Sunday, February 28, 2010

San Diego: South Beach Bar & Grille

This past week, Mark and I traveled cross country to San Diego, one of my very favorite cities in the entire world.  We had one very good meal, one mind-blowing meal, and one so-so meal.  The first of these was South Beach Bar & Grille, a place for which we got two separate and independent recommendations solely on the basis of their tacos.  The bar & grille, located right on the Pacific in Ocean Beach, completely lived up to expectations, as far as the fish tacos were concerned. 

 Click below to see what we ate!

I have to say, I was a little startled by the appearance of the restaurant - it was kind of divey and dim - but I've had some really fantastic meals in dives before, so I wasn't completely put off.  We started out with chips, guacamole, and salsa.  The salsa and guacamole were fine, not great but not bad, and the chips were piping hot and nicely crispy and crunchy - definitely not out of a bag.

Chips with salsa and guacamole

Unfortunately, they were out of the shark tacos, which we had both really been looking forward to.  But we recovered quickly and ordered three each: I had the mahi, the fried oyster, and the wahoo (a white fish); Mark also got the mahi, and got the chicken with Santa Fe sauce and the carne asada with guacamole sauce. We both loved the mahi - the fish was incredibly well-seasoned, with complex layers of flavors, and super succulent.  My second favorite taco was the fried oyster; the oysters were perfectly battered and fried, and exploded with juiciness and flavor in my mouth.  The wahoo was pretty good, but not quite up to the standards of the other two, as the fish was underseasoned and a little too delicate to hold up to the rest of the ingredients in the taco.  Mark really liked the chicken, which came with a great spicy sauce.  The big loser of the day was the carne asada, which was decent, but came with corn tortillas, which Mark likes much less than flour tortillas.  
From left to right: Mahi, Wahoo, and Fried Oyster

Clockwise from the left: Carne Asada, Chicken with Santa Fe sauce, and Mahi

The tacos also came with rice and beans.  While neither was outstanding, I liked the addition of onions and cilantro on the beans, which added a freshness to an otherwise unremarkable side.

Rice and beans

After lunch, we took advantage of the beautiful sunny day, strolled around Ocean Beach, and contemplated not ever coming back home...


  1. I have family that live out in San Diego, haven't seen them in forever. I plan on setting up a nice vacation with a wide range of activities planned. Heard the food out there is great!

  2. San Diego is FANTASTIC for vacation. And if you like seafood (as I do), you can't do a whole lot better food-wise!

  3. must be a nice place to have vacation, the dishes look delecious, love san diego.
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  4. San Diego is probably my favorite city...