Tuesday, February 3, 2009

San Diego: Photos and Reviews

Last month, I spent ten glorious days in sunny San Diego. Everything was perfect: the weather, the hotel, the food, even the traffic - there was none. The one thing I would have changed, if I could, would have been the ocean temperature. I grew up just thirty minutes from the Atlantic ocean in Trinidad, where in my early years, my family spent every Sunday on the beach. Coming from that background, it takes an enormous amount of self control for me to be on a beach and not go into the ocean. Enormous self control, and a fifty degree Fahrenheit ocean tempeature. That being said, it sufficed only to have my toes touch the shore, such was the idyllic atmosphere of this city in the west. Plus, there were so many beautiful distractions. San Diego zoo, Wild Animal Park, catching sunsets, spying the seals on La Jolla shores, and, needless to say, Shamu.

On Pacific Beach

Wild Animal Park

Of course, the food was an experience in itself. Now, I can boast of having some of the freshest sushi available in the country. The biggest food crave for me, however, was tacos. Fish tacos are as San Diego as Torrey Pines or even Balboa Park. A little more than two decades ago, tacos were found in small, little known Mexican taquerias. Today, there are travel guides dedicated to this San Diego staple. A quick Google search alone lists four hundred thousand results for the best fish tacos in the city. So where can one find the best? In my opinion, two places: Mariscos German, and Bay Park Fish Company.

Mariscos German (pronounced mariscos erman) is a small, boat shaped building which looks like a ruined ode to old key west. Do not be turned off by this because, while the building may be lacking, the food surely is not. Once you have eaten here, you will never again settle for another generic fish taco. El pescador is what might be considered the regular: fried pieces of fish with slaw and white cream sauce. Then there is el pulpo; translation: octopus. But the grand daddy of all is el gobernabor: the governor. A highly seasoned mix of seafood, grilled perfectly, served with Mexican cheese and grilled vegetables. I bet you can't have just one.

El Gobenador (mixed seafood tacos) at Mariscos German.

Like most good restaurant finds, we stumbled on the Bay Park Fish Company by chance. While catching the last sunset before we left, I decided I had to have one last taco. According to City Search, the taco shop closest to Pacific beach (one worth the fuss) was seven minutes away. The Bay Park Fish Company is a restaurant and fish shop all in one. Our server that night happened to be the owner, Jeff. He explained that he had recently taken over the reigns as the new owner, focusing on service which according to him, had been lacking the past. Whether or not his goal was accomplished, I cannot tell. What I can say, however, is the present service is top notch. Courteous, punctual, flexible, extremely friendly. Most importantly, the food is worth going back for. By adding sides of re-fried beans and seasoned rice, a single order becomes a meal that can easily be shared between two people. You also have the option of getting your fish grilled or fried. Besides the catch of the day, you can choose from all of the offerings available in the fish shop. Their clam appetizer is also worth trying. . Again, this easily serves more than one so order accordingly.



It was just ten days but this trip felt much longer. There was so much to see and do all the while never feeling rushed, tired or stressed. The epitome of a great vacation.


Jessie said...

Oh, love the pic at the wild animal park! Looks like you had a blast!

a.k.a. The Hungry Mouse

Natasha said...

Thanks Jes,
Saul took that pic and has been boasting about it ever since. lol

Tangled Noodle said...

My husband and I love San Diego! Whenever we visit my family in LA, we always take a 2-3 day side trip down there. There are so many great places to eat but we'll be sure to check out your recommendations the next time we go. So happy for you that you were able to escape our MN winter!

gail said...

Wow! Looks like you had a beautifully relaxing trip!! Now I want to go.... :) hehe

Natasha said...

Tangled Noodle,
Yes, it was that minus 40 January 12th week when we were in San Diego. I couldn't believe our luck that we escaped. I hope you get to try these great tacos joints on your next trip there.

It was very relaxing! The most we thought about was food and where was the best vantage point for a great view of the sunset.