Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Coastal clam chowder is perfectly peppery

The Solana Beach Fish House redeems a not-so-scenic strip mall.

The fish taco may be front and center, but the clam chowder and black beans were the stars.
The fish taco may be front and center, but the clam chowder and black beans were the stars.
Place

Solana Beach Fish House

124 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach

Marlin isn't on the menu, it's on the wall.

The Solana Beach Fish House is located just across the street from the train station in an unassuming strip mall. Not exactly the prime piece of beachfront real estate you might imagine visiting when you’re craving seafood in coastal San Diego. But plentiful parking, affordable prices, good food, and a relaxed setting just might convince you to sacrifice the ocean view.

I visited the Fish House on a weekday, and was excited to find lunchtime specials served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. The deals aren’t skimpy, either. There are over 15 options including tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and fish and chips, all ranging from $6 to $9.95.

I settled on a combo plate with a bowl of New England clam chowder, grilled fish taco, side of black beans, and tortilla chips. The meal included a soda too, but I always prefer to drink sugar in the form of alcohol, so I opted to upgrade to a crisp Ballast Point Pale Ale.

I placed my order at the counter, and contemplated posting up in the whimsical dining room — think fishing nets, buoys, shells, twinkle lights, and a stuffed blue marlin — or grabbing a seat outside on the casual patio. Fresh air and sunshine won over the cliché interior design.

The clam chowder was smooth and creamy, packed with clams, and well seasoned. There was no need to add hot sauce because the broth was perfectly peppery, which was complemented by the brightness of fresh dill. It was an unexpected herbal touch, and I was all about it.

Our proximity to Baja California makes legit fish tacos easy to find. The Fish House featured an unconventional prep on the grilled version, which included a generous portion of chopped and blackened white fish, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a grated blend of jack and cheddar cheeses. I had high hopes for the seasoned fish, but was ultimately disappointed in the lack of a spice kick. I also longed to replace the tasteless cheese with the acidic bite of a traditional sour cream or mayonnaise-based citrus sauce.

The tortilla chips proved to be a good delivery device for the cumin-heavy black beans, and the varying textures complemented the meal nicely. I liked the beans so much that I have since attempted to duplicate the preparation at home. Cumin is an obvious and common addition, but I’ve never had a version that’s so in-your-face. I honestly feel like I’ve been missing out for far too long.

Next time I’m in the area, I’ll stop by for another bowl of chowder — which I’m already craving — and give their fish and chips a try while I’m at it.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Kahlee310’s snitch rapper reactions

“He’d literally do anything for the money or fame”
Next Article

Building paradise in San Diego

Mission Valley, Tijuana gardens, Otay Mesa, downtown skyscrapers, One Paseo, Rancho Santa Fe mansion
The fish taco may be front and center, but the clam chowder and black beans were the stars.
The fish taco may be front and center, but the clam chowder and black beans were the stars.
Place

Solana Beach Fish House

124 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach

Marlin isn't on the menu, it's on the wall.

The Solana Beach Fish House is located just across the street from the train station in an unassuming strip mall. Not exactly the prime piece of beachfront real estate you might imagine visiting when you’re craving seafood in coastal San Diego. But plentiful parking, affordable prices, good food, and a relaxed setting just might convince you to sacrifice the ocean view.

I visited the Fish House on a weekday, and was excited to find lunchtime specials served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week. The deals aren’t skimpy, either. There are over 15 options including tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and fish and chips, all ranging from $6 to $9.95.

I settled on a combo plate with a bowl of New England clam chowder, grilled fish taco, side of black beans, and tortilla chips. The meal included a soda too, but I always prefer to drink sugar in the form of alcohol, so I opted to upgrade to a crisp Ballast Point Pale Ale.

I placed my order at the counter, and contemplated posting up in the whimsical dining room — think fishing nets, buoys, shells, twinkle lights, and a stuffed blue marlin — or grabbing a seat outside on the casual patio. Fresh air and sunshine won over the cliché interior design.

The clam chowder was smooth and creamy, packed with clams, and well seasoned. There was no need to add hot sauce because the broth was perfectly peppery, which was complemented by the brightness of fresh dill. It was an unexpected herbal touch, and I was all about it.

Our proximity to Baja California makes legit fish tacos easy to find. The Fish House featured an unconventional prep on the grilled version, which included a generous portion of chopped and blackened white fish, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a grated blend of jack and cheddar cheeses. I had high hopes for the seasoned fish, but was ultimately disappointed in the lack of a spice kick. I also longed to replace the tasteless cheese with the acidic bite of a traditional sour cream or mayonnaise-based citrus sauce.

The tortilla chips proved to be a good delivery device for the cumin-heavy black beans, and the varying textures complemented the meal nicely. I liked the beans so much that I have since attempted to duplicate the preparation at home. Cumin is an obvious and common addition, but I’ve never had a version that’s so in-your-face. I honestly feel like I’ve been missing out for far too long.

Next time I’m in the area, I’ll stop by for another bowl of chowder — which I’m already craving — and give their fish and chips a try while I’m at it.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle
Next Article

Is Midway the new Soccer City?

Fresh chapter unfolds in San Diego's well-lobbied Sports Arena muddle
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close