Grilled Chilean Seabass
Pan Fried Alaskan Halibut
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Sometimes deciding where to go for dinner can become such a chore you almost want to pull your hair out. Tell me if this sounds familiar. You ask a relative or friend, “where would you like to go”, and the answer is usually, “I don’t care”. If there is more than two in the group everyone generally responds in the same way, getting you nowhere. Or they can be more opinionated. Some desiring upscale goods while others wanting to keep it simple. What to do, what to do? We’ve got the answer for you, The Fishery in Pacific Beach.
Family owned since 1998, The Fishery fronts the core of their organization, Pacific Shellfish Seafood Company, which is a wholesaler of fine seafood. The Fishery has the benefit of carrying arguably the most extensive and freshest seafood and shellfish in San Diego. The building itself is a fine traditional brick structure with a completely remodeled interior, a true shining point of Pacific Beach. The inside says it all as you walk squarely into a full size seafood counter brimming with some of the freshest fish you’ll ever see.
It’s really no wonder that the seafood is going to be fantastic. You know exactly where it’s coming from, and just how fresh it is. The fish aren’t quite staring you in the face, but pretty darn close. The restaurant itself is a juxtaposition of two worlds. The interior and outside patio are simple, no frills in their décor, but then the food starts to arrive, well presented and incredible to taste. Basically, while looking at the décor you may think, “hmmm, Red Lobster” (sans the fishnets on the wall), but once sampling the food you know you're not in no chain restaurant.
The meal started with some fine appetizers, Steamed Clams (with a green chile broth, chorizo and cilantro) and Calamari (with a chipotle tartar and queso fresco). Okay so hold the phone and stop the presses, all we can say is, “um, like, tremendous!!” The clams were so fresh (see there’s that word again, get used to it at The Fishery) that they were almost unnaturally succulent and the broth simply out-of-this-world. The grilled bread was amazing for dipping. If that wasn’t enough, the calamari was truly extraordinary. Never have we sampled calamari that displayed such a soft texture and, with the subtle crunchy breaded exterior, incredibly delicious and not fishy in the least. We even asked what there secret was, why were they so tender, not chewy at all. Our server informed us of the secret but swore us to a confidentiality agreement.
For our dinner entrees we feasted on the Grilled Chilean Seabass (with soy ginger marinade, grilled zucchini and jasmine rice) and Pan Fried Alaskan Halibut (with a sun dried tomato pesto, grilled asparagus and mashed potatoes). Both exceeded expectations and with the Chilean Seabass (here we go again) laying claim to being utterly astounding. Sorry, but once again, it’s true, and that is the magic of the Fishery, spectacular fresh seafood that will simply take your breath away. The seabass was so moist and fabulous that we squabbled over sharing every bite. The Halibut was surprisingly breaded (didn’t expect it from the menu description) but it too was very tasty and enjoyable and the fish very tender. The accompanying potatoes and asparagus made for a superb meal.
The greatest testament to any restaurant is the clientele they keep and what was immediately obvious at The Fishery was the amount of locals that filled the venue to capacity. There is no greater accolade than locals calling a place home for their meals, and The Fishery has certainly provided that. The Fishery is not terribly expensive, but don’t expect to get away without a small dent in your wallet. But hey, seafood this fresh is worth paying for. So make haste and make plans to visit The Fishery for some of the best seafood to be had. Enjoy!
- City: N. Pacific Beach, CA 92109
- Phone: (858) 272-9985
- Name: The Fishery: Restaurant & Market
- Address: 5040 Cass Street