Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It Was a Quick Lunch

…so this will be a quick blog. Beside, we have visited and written about this San Diego restaurant in the past. But when I am in San Diego and have a hankering for some really fresh and well-prepared fish or seafood, one name comes to mind—Blue Water Seafood.

“The restaurant's motto is ‘All We Do Is Fish,’ and that's the truth—the entire menu consists of seafood, with a few basic side dishes to round out the meals. Another motto, unstated, must be ‘KISS’ (‘keep it simple, stupid’), because the cooking follows that rule and is all the better for it. San Diego is home to many ‘economy class’ seafood joints (serving fried fish and/or ready-made from Sysco). To my tastes, this…blows 'em out of the water” (Naomi Wise at

Our previous visits have found the restaurant in a state of semi-controlled chaos. But while there was still a line of people waiting for service at the counter along the back wall, at least the line wasn’t out the door as it was on one occasion. And ample seating was available, so we didn’t have to stand and give the evil eye to other diners.

The décor—what there is of it—consists mainly of two large refrigerated cases holding beautiful displays of fresh fish. Some is used for Blue Water’s menu items and some is sold as part of their retail operation.
And service is minimal and is described on line by some as rude. I think that brusque is a better descriptor.

The menu is simple but still offers a variety of choices. You pick your fish. Your pick your marinade. You pick your presentation—sandwich, salad, or plate. “For a substantial meal, you can order a seafood sandwich (well garnished on a soft bolillo roll), a seafood salad, or an entrée plate. The seafoods are grilled to order, glazed with your choice of lemon butter, garlic butter, lemon-garlic butter, teriyaki, chipotle, or blackened (which must mean rubbed with blackening spices, since the flesh is still grilled, not sautéed à la Paul Prud'homme). Along with the fish, dinner plates include rice to soak up the juices, and a huge, elaborate salad with a choice of dressings” (Naomi Wise at

Sometimes standing in line can be a good thing. Just as I was about to order the ceviche appetizer and chipotle-marinated tilapia sandwich, I happened to read the bottom of the specials chalkboard—mussels and clams as either an appetizer or plate. So I had a double appetizer lunch with the ceviche and mussels and clams.
On our visit to Blue Water last year, Chuck had ordered the blackened halibut and really enjoyed it and so he was dismayed when halibut didn’t appear on the regular menu. But as we inched our way to the front of the line, there halibut was listed on the specials’ board. So it would be the blackened halibut sandwich with a side of fries.

We took a seat and soon my ceviche appeared. I had forgotten that Blue Water’s version is made with very small shrimp only, and I would have liked some fish or scallops added to the mix. Still, this was a low acid, although spicy, version (both were fine with me), and the shrimp were combined with chopped onion, cucumber, and tomato.
The ceviche was accompanied by tortilla chips from El Indio, which is just up the street and is a fairly famous Mexican restaurant in San Diego.

Shortly thereafter, the mussels and clams arrived and were placed in front of Chuck. I guess they thought we each had ordered appetizers. Now we were seated at one of the smallest two-tops in restaurant history so my side of the table was rather cluttered.

This may have been the best rendition of shellfish in a wine-based broth that I have eaten. While the mussels were somewhat on the small side they were simultaneously briny and sweet. And the clams were briny, sweet, and plump. But it was the broth with its juices from the mussels and clams, wine, garlic, tomato, onions, and capers that set this above the rest.
The dish came with three slices of lightly toasted bread all of which were dunked in the broth and devoured. Still, I had broth left over and it took all of my willpower not to pick up the bowl and guzzle the remainder.

They must have taken pity on Chuck just sitting there while I am noshing away and soon his order of fries arrived.
And there they sat. And sat. And sat. While I am not a big fan of waffle fries these were pretty good although I think that the mandoline should have been set thinner. And there they sat. Getting cooler by the minute.

Finally, his sandwich arrived and the halibut was as good as remembered. It had none of the burnt spices taste that you find with too many blackened dishes. And the halibut under the blackening spice was moist and flaky. The fish came on a decent roll with tomato and lettuce.
Today we had 5.0 Addie food coupled with 2.0 Addie service/kitchen coordination. Where does this leave us? Technically, the average of the two should be 3.5 Addies but I’ll bump that up to 4.0 Addies since the fish and seafood lived up to expectations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, delicious lunch thanks for sharing.

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