Top 2: Best Seafood Restaurants in San Diego

These are 2 great seafood restaurants San Diego has to offer

Crab Catcher in La Jolla

It's nothing unexpected that a city flanked by the sea excels at serving seafood. San Diego's seafood restaurants shift profoundly in looks, price and offerings, however all make them have one thing in common: excellent fish. 

Let's take a look at some of San Diego’s best seafood restaurants. 

2. Blue Point Coastal Cuisine

565 Fifth Avenue, San Diego
Ph (619) 233-6623

Embracing a 1940s New York style with the sounds of Sinatra, Blue Point Coastal has reinvented itself after 15 years. Although it still has the familiar oyster bar, location and decor, Executive Chef Daniel Barron is creating quite a stir with some innovative and flamboyant creations. After a circuitous route through various cities and kitchens, Chef Daniel moved to San Diego from AnQi in Costa Mesa. While at AnQi, the restaurant menu was named by Gayot as one of the top 10 in the U.S. for molecular gastronomy.

Chef Daniel worked with Blue Point’s culinary staff for about two months (after he arrived six months ago) before starting to make the menu his own; adding new dishes and flavors to the menu, while bringing a new chemistry to the restaurant with the use of new wave cooking ideas and kitchen gadgets. The good news is that the molecular part is not over the top, and the food courses are not so small as to leave the dining experience wanting.

Instead, Chef Daniel provides more traditional dining with a flare, and has introduced some exciting concepts. The dining experience begins with a series of appetizers, including salmon tartar with crème fraiche and tempura crispies. Indigo, a pre-dinner beverage is also a delight, combining liquid nitrogen, carbonated citrus water, Bacardi limon, lavender-blackberry mash and fresh sweetened lemon; this drink literally presents a “smoking” effect at a -355 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many seafood restaurants serve sushi/sashimi, but not like the Tuna Masa of Chef Daniel. He takes Ahi and Hiramasa sashimi and puts them together with white panzu, chile gel, and wakame; the combination of the natural ingredients binds the two together, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing and savory dish. They also have a maggi-ginger ceviche prawns, local sea bass, served with an avocado mousse and rice crackers. The Pacific sea bass with braised pork belly, Kabocha squash, on a spinach puree with sweet soy valencia glaze is also a treat, featuring pork belly cooked sous vide at 55 degrees for 20 hours. And for those that like to think that dining is like being in a candy store, try the lobster lollipops with chili caramel corn nuts and citrus.

1. Crab Catcher Restaurant and Seaside Grill

1298 Prospect Street, La Jolla
Ph: (858) 454-9587

Fronted by the expanse of the Pacific and rugged shores of La Jolla’s coast, the Crab Catcher is reminiscent of seaside New England. Family owned for about 25 years, with a family member and Executive Chef Jeff Burwell directing the culinary activities in the kitchen, this has been a perennial crowd pleaser. Although a substantial amount of their business is from tourists (not surprising as it is in La Jolla), locals continue to return.

The Macadamia Prawns, with sweet and spicy cucumbers and chili plum sauce, is an enjoyable way to start a meal, as are the Crab Cakes Royale (lump meat crab cakes with sweet onion charred, a tomato relish, and a whole grain mustard remoulade). These dishes whet your appetite for the main event - in this case, half of a Maine lobster over semolina pappardelle, with fresh herbs and sherry lobster cream. The scallops – served with creamy leek and blue crab risotto, with cippolini onions and a saffron vanilla sauce was imaginative and a top choice.

Extending the outdoor dining experience with La Jolla’s ambiance, the Crab Catcher also hosts a sushi bar and private dining to celebrate special occasions. Should you want the best view in the house, ask for table 20 with an ocean view from inside or table 75 for outside dining; both of which provide dramatic views that compliment their seafood flavors.