This fregola recipe was inspired by a dish I had at the award-winning restaurant 1500 Ocean at the Del Coronado, on Coronado Island near San Diego. This superb 19th-century resort is one of the few remaining grand hotels of that era with huge terraces overlooking the ocean and incomparable service. This was where Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Cutrtis shot the classic comedy Some Like It Hot. Watch it again and you will see that the Del was also the star.
The luxurious restaurant serves up California coastal cuisine – essentially an eclectic take on local seafood and meat. The fregola is served with a rich tomato, seafood sauce, quickly sautéed shrimp and finished with saffron aioli, much like a bouillabaisse would be.