By Kelley Carlson
After 20 years in business, the Solana Beach Fish House continues to reel in customers. Locals embrace the family-owned-and-operated eatery, with its laid-back atmosphere, cold pints of beer and fresh seafood. “We attract a mom-and-pop-style crowd,” said Manager Jehan Kasto.
It’s also a favorite stop for people on their way to the Del Mar racetrack during the racing season — many will park at the Solana Beach train station, walk across the street to the Fish House for a meal or drink, then take the double-decker buses to spend a day at the seaside oval.
The fare is prepared in various styles, from Mexican to “mesquite char-grilled.” There’s a wide variety, from sandwiches, pastas and salads, to tacos, burritos, and fish and chips. About 85 percent of the fish items are grilled and nothing is prepackaged, according to Kasto.
There are nearly a dozen seafood cocktails and appetizers to whet the appetite, from crab cakes to buffalo chicken wings. Soups can also be a starter, or served as a main course, including New England Clam Chowder, which Kasto touts as “one of the best around,” and the Fish House Cioppino, a customer favorite that is so chock-full of seafood that it’s more like a stew than a soup.
Lunch specials are offered 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and range from $6.99 to $7.99. Among the selections are Blackened Fish Burrito, Philly Cheese Steak and the Fried Oyster Sandwich.
One of the most in-demand midday entrees is the Surf & Turf Burrito, filled with carne asada, shrimp, cabbage and cilantro lime salsa, with rice and beans.
Toward evening, the crowd seems to favor the Teriyaki Salmon Grilled Kabob, featuring skewers of large and flaky pieces of fish interspersed with onions, zucchini and green peppers, and glazed with the sweet sauce.
An entree that’s popular at all times of the day is the Paella. Each forkful contains saffron rice and some variety of seafood, whether it’s mussels, shrimp, scallops, clams, calamari or fish. The dish is further enhanced with chicken-based sausage, green olives and other assorted vegetables.
Another “go-to” for patrons is the fish and chips section of the menu. The fish is cut to size and dipped in a beer batter, then fried in cholesterol-free oil.
Solana Beach Fish House also has selections such as burgers (including cajun shrimp, salmon, scallop, veggie and beef); pasta (from linguini with clams to angel hair pasta with tomato, basil and garlic sauce); and sandwiches on sourdough (such as herb-marinated or barbecue chicken breast, and smoked fish).
Solana Beach Fish House
■ 124 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach
■ (858) 481-3474
The Vibe: Casual, relaxed
Signature Dishes: Paella, Fish and Chips, Teriyaki Salmon Grilled Kabobs
Open Since: 1994
Take Out: Yes
Patio Seating: Yes
Happy Hour: 5-9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays
Hours: 11 a.m to 9 p.m. daily
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