Steak and Seafood
One of the best things about dining in San Diego is the opportunity to enjoy a fabulous meal while looking out over the harbor or the ocean. That’s just what you’ll get at Humphreys by the Bay (2241 Shelter Island Blvd., 619/224-3577, www.humphreysbythebay.com, daily 7 a.m.–2 p.m., Sun.–Thurs. 5:30–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30–11 p.m., $22–50). The white tablecloths on the candlelit tables look right out over the Humphreys Marina and off towards the San Diego city skyline. This hotel-based restaurant serves three meals a day, plus brunch on Sundays.
On the dinner menu, seafood reigns, though various land-based entrées get their due as well. Or combine the two for an extravagant meal that makes for the best of everything. At lunchtime, upscale sandwiches and salads make the most of lighter midday standards. Whichever you choose, lunch or dinner, don’t miss the awesome seafood soups!
The breakfast menu includes all the egg-based standards, fresh fruits and pastries, and a few scrumptious surprises. Sunday brunches are buffet-style, with plenty of made and carved-to-order specialties.
For the best of the land out by the sea, visit Island Prime (880 Harbor Island Dr., 619/295-6801, www.cohnrestaurants.com, lunch from 11:30 a.m., dinner 5–10 p.m., $30–50). This huge house of steak and fish seats more than 600 on a top evening. Ask in advance for a window seat or a table out on the deck overlooking the harbor and the San Diego skyline. On the deck, you might find yourself by one of the fires, feeling as though you were dining at your own private beach house (well, except for the crowd, of course).
The simple decor makes use of the wooden architectural features of the building. If you’re boating on the San Diego waters, dock-and-dine at the neighboring Sunroad Marina. The menu boasts shellfish, finned fish, and plenty of hearty meats in a classic steakhouse-meets-California style. Start (or finish) your meal with a martini or another fabulous cocktail.
For a lighter meal, head for the C-Level cocktail lounge. In addition to the high- octane libations, the lounge serves a light dinner menu—that really isn’t all that light. Whichever you choose, you’ll find a pleasant trend towards local and organic ingredients in Prime’s dishes.
If what you really want is the freshest slab of fish to be found on Point Loma, eat at the aptly named Point Loma Seafoods (2805 Emerson St., 619/223-1109, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–6:30 p.m., $5–14). Much of the fish sold here, either as a hot meal to eat right there or chilled in paper ready to cook, comes straight off the fishing boats in the harbor. Shellfish, including local spiny lobster, is fresh, top quality, and sold only in season—making Point Loma Seafood the perfect place for a seafood lunch.
Hot food and sandwiches come with slaw and fries—perfect accompaniments for fish. The cold foods include seafood salads plus a small array of sushi and sashimi. The atmosphere is the antithesis of upscale, which make it perfect for many visitors looking for reasonable prices and truly great fish.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition