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Dec 20, 2008 01:25 PM

Joao's Tin Fish - Liberty Station SD

Interested to hear if anyone had been here yet? It seems like -from some internet research- that this may be the only other Portuguese option in SD outside of -galia.

Apparently the Portuguese fellow who opened Da Kines in the same complex opened up this franchise of the Tin Fish chain and he has put some Portuguese family recipes on the menu. I know only camarao peri peri is for sure.

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  1. Living in Pt. Loma we have been twice. Both times were very disappointing. First the service is weak. Even with just two or three table occupied(whichi is the most I'v ever seen) they can’t get it right. Second the food is weaker. Fish and chips greasy. Sliders like little burnt rocks. Finally, I think it is very displeasing to see old tuna fishing footage being played over and over showing tuna and dolphin being slaughtered.

    1. What Scout says. We live in PL too and were very excited to have TF at Liberty Station. After a couple of tries, we are not going back ever. Service is worse than weak - it is incompetent. Food is just ok. Its already a hangout for the locals - not a good thing in this case. Our second visit we dined in the bar area between several tables of locals who remained seated but carried on a loud conversation right through our table. This went on for our entire meal. All the while, the endless loop of home video played on, including fisherman cutting off the head of a swordfish and then dancing around the deck with the severed head.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sdnativa

        Scout and Sdnativa.. We are visiting a few days to liberty station/point loma area. I hear it is very nice for families and not too far from downtown. We will have a rental car. Not sure if we are better just taking cabs to tour old town etc or do cabs offer car seats for children? If we dine we would like to have more then 1 drink with dinner. Point loma seafood we plan to go to for lunch and pick up marisco german fish tacos as well...
        which would you suggest for mexican super cocina or miguels cocina? i belive both brigantine owners.

        1. re: palmtree38

          Please visit Super Cocina if you are coming to SD - its the pride of the sd chowhound community

          1. re: palmtree38

            Miguels is owned by the Brig owners, not SC. I would really steer clear of Miguels, we find it so awful that my husband refers to their dishes as dog food. Super Cocina is da bomb!

          2. re: sdnativa

            "All the while, the endless loop of home video played on, including fisherman cutting off the head of a swordfish and then dancing around the deck with the severed head."

            Ah, the traditional Dances with Swordfish Head ritual. Few have been fortunate enough to witness it in person.

          3. So nobody has tried any Portuguese dishes here? Or seen them offered? Thats my only concern.

            7 Replies
            1. re: kare_raisu

              oh I think i had super cocina mixed up with miguels cocina..

              So everyone approves of super cocina? which would be better for good food and upbeat atmosphere between super cocina and casa guadalajara???

              1. re: palmtree38

                Everyone probably approves of Super Cocina and the food is most likely going to be a bit better, but the atmosphere will be far nicer at Casa Guadalajara. I don't think anyone disapproves of Casa Guadalajara fwiw.

              2. re: kare_raisu

                I just saw pictures on the net of this place this looks like casual take out. I think I would rather pick up food at german mariscus.. Looks good but I was looking for another sit down restaurant for dinner for mexican.. I think with casa having mariachi at nigiht this maybe more fun.

                1. re: palmtree38

                  You can eat at Super Cocina. You have to decide whether you want good food or 'interesting' atmosphere. It looks like you are going more for atmosphere...

                  1. re: kare_raisu

                    yes if we need another pick up lunch restaurant we will pick it up from super cocina and take it back to eat at our hotel. For dinner out we will pick Casa.. they have happy hour too from 4-7pm free appys and $5 margaritas..
                    Thanks for your info~ Happy new years!

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      I can't see how carry out with a 20+ minute drive (probably 30 minutes with parking and getting back to the room) is going to leave the food tasting good.

                    2. re: kare_raisu

                      Having yet to make it down to Romesco, how's the atmosphere there?

                2. I lived in Portugal for 8 years and having lived in Point Loma since then, I can honestly say that, aside from the Virrisimo's sandwich place that no longer exists, the Tin Fish has the most delicious Portuguese food in San Diego. The food is authentic and the ingredients are fresh. The service was great as well. They also serve sumo de maracuja :) I tried Portugalia a couple times and never went back. I heard a rumor that the guy got his recipes off the internet, which is kind of ridiculous when considering that his family is Portuguese and he could have just asked them. Anyway, Joao's Tin Fish is the way to go!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: froglemonade

                    I'm glad to see the thread make it's way back to the topic. I have been there a couple of times also and had been disappointed by the food and service. The first time I went it took an hour to get our food and it was not busy. The impression I got was that the problem was with the kitchen not the service staff which were nice enough, but they can't serve food that's not prepared. I did not, however, try any of the Portuguese items. I stuck to the seafood. I did get to try the Portuguese Sweet Bread which tasted like wonder bread and for $3 per slice was not nearly as good as other versions I've tried from the neighborhood. At first, I thought it was a nice touch to including the fishing videos because it is such an important part of the history of the Portuguese in Point Loma, until I saw one of those gorry scenes mentioned above. It's a bit difficult to take while eating. If I give it another try, I'll request a table where the TVs are not visable. frog..., what dishes would you recommend?

                    1. re: sdnosh

                      I hope people give this place another chance. We've been twice now. Service was fine. I saw no evidence of the gory fishing videos and the Portuguese style fish was delish! We got yellowtail with a wonderful sauteed onion/peppers/garlic topping. I was not overwhelmed by the fish and chips, but am anxious to go back and try the ethnic recipes.

                  2. Is this the same owners as the Tin Fish that is next to Petco Park/IB Pier?
                    When did it become a Portuguesa restaurant?
                    It's always been a fish taco place for us to sop up all the beer after hanging at Petco.

                    Totally agree scout and sdnativa on the severed head dance...nothing says lets eat like a severed head with blood and guts oozing

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Beach Chick

                      Tin Fish is a franchise with a twist in that the franchisee has some freedom in determining the menu and the name of the restaurant. If you check out the Tin Fish website you will see that there are a bunch of them around San Diego.