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In anticipation of soon-to-be-opened Crudo e Nudo brick and mortar in Santa Monica, chef/owner Brian Bornemann is popping up on the newly opened Pacific Terrace rooftop dining space at Shutters on the Beach this weekend and next to give a sneak peek at his new seasonal seafood menu. 

Before tuna tartare was a household term with about as many versions as there are fish in the sea, chef Shigefume Tachibe introduced it to the world when he put it on the menu of the newly opened Chaya Beverly Hills in the mid ‘80s. His California version of the traditional beef tartare was a pretty daring concept at the time and the Japanese-born, French-trained chef originally presented his new item with toast. The rest is tuna history.

Kanpachi sashimi with blood orange vinaigrette (Michele Stueven)

One of the highlights of Bornemann’s menu is a contemporary take combining those two elements, a nostalgic look back for anybody who remembers the salad days of when Chaya first opened. His tuna tartare toast comes on grilled Gjusta bread, and includes spring onion confit, shrimp essence, scallion and yuzu oil. Tuna just belongs on toast. 

Taking full advantage of the citrus season, the kanpachi sashimi with blood orange vinaigrette, bottarga and market flowers is art on a plate, as are the princess scallops on the half shell with a fennel citrus vinaigrette.

The native Angeleno’s version of a Sicilian lifeguard ceviche is a creamy combination of shrimp, clams, vermillion snapper, succulent sea snails, preserved lemon, onions and capers. There are also roasted shrimp skewers with blue caledonian prawns, shellfish glaze, fish sauce and orange zest for those who prefer bites less crudo.

Roasted shrimp skewers and Sicilian lifeguard ceviche (Michele Stueven)

The new al fresco ocean view space has both a tented area with heaters and tables as well as a sprawling outdoor living room setting by the pool. Pacific Terrace is open Thursday through Monday from 3-9 p.m., no reservations required. The Crudo e Nudo preview menu is available at Pacific Terrace Friday and Saturday March 5-6 and March 12-13, whereas Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, Shutters on the Beach signature dishes will be offered as well as new Veuve Clicquot cocktails

Bornemann and partner, artist Leena Culhane, are putting the final touches on the cozy spot on Main St. next to Pasjoli that will have al fresco dining and a small indoor footprint which will operate like a shop and take-away space that will include plenty of live shucking.

Inside Crudo e Nudo with Leena Culhane and Brian Bornemann (Ashley Randall Photography)

LA Weekly