San Diego's Super Seafood Markets
Oct 25th 2010 5:15PM / by Nanette Wiser
Seafood markets are a San Diego staple, a tribute to the tuna fishing fleets once strongly represented here as well as today's sportfishing passion. If you like farm-to-fork, you'll love these reel-to-real seafood markets, where you can dine in or take out. What they lack in fancy decor, they make up in authentic, simple fare, providing recipes, seasonings and advice on how best to prepare sushi or crab cakes at home. Be patient, lunch is a zoo, so jiggle your schedule for before or after the noon rush.
Bo's Seafood Market & Grill: Local brews, fresh seafood salads, sandwiches and some of the best Baja fish tacos in town star at Bo's, a neighborhood eatery open for both lunch and dinner. Pair a Yellowtail Pale Ale with oysters on the half shell, homemade tuna salad, seared ahi Caesar or any of the Louies, or fill up on beer battered halibut and chips with a healthy side of steamed vegetables. Small but quaintly elegant.
1040 University Ave., Hillcrest; 619-574-2800
Sushi Yaro (formerly Convoy Sushi and Fish Market): It's the ultimate cheap sushi spot, with $4.99 lunch specials and all sushi rolls having 12 pieces, accompanied by seaweed salad, edamame and heaps of pickled ginger. In addition to the veggie, spicy tuna, unagi and New York rolls, you can get a decent plate of fish and chips and spicy ceviche at Sushi Yaro. Need 70 sashimi for a brain-food business lunch? Enjoy yum yum rolls, oyster shooters and more at a discounted happy hour daily from 5pm to 6:30pm, washed down by sake and Sapporo.
7905 Engineer Rd., Kearny Mesa; 858-560-1782
El Pescador Fish Market: Come for the clam chowder, stay for the grilled scallop with garlic sauce. From simple to sublime, El Pescador is a cozy, delicious fish den that will not disappoint in service or freshness. Favorites include the Dungeness crab cocktail, cioppino, chargrilled garlicky seabass sandwich, teriyaki salmon burger and a huge portion of fish or shrimp tacos with cooling cabbage salad. Share a table and you might get a bite of your neighbor's sashimi. No alcohol.
627 Pearl St., La Jolla; 858-456-2526
The Fishery: Tucked away from the main drag, savvy locals tuck into The Fishery's Tuesday Tasting menu and count on the excellent gourmet seafood dishes and boutique wine list, one that includes a fishy-sounding Sea Dog Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale. Start with Northwest crab cakes with a tangerine vinaigrette or clams bordelaise, then share Oregon pink shrimp Louis and a blackened local rock fish sandwich with corn and avocado relish, or the swordfish tacos with cilantro coleslaw. The Neptune brunch with swordfish sausage Benedict, shrimp chorizo chilaquiles, cured salmon bacon, king salmon omelet and mimosas is unforgettable.
5040 Cass St., Pacific Beach; 858-272-9985
2805 Emerson St., Point Loma; 619-223-1109
Sportsmen's Seafoods: Sportsmen's is a throwback to an era when the Portuguese and Italians made a living fishing. While enjoying the best fish and chips I've ever eaten, my posse and I were entertained by the marauding seagulls until one left a calling card on my baseball cap. Who cares? The deep-fried fish (especially clams and shrimp) doesn't get better, especially when eaten at the picnic table overlooking Mission Bay, bobbing sailboats and the occasional seal.
1617 Quivira Rd., Mission Bay; 619-224-3551
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