Chef Spayde Chooses His Favorite Blue Wave Dishes & Cocktails

Here at Best Western Island Palms in sunny San Diego, we often find ourselves reaching for a refreshing drink or a snack that pays homage to California’s health-food culture. When we do, it is invariably one of Chef Spayde’s creations at Blue Wave Bar & Grill, which have garnered a loyal following among locals. 

While we may be closed at the moment in order to help keep our staff, guests, and families safe, we’re definitely looking forward to welcoming everyone back soon. Until then, let’s take a walk through some of our favorite such cocktails and dishes In order to whet your appetite for our re-opening. With some extra time on our hands….do we dare you to try making some of these from home? Your family will undoubtedly be impressed!

Ahi Napoleon Dish

Ahi Napoleon 

“While we’ve had an ahi-poke dish on the menu for many years now, this updated version is one of my favorite things on the menu. It’s fun to build and plate, and it’s the type of item that everyone asks about when a server walks through the dining room with it.”


“I love our riff on the Mai-Tai. It’s our slight twist on the classic Trader Vic formula, where the only juice in the drink is fresh lime juice. Ours is a very rum-forward version that uses both Jamaican and Bajan rum, dry curaçao, orgeat, and allspice bitters. It’s a fantastically balanced cocktail that is a classic for the very good reason that it is delicious.”


Adios Calvados 

“This is our take on the dive bar classic Adios MF. We call ours the Adios Calvados because we swap out the gin, vodka, tequila, and rum for a Calvados brandy. We keep the blue curaçao and Sprite to keep the (pun intended) spirit fun. This is the cocktail to order poolside mid-day.”

Veggie Grain Bowl

“This is a vegetarian option on the menu that features farmers-market vegetables as the star of the show.”

Fried Pickled Mix

“This is one of my favorites because it’s the most fun to prepare. It boasts a rotating chef’s selection of pickled vegetables dipped in our Thorn St. Brewery Barrio Lager batter and fried until crispy and golden. Prepping for this dish allows me to be creative, in that I get to make and experiment with different flavor combinations of vegetables, spices, and vinegars.”

Filet Mignon

“This is a classic that for the most part has remained unchanged on the menu since I started in 2012. What’s not to love about a great steak, cooked perfectly, with classic accompaniments?”

We don’t know about you, but cocktail hour seems to be clocking in earlier and earlier, these days. We challenge you to re-create that mai-tai from home, and tag us at #IslandPalms to show us your attempts! Happy Happy Hour’ing!