When Bombora, the newest restaurant in the Phillips Seafood group, opened this spring in Ocean City, it signaled a big change for the global company. The name "Phillips" was attached neither to the oceanfront dining establishment that was formerly called Phillips by the Sea nor the building—the Beach Plaza Hotel—where it is located.
"We wanted to simplify everything," says Steve Phillips, the company's CEO. "We wanted Bombora to have its own identity."
And, indeed, it does. The restaurant doesn't offer the typical Phillips menu of crab cakes and fried shrimp. Instead, it focuses on world cuisine with Asian and Latin influences with dishes such as sour-orange skirt steak with chimichurri sauce, shiitake pot stickers, and tikka-masala-braised chicken.
"We wanted to try something different with flavors and different foods," Phillips says. "We do a lot of business with Asia, Southeast Asia, and Ecuador, and thought it was a fun concept to bring those flavors to Ocean City."
The company also brought in executive chef Arturo Paz, who has worked at impressive restaurants from Los Angeles to Miami. Paz helped to open the Phillips restaurant in Atlantic City and spent time at the Baltimore Phillips.
Now, Paz and his wife Stephanie, who is also a chef at Bombora, have settled in the seaside town with their two-year-old son. The chef, who has an architecture background, is also helping to refurbish the landmark hotel on 13th Street and the boardwalk. Information: 410-289-9121.