It's hard to imagine a seaside dining experience more complete than the one at Dolphins Restaurant, Bar & Banquet. Sailboat masts bob in the harbor just beyond floor-to-ceiling windows, a red canoe hangs from the ceiling to complement nautical flags on the walls, and at the entrance visitors are greeted by a bronze sculpture depicting a human pyramid of dolphins. And that's before you get a look at the menu. Classic seafood dishes such as lobster tails and grilled teriyaki mahi mahi fill plates during dinner service but also during weddings, when tables are draped in white cloth, decorated with floral arrangements, and cleared of all single people. The restaurant also offers a weekly Sunday brunch, with more than 50 items to choose from.
At the sushi bar, chefs wrap colorful seafood and vegetable combinations into 25 largely simple rolls, including the Chef's Marina, which contains tempura rock shrimp and avocado, and the Tijuana, which pairs spicy tuna with roasted jalapenos. In the evening, a tree-studded patio glows with light from several fire-pits, and occasionally the whole restaurant fills with music from live bands, mariachi bands, and DJs.
The word lighthouse conjures images of stormy seas and a beacon leading ships to safety. Tom Ham’s Lighthouse largely fits that motif, leading diners onto a comfy dining deck with views of San Diego’s stellar sunsets and downtown skyline. Tom came to San Diego in the 1950s with a love of California history that still echoes today, thanks to his collection of nautical memorabilia that still hangs throughout the newly remodeled space, which was once a functioning lighthouse, warning sailors of the dangerous bay waters ahead. Despite the dusty history, the dining atmosphere is very much still alive inside, with white tablecloths serving as a backdrop for fresh seafood entrées and fortifying brunch staples.
Since 1970, diners have flocked to World Famous to savor fresh coastal cuisine in a charming space with rustic wooden walls, wooden tables, and views of Pacific Beach's pale sand and glittering ocean. Chef Chris Bates crafts new specials each day depending on what looks best at the market, often centering dishes around mahi-mahi, Pacific red snapper, and other fish that leap directly from the sea into his pots and pans. He and his team also carve prime rib onto baguettes, grill hand-cut steaks, and steam lobster tails to serve with drawn butter. Bartenders mix bloody marys and peppered-vodka oyster shooters, pour wines, and craft dessert cocktails to enhance the flavorful meals.
It doesn’t get much fresher than Truluck’s Seafood, Steak and Crab House- they source the signature Florida stone crabs that they serve each day from their very own fisheries. Total time from crab traps to table? Always less than 24 hours. Crabs aren’t the only thing Truluck’s does right though- their salt and pepper calamari is both deliciously tender and generously portioned. Mouthwatering sides that accompany their flavorful seafood include their crispy, sweet potato fries and their fresh steamed broccoli with herb butter. Monday nights are “All You Can Eat Stone Crab Claws,” so if you’ve got a vendetta against deep sea crustaceans, here is where you lay it to rest.
Since 1994, Asti Ristorante offers an Italian fine dining experience in the heart of the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Professional service, elegant interiors, exciting outdoor patio and outstanding Italian cuisine, guarantee a memorable dining experience.
Guava's kitchen sizzles with a menu of American, Mexican, and seaside favorites, and bartenders whip up legendary margaritas and signature cocktails. Cajun spices cling to a grill-blackened slab of mahi-mahi smothered in a sweet-chili sauce and a mango salsa made in-house ($14). The baja burrito granda ($13) clusters succulent chunks of house marinated and grilled carne asada mixed with melted cheese and pico de gallo in a tomato-basil tortilla, and the loco coconut flavors a tender chicken breast fillet with eponymous coconut ($9). Groups wash down snacks with the Bionic Beaver, a pitcher overflowing with a mix of five alcoholic varietals sweetened with cranberry juice, grenadine ($13), and a compliment from a passing stranger.