…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 sandiegoreader.com).
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.
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 sandiegoreader.com).
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.
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.
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.
They must have taken pity on Chuck just sitting there while I am noshing away and soon his order of fries arrived.
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.