu remains under the careful supervision of longtime-chef Carlos and along with old favorites includes new lighter offerings. We recommend the omelet of spinach, mushroom and cheese and the “Poseidon Benedict,” featuring Norwegian smoked salmon in place of ham, for Sunday brunch on the terrace.

The evening menu falls under the supervision of Executive Chef Timothy Gutmann, a southern Californian who trained under Master Chefs Franz Popperl and Thierry Blouet. Dinner selections are priced from $20 to $35 and include Sesame-Crusted Salmon with ginger soy sauce, Beef Filet with red pepper potatoes and Cajun-fried onions, or Day-boat Scallops with ginger pesto and purple potatoes.

The Poseidon serves breakfasts on weekends from 9:00am and is open weekdays from 11:00am to 3:45pm. Dinners are served from 5:00 to 9:30pm. Happy Hour runs from 4:00 to 6:30pm (half-off bar appetizers). For reservations, call 755-9345, or visit the website at www.theposeidonrestaurant.com.



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