Back in May, I was given a videography assignment that sent me to San Diego to film a high school championship lacrosse game. This was my first foray into San Diego in over ten years, and the last time I was there, I hung out in the dorms of UCSD and didn't get the chance to go out and explore town. (Okay, that was technically La Jolla so it really didn't count.) Now with a lot more latitude and an adventure companion, it was time to try some local cuisine!
Thanks to a quick Facebook shoutout to friends asking for suggestions, I received quite a few different restaurants to choose from. We made the decision to go for seafood and this place was actually mentioned twice from two different friends!
Anthony's Fish Grotto (9530 Murray Dr., La Mesa, CA 91942) is one of two locations in San Diego, the other one in the Downtown area. From start to finish, this restaurant did not disappoint.
For starters, our server brought in freshly baked dinner rolls and a sundried tomato whipped butter spread. This combination just melted together in your mouth. I probably could've stuffed my face with just this, but there was a few more surprises up ahead. Now I want to deconstruct this butter spread and recreate it at home.
The appetizer was freshly fried calamari with house marinara and tartar sauce for dipping. The calamari was tender and not chewy, and the breading was light, flavorful, and crispy. Both dipping sauces were light and didn't clump onto the calamari.
And now for the main courses. The first plate was a shrimp scampi sautéed in garlic butter, tomato, basil, and sherry sauce served on a bed of penne pasta tossed with parmesan cheese and butter. The shrimp was tender and melted off the fork (I'm going to use the word melt a lot in this review). The penne was cooked al dente, and the entire plate didn't last very long.
My dish was their trademark squid steak, sautéed in Italian breadcrumbs. I've had squid steaks that were too chewy or drenched in excessive amounts of oil, but this rendition was light, easy to cut, and yes, MELTED in your mouth. I requested a side of their garlic mashed potatoes and a rice pilaf (not pictured). The carrots were thrown in by mistake, but very well cooked and tender.
We were stuffed after this taste adventure so there was no dessert to be had this time. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time that we'll be visiting this place. Maybe we'll try the one in Downtown San Diego for a change.
The La Mesa location is right off Interstate 8, shares a parking lot with a Best Western Plus hotel, and is ideal for banquets and events. As for dining in San Diego, this place has definitely made the short list. Perhaps a gathering would be in order here? Who knows.
For more information about Anthony's Fish Grotto, visit http://www.anthonysfishgrotto.com/.
I don't normally stop in Carson for lunch, but there have been so many new restaurants as of late opening up in newly-remodeled shopping centers that never-before-seen ones have piqued my curiosity. The House of Seafood happened to be one of them, and it was a pleasant place to eat in lieu of the Swedish meatballs served at that one furniture store I picked up housewares from. One of the challenges about finding this place is that it's pretty far from a major road, and unless you were driving past it or trying to enter the South Bay Pavilion across the street, it is easy to miss. With that being said, this is what I thought about the food.
On this episode of "Tales on the Courier Shift," I get to see the worst side of customer service, as in the side that's lacking. I get it, service jobs are hard and have their share of difficulties. However, that gives nobody free license to act like complete a-holes to their peers, regardless if they're not working for the same company. We're all trying to make a living here so spending additional energy to make someone else's day a bit more difficult is a bit counter-productive and downright cruel.
What makes this incident particularly more evil was that I was being targeted specifically for the vehicle I was operating. I received the brunt end of the rage of the night manager of C&O Cucina (3016 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey, CA 90292) because of an unfounded fear that I was going to destroy the very food that I was being paid to deliver. Obviously, my role there was not to sabotage a delivery, but there he was, giving me a hard time in front of other delivery drivers.
In this episode of "Tales on the Courier Shift," I have to throw in a couple side notes. In regards to the "logistics" mentioned below, I had an arrangement with a roommate to where he could borrow my car to drive to work. With that being said, there was a slight miscommunication one particular weekend and I had to make other plans aside from hockey. At the least, I was able to bring in a little cash for the inconvenience.
I had firemen on the brain because it was another one of those "forever alone" Valentine's Day weekends. A guy I was dating at the time had dumped me the week prior in the an awkward fashion (right after a nice lunch together of all-you-can-eat Brazilian pizza...thanks a lot). So to feel a little better, I went on an impromptu photo shoot at an IKEA and then proceeded to watch Fifty Shades of Grey (alone) on opening weekend. Note to self, that's the last time I'd ever date anyone, break up, and then date again. You had your chance, dude.
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd. His skin was pale and his eye was odd. And he lives in Marina del Rey. Okay, I made the last part up. But it was cool to find this street and take a photo of it.