Went out to the Fishery on Thursday for the s.o.'s b-day and had a pretty good meal. It had been over a year since we had gone last, following the "grand re-opening", and wanted to see how things were holding up. For a Thursday night it was quite busy and, by around halfway through our meal at 8pm, almost every table had guests. Not packed, but a good crowd.
I was quite happy to see quite a mix of folks including locals and tourists and 2-3 families with young kids. This was our first meal "out" since returning from France and Germany almost a month ago and I'd have to say I was really impressed to have such a nice setting/ambiance. I often find service and attention is quite rushed in SoCal - even laid-back PB - and this was a refreshing change of pace. Service was really spot on and we were well taken care of.
Fried Calamari w/ Marinara Dipping sauce - always a fave at the Fishery. The mountain of calamari they serve as an appetizer is enough for several people, but we put our heads down and made our way through it. Light, crispy batter, very fresh and well executed cooking.
Lobster Bisque - hard to go wrong here. Very nice bisque with nice chunks of lobster on top accompanied with freshly made croutons.
BBQ Mahi-Mahi - this was the winner of the night in terms of fish, but the accompanying sauces were both a little too heavy handed. The Pomegranate Habenero sauce was pretty much just liquid heat and the BBQ Sauce was kind of so-so. However, the Mahi-Mahi was perfectly cooked and, with the fresh corn salad, made for an instant sense of summer BBQ perfection on their own without the sauce.
Fried Lobster - this was a very generous tail piece of local spiny lobster, but ended up a little overdone and suffered as a result. Everything accompanying the lobster was fantastic, down to the nice breaded crust used for frying. Local squash, kale, and pomegranate were placed in a potato puree under the split tail and we both noticed that a lot of attention seemed to be placed on the use of local, seasonal produce.
Desserts - these were both unexpected highlights of the evening. I actually had bought truffles for after supper as we don't normally eat dessert, but after the fried calamari, we were both craving sweets. I had a simple, but expertly prepared Creme Brulee, which was easily better than any one that I had during our recent trip to France. She had a Flourless Chocolate Cake w/ Peanut Butter Ice Cream. I think almost anyone can make this cake pretty flawlessly so it wasn't surprising that it was good, but the ice cream was out of this world! Almost more peanut butter than ice cream and a great mix of smooth, chewy and crunchy textures.
All in all it wasn't perfect, but I've never gone to the Fishery expecting more than a great piece of fish. I think they are making a nice slow progression to being a very reliable neighborhood restaurant with sensible ingredient choices - a niche market that PB could use a lot more of.
5040 Cass Street, San Diego, CA 92109