John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Today's special is sea bass with a side of briny water, broken glass, and screaming.
Moby Dick Restaurant, located way out on a pier in Santa Barbara, boasts on its website of "fresh food" and "big waves." This weekend, diners got to sample a bit of both as a huge ocean wave crashed through a window, possibly bringing with it a school of still-flapping mackerel.
The veracity of its embedded seafood aside – it at least contained some tasty plankton – a giant swell really did invite itself to breakfast, thanks to a nasty Pacific storm that practically looked like a hurricane. Local media site Noozhawk has the story:
The wait for a window table at Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf was nearly 30 minutes longer on Saturday, with locals hoping to view the high tides of the winter storm up close. Jill Freeland eagerly waited for her own front-row seat.
Sure enough, just as waiters cleared her Goleta family’s breakfast dishes at 9:20 a.m., and before the avid surfer left the steadily rocking pier, a large swell crashed into a nearby restaurant window, shattering the glass and shaking patrons, who amazingly were not seriously injured.
"I really didn’t expect it to break," Freeland told Noozhawk. "Another swell beforehand came pretty close. We were just expecting some excitement. You never know with swell and tide."
You never know with swell and tide – pretty sure that phrase appears in a customer-liability waiver the restaurant is no doubt furiously drafting. Have a look at the carnage, which would double as an effective advertisement for Plexiglas (different view here):