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The last days of Anthony’s

Landmark fish grotto closes for good January 31

Objects in this shrimp salad are smaller than they appear
Objects in this shrimp salad are smaller than they appear
Place

Anthony's Fish Grotto

1360 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego

A couple of weeks before Anthony’s Fish Grotto closes its doors on Harbor Drive for the last time (January 31 is the scheduled date), I decided to stop in and have one final meal. Anthony’s has served up seafood at that location for 52 years, and I have dined there since I was a toddler.

She probably should have ordered these fish tacos.

It was a Sunday, so the place was packed. I put my name in and waited way past the time I was given. I casually asked the hostess if she had called my name, and she was snippy. I gave her a pass because I knew she would be looking for a new job come February.

“While I ate, I noticed the cobwebs on the ceiling and that the carpet was in need of cleaning.”

I was shown to a good seat in the bar area, and the noise level was intense but I dealt with it since I was alone and didn’t need to talk to anyone. I wanted to enjoy the view and the “Gulf Shrimp Louie Salad, a classic since 1946” one last time. I shouted my order to the server, and he hurried off to retrieve the wine. As I waited I watched a couple on the deck dive into fish and chips and fish tacos. Their food looked great, and I was excited for my order to arrive.

Good memories of Anthony’s, but not because of the final visit.

The salad came, and I was disappointed before I tasted it. The plate had shrunk (as compared to the plate of my memory), and the shrimp was on the small side. Maybe it’s climate change, but whatever it was, $18 for a scoop of shrimp, half an avocado, half a tomato, a hardboiled egg, and some cucumber is a little fishy.

Okay, the shrimp was decent, but it was on the verge of being rubbery. The avocado and other shredded carrots and cucumber were passible and crunchy but didn’t have much flavor. It was all about the shrimp. I did dig the dressing, which is just like Jack’s secret sauce.

While I ate, I noticed the cobwebs on the ceiling and that the carpet was in need of cleaning. I will have good memories of Anthony’s, but not because of my final visit.

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9

Try Oscar's Mexican Seafood. Always good food and reasonable prices. I go to the one in Hillcrest.

Jan. 23, 2017

Thanks for the tip!

Jan. 24, 2017

Dined there with a friend in November. Had not been there for years. The staff had apparently already gone into the "we will soon be looking for another job and don't give a crap" attitude. Food was not good. Service wasn't great, either. It's really too bad. My parents always liked going there, as did I.

Jan. 23, 2017

There is a chain called Anthony's in Washington State- no relation- but they are also on the waterfront and a seafood place. They are first-rate and when dining there I always wondered why the San Diego chain couldn't match up.

Jan. 24, 2017

Candice, thank you for your farewell lunch (so I don't have to). I thought about going before they close. I did that the day before the old downtown library closed. I'm glad I did that.

Anthony's seems to have given up 10 years ago. They didn't update their menu or their interior. They once had locations in La Jolla (UTC), Rancho Bernardo and the waterfront in Chula Vista, even a 'fishette' in Kearny Mesa. I dined at all of them. Now there is one restaurant left in La Mesa.

I have not read why the business has collapsed, because 56 years of goodwill should be worth something. I suspect family members had other ideas and went in different directions. Like when the Boll Weevil chain disintegrated years ago.

Jan. 23, 2017

I guess they decided to coast on the view. I am looking forward to seeing what the Brig brings to the table.

Jan. 24, 2017

Brig fish tacos are amazing.

Jan. 24, 2017

About 40 years ago I docked a 40 foot swordfish plank boat there for a meal. You should have seen the tourists eyes when I swung that thing into place. Fun times

Jan. 23, 2017

We used to dock our boat there as well. Good times!

Jan. 24, 2017

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Objects in this shrimp salad are smaller than they appear
Objects in this shrimp salad are smaller than they appear
Place

Anthony's Fish Grotto

1360 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego

A couple of weeks before Anthony’s Fish Grotto closes its doors on Harbor Drive for the last time (January 31 is the scheduled date), I decided to stop in and have one final meal. Anthony’s has served up seafood at that location for 52 years, and I have dined there since I was a toddler.

She probably should have ordered these fish tacos.

It was a Sunday, so the place was packed. I put my name in and waited way past the time I was given. I casually asked the hostess if she had called my name, and she was snippy. I gave her a pass because I knew she would be looking for a new job come February.

“While I ate, I noticed the cobwebs on the ceiling and that the carpet was in need of cleaning.”

I was shown to a good seat in the bar area, and the noise level was intense but I dealt with it since I was alone and didn’t need to talk to anyone. I wanted to enjoy the view and the “Gulf Shrimp Louie Salad, a classic since 1946” one last time. I shouted my order to the server, and he hurried off to retrieve the wine. As I waited I watched a couple on the deck dive into fish and chips and fish tacos. Their food looked great, and I was excited for my order to arrive.

Good memories of Anthony’s, but not because of the final visit.

The salad came, and I was disappointed before I tasted it. The plate had shrunk (as compared to the plate of my memory), and the shrimp was on the small side. Maybe it’s climate change, but whatever it was, $18 for a scoop of shrimp, half an avocado, half a tomato, a hardboiled egg, and some cucumber is a little fishy.

Okay, the shrimp was decent, but it was on the verge of being rubbery. The avocado and other shredded carrots and cucumber were passible and crunchy but didn’t have much flavor. It was all about the shrimp. I did dig the dressing, which is just like Jack’s secret sauce.

While I ate, I noticed the cobwebs on the ceiling and that the carpet was in need of cleaning. I will have good memories of Anthony’s, but not because of my final visit.

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Comments
9

Try Oscar's Mexican Seafood. Always good food and reasonable prices. I go to the one in Hillcrest.

Jan. 23, 2017

Thanks for the tip!

Jan. 24, 2017

Dined there with a friend in November. Had not been there for years. The staff had apparently already gone into the "we will soon be looking for another job and don't give a crap" attitude. Food was not good. Service wasn't great, either. It's really too bad. My parents always liked going there, as did I.

Jan. 23, 2017

There is a chain called Anthony's in Washington State- no relation- but they are also on the waterfront and a seafood place. They are first-rate and when dining there I always wondered why the San Diego chain couldn't match up.

Jan. 24, 2017

Candice, thank you for your farewell lunch (so I don't have to). I thought about going before they close. I did that the day before the old downtown library closed. I'm glad I did that.

Anthony's seems to have given up 10 years ago. They didn't update their menu or their interior. They once had locations in La Jolla (UTC), Rancho Bernardo and the waterfront in Chula Vista, even a 'fishette' in Kearny Mesa. I dined at all of them. Now there is one restaurant left in La Mesa.

I have not read why the business has collapsed, because 56 years of goodwill should be worth something. I suspect family members had other ideas and went in different directions. Like when the Boll Weevil chain disintegrated years ago.

Jan. 23, 2017

I guess they decided to coast on the view. I am looking forward to seeing what the Brig brings to the table.

Jan. 24, 2017

Brig fish tacos are amazing.

Jan. 24, 2017

About 40 years ago I docked a 40 foot swordfish plank boat there for a meal. You should have seen the tourists eyes when I swung that thing into place. Fun times

Jan. 23, 2017

We used to dock our boat there as well. Good times!

Jan. 24, 2017

Sign in to comment

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