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Feb 22, 2010 11:13 AM

Fish Market, Sea Rocket or Oceanaire

We're in SD for two more nights. We LOVE seafood. where should we go. We don't mind spending a reasonable amount of money on a great meal. IF there are places other than those listed above, please let me know.

How about Fish Maket, Sea Rocket or Oceanaire?

Also, where is the best place in town for fish tacos?

We went to Sushi Ota last night based on recs on this board. We liked it but were not blown away.

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  1. Fish Market is a very San Diego experience - right on the water with some great views. Not a fan of the actual menu but the Sushi Bar is top notch (not on par with Kaito sushi but damn fine).

    Oceanaire is great and classy and reminds my of a NY Supper Club. I say Fish Market for sunset drinks and apps, then a late meal at Oceanaire.

    Don't overlook Pt. Loma Seafoods, but get it to go and follow the scenic route signs up to Cabrillo Monument for one of the best views in all of San Diego.

    Mariscos German is my go-to place for fish tacos.

    1. Tghe above poster is spot on. I however prefer the upstairs resteraunt at the fish market. It is a little finer and the vies are fantastic. It is a little more reserved then downstairs which is still very good. Linen upstairs, no linen downstairs.

      Oceanaire is great it is like a Mortons for sea food. Lots of choices. They have the most fantastic crab cakes.

      Mariscos German is great for fish tacos. It is an outside truck, very rustic, located on the corner of University and Wilson. Each order comes with a fish broth.

      1 Reply
      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

        Agreed with both NHF and EW... These three restaurants exhibit three different styles and pricepoints. I especially like NHF's description of Oceanaire as "like a Mortons for sea food"... Well said.

        As to Sushi Ota, I'm not surprised. For whatever reason S.D. Sushi fans have traditionally fawned over that shop, but it's really an unfair example of San Diego Sushi, and it certainly would not be represented by the Fish Market either.

        If you want to taste the best of Sushi in S.D., (I think you'd really miss out if you didn't), I'd highly recommend (as will many others on these boards) Kaito Sushi in Encinitas. There's plenty written up about them on these boards.

      2. IMHO Oceanaire pales in comparison to Truluck's in La Jolla/UTC. Also a small chain but generally a little better priced and more consistent in quality preparation. All you can eat stone crabs on Mondays.

        13 Replies
        1. re: eatemup

          "All you can eat stone crabs on Mondays."

          What do they charge?

          1. re: stevewag23

            $50 for AYCE stone crab plus AYCE soup and salad. That's where we're going tonight. Can't pass on the stone crab considering how little you would get for $50 in Toronto.

            We're hitting Mariscos German for tacos tomorrow for lunch and Fish Market for dinner tomorrow night.

            Thanks very much for the tips.

            We may stay Wedensday in SD night too (we're kinda falling in love with with your City), so any good suggestions for excellent pizza? We have to start watching our food budget :-)

            Also, is Kaito Sushi very expensive, more expensive than Sushi Ota for example?
            We have a crazy good sushi place in Toronto, Sushi Kaji, but we can only afford to go there once a year. They only do omakaze. We're going when we get back home, for our anniversary, so we may skip Kaito if it's in the same league as Kaji.

            1. re: acd123

              Kaito is not more expensive than Ota, and if anything, it's relatively cheaper for the quality of fish that you're getting. It's a no-frills place in a strip mall. You can do omakase or order what you want or a combo of both. We had an excellent omakase for 4 for about $300, tax and tip included. No booze, though.

              I was at Trulucks' once and had one of the worst meals in my life. It was a business meeting and the entree was ok, at best but one of the side dishes was made w/ poblano chilies and came out as a dark green, puky-like mess. Very unappetizing visually. I can get over bad visuals if it tastes good, but the dish was flat, overly earthy and grassy and underflavored all around. Hopefully the stone crabs are better!

              I have yet to have a bad meal at Oceanaire.

              1. re: daantaat

                I'd give Truluck's another shot. They are very consistent with very fresh fish. I tried Oceanaire three times and never had a dish cooked properly (except the raw oysters which Malarky couldn't screw up). I gave up on anything but the bar after the third bad experience.

                1. re: eatemup

                  good to know. Maybe I'll have better luck next time!

                  1. re: eatemup

                    "except the raw oysters which Malarky couldn't screw up"

                    The oysters are the best thing at Oceanaire.

                    Was Malarky wearing a fedora when you went?

                2. re: acd123

                  I go there so often that for curiosity's sake I decided one day to load up a few months of Kaito bills into a spreadsheet. (I know, I know...) Anyway it turns out that after tax and tip of Omakase-only meals >1/5 of the meals were under $50 pp, nearly 1/2 were under $60, and nearly 80% were under $70. Not bad at all, especially considering the over-the-top food quality.

                  However, the following is absolutely free:

                  100% customer-submitted pics of their Sushi (1,458 pics by last count!):

                  slideshow of past ingredient arrivals:

                  customer-produced short (click to play):

                  a shop that does the traditional prep everyday:

                  (Yeah, they also have the most enthusiastic customers around!)

                  1. re: cgfan

                    I think you need to change your name to skfan. :D

                    I definitely need to get myself to Kaito. Problem is, my girl doesn't particularly care for sushi. She goes, but I guess I'll stick her in the rolls section while I feast!

                    1. re: deeznuts

                      Well Kaito's operative philosophy seems to be that they're the experts, so they don't expect their customers to be... So you'll find no "naughty chair" section for roll eaters nor be shown the exit door by just thinking of a roll.

                      Just explain the situation to your chef and you'll find that they'll fulfill both orders while trying to figure out the puzzle of what might be a good "gateway Nigiri" for her to try. It really is a relaxed atmosphere where they don't take themselves too seriously (but the Sushi, yes). If anything they are very good at explaining things and one invariably bumps up in Sushi IQ a couple of notches with every visit one makes.

                      1. re: cgfan

                        I was being a little facetious but thanks for the pointers. She's quite open to things, but she just doesn't dig on sushi so that's that lol.

                        I think I found a picture of the ultimate sushi chef. Doesn't get more serious than that.

                      2. re: deeznuts

                        Kaito has a menu of non-sushi items and they're happy to bring it out at the sushi bar. We had dinner w/ someone who was not a sushi eater and she seemed pretty content w/ the menu stuff.

                    2. re: acd123

                      For pizza I'd check out either Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano or Blind Lady Alehouse

                3. I think that a comparison of these three spots needs to factor in the radical difference in their philosophies - Sea Rocket takes great pains to source locally, and to only serve sustainably sourced seafood (yay, alliteration). For me, that will always put them above the other two.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Josh

                    The Fishery in PB and El Pescador in LJ are great seafood spots.