The Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga Resort & Casino will be on the 2013 list of Four Diamond restaurants, it was recently announced.
The ranking is so elite that only 35 restaurants in all of Southern California received this designation of excellence in the 2012 list.
“This was totally unexpected and came with almost perfect timing,” said Pechanga Development President Joaquin Fletcher in a released statement.
“This has been a goal of our culinary department since the day we opened the resort’s doors in 2002, and to finally get it on our 10th Anniversary is just tremendous. We take this rating as a pledge to provide the absolute best dining experiences possible to our guests,”Fletcher said.
The resort’s hotel has received the coveted Four Diamond rating since 2003 and has once again made the cut for 2013.
However, with far more restaurants in America than there are hotels, yet with 1,491 lodgings receiving a four diamond rating and only 754 restaurants, it is considered far more difficult for a restaurant to attain this achievement.
“Two years ago, when I joined the Pechanga team, I knew the Great Oak had what it took to become Four Diamond, and we made it a priority to achieve this rating,” said Vice President of Food & Beverage Dennis Khanh.
“It is a long list of people who helped to make this a reality. My hat goes off to Chef Martin Venegas, Manager Jason Hollida, Executive Chefs Duane Owen and Thierry Bregeon, and Food & Beverage Directors Pam Toscano and Patrick Gerard.”
Chef Venegas believes his culinary team has been critical to the development of a world class menu. “The Great Oak kitchen is second to none and I would put the quality and presentation of the dishes up to the world’s best Steakhouses,” said Venegas.
A recent addition to the Great Oak menu has been the 30oz Long Bone Rib Eye. More new items are scheduled to be added in the coming weeks.
Great Oak Manager Jason Hollida considers the customer service provided by the long term staff as key to the restaurant’s success. “Seven of our eight servers have been with us since the day the doors opened to the Steakhouse a decade ago,” explained Hollida.
“The eighth has been with us for eight years. Our wait staff knows every detail of our kitchen, wine list and information about the resort. We provide personalized service for our customer base, many of whom have been regularly dining here since the beginning.”
To become AAA Diamond rated, hotels and restaurants undergo a thorough inspection by one of AAA’s full-time professional evaluators. AAA rates more properties than any other rating entity and is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations.
The Diamond rating process was introduced in 1977 for hotels and 1989 for restaurants and is recognized as one of the most trusted rating processes for North American travelers.
*Contributed by Pechanga Resort & Casino