Google+ Two-Wheeled Tourist: July 2016


Quick Bites: Anthony's Fish Grotto (La Mesa, CA)

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

Anthony's Fish Grotto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato