On the Menu: Seafood lovers fall hook, line and sinker for Point Loma Fish Shop
About a dozen years ago, a salty crew of guys had a vision to navigate the shoals of fast-casual seafood dining in Southern California. Only a month after owners Billy Ramirez, Eric Leitstein and Doug Sondomowiz tied their vessel to Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, the Fish Shop burned in a kitchen fire and had to be closed temporarily.
The PB community embraced the renovated eatery with open arms and with lines longer than the cast of a fishing pole. The owners expanded to Encinitas and then in 2018 docked the Point Loma Fish Shop at the corner of Rosecrans and Canon streets. It received as warm a reception as its pair of sister shops.
At the helm of the quaint family- and pet-friendly Point Loma shop are Oscar Saldana, the general manager, and Larry Alva, the operations manager. They take pride in the sustainability of their ingredients, the freshness of house-made sauces, marinades and dressings, their support of local purveyors, their steady stream of loyal customers, their welcoming environment and attentive wait staff, and their newly acquired liquor license.
The shop just launched a craft cocktail program with frozen offerings served throughout the summer, along with a beer of the month featuring local craft brews from Society, Resident Brewing and Lost Abbey.
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Breezes from San Diego Bay waft through the wraparound patio, while savory aromas of fresh seafood fill the cozy joint. The warm decor blends nautical and utilitarian elements with plenty of reclaimed wood, butcher-block tables, azure-painted walls and anchor and marlin motifs.
Big-screen televisions are plastered throughout the restaurant to cover major sports events, while giant garage doors that double as walls roll open to give an indoor/outdoor flow.
Here diners can kick back and chow down on the Fish Shop’s signature TKO (Total Knock Out) taco. A flour tortilla is piled high with grilled (local and sustainable) mahi mahi in a dry Cajun rub with shredded cabbage, mixed cheeses, tropical pico de gallo blending mango, papaya and pineapple, and a drizzle of white sauce made in-house.
Other popular dishes include tempura-style Alaskan cod and chips, lemon butter marinated swordfish sandwich on a toasted bun with house tartar sauce and pickled red onion, and daily seasonal specials such as blackened salmon wraps and a monthly seafood pasta.
Alva also recommends the loaded fries, “a play on the animal fries at In-N-Out Burger.” This towering extravaganza starts with a mound of fries layered with sassy seasoned mahi mahi, sriracha aioli, avocado lime drizzle and pico de gallo.
There’s more. The 1-2-3 component of the menu lets you compose your own dish by first choosing the type of fish, depending on the season, including wild-caught red snapper, diver scallops, sea bass, ahi, albacore and Mexican white shrimp. Then you select a marinade, from garlic butter to teriyaki glaze. And finally, you pick the mode of presentation, whether it be a salad, sandwich, plate or taco.
After 4 p.m. Thursdays there are four kinds of oysters raw on the half shell for $1.25 each (rotating seasonally).
Some Fish Shop tacos are designated for specific charities, such as the elote mahi mahi taco smothered in corn, jalapenos, blackened seasoning and cotija cheese, with a portion of the proceeds donated to It’s All About the Kids, an organization that provides meals for disadvantaged children in San Diego County. Wednesday evenings are slugged “Give Back Nights,” with a portion of sales donated to participating local schools.
“One thing we’re especially proud of is that we followed all the mandates and never closed our doors during COVID,” Alva said. “The delivery apps gave people a chance to experience our fresh, unique, flavorful and healthy dishes, and we since garnered a lot of regular customers.”
Point Loma Fish Shop
Where: 1110 Rosecrans St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Information: thefishshops.com/point-loma, (619) 756-7778
Chipotle lime salmon
• 4 salmon fillets
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 chipotle chili in adobo (2 if they are smaller)
• 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
• Juice from 1 lime
• 1 tablespoon lime zest
• 1 tablespoon honey
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• Combine oil, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, lime juice, honey, cumin and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
• Place salmon on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and season with salt and pepper.
• Set oven rack six inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high.
• Coat salmon with chipotle sauce and broil for 8 to 10 minutes. Add another coating of sauce halfway through the cooking time.
• Sprinkle with lime zest and serve with sides, such as roasted seasonal vegetables and jasmine rice.
Note: If you prefer to grill the salmon, turn the grill on high heat to 450 to 500 degrees. Place the salmon skin side down on the grill and coat with chipotle sauce. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and recoat, then cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
— Courtesy of Point Loma Fish Shop