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San Diego

Halibut three ways at Bay Park Fish Co.


Panko crusted fish taco made with local halibut

Panko crusted fish taco made with local halibut

As dining out is once again restricted to outdoor only, take-out and delivery are back to being crucial to all restaurants’ survival. I plan to curbside pickup what meals as I can, then, when I do venture out for outdoor dining, my priority will be dishes that are at their best served fresh from a restaurant kitchen.

Say, oysters on the half shell, or fish tacos. Those are the items that drew me to happy hour at Bay Park Fish Company. Seven days a week, from 3-6pm, appetizers and basic sushi rolls are 20 percent off, oysters are two bucks apiece, and fish tacos are sold for four bucks a la carte. Add $2 off wine and beer pours, and you have reasons to brave a covid-stricken world.

Discounted beer and $2 oysters, part of a daily happy hour

Sidewalk seating in front of the restaurant includes a taste of the western exposure that makes Bay Park hillsides a nice place to live. These tables were full when we arrived, so our reservations sent us to a back patio. It was depressing to pass through the restaurant’s empty, nautical themed dining room to reach a relatively bare patio, painted blue and topped by blue shades, resulting in more of an underwater vibe.

Sidewalk dining in front of Bay Park Fish Co.

Not as interesting as the sidewalk, but outdoors enough to start eating and drinking. The great thing about ordering fish tacos is that, in addition to grilled or fried, and choice of tortilla, you get to choose which kind of fish you prefer. From a menu featuring mahi mahi, Alaskan halibut, and local swordfish, I went for a personal favorite, local halibut, fried, with a panko crust, on corn tortillas.

The “haliboat” sushi roll: baked local halibut wrapped around sushi rice

Oysters and tacos would only to whet my appetite, so I decided to keep my halibut mood going. Next up would be a “house favorite” from the sushi menu, dubbed “Haliboat.” The closest thing I could compare it to from past experience would be a baked salmon roll. Here, a thin filet of halibut is wrapped around sushi rice, baked, then smothered in spicy mayo and eel sauce. The baked fish proves delicate and slightly sweet, though on the whole this roll relies too much on the sauces to add flavor. Despite its $16 price dropped below $13 thanks to happy hour, the $4 halibut taco proved way better bang for my buck.

The empty indoor dining room of Bay Park Fish Co.

The same could be said of my third halibut dish, though it proved my favorite of the bunch. For $27, I got the bread and butter entrée for any fish house: a grilled “catch of the day.” On this day, the grilled local halibut, served with rice and sauteed vegetables, went for $27.

Grilled local halibut with a lemon and garlic sauce

Drizzled with a lemon garlic sauce, Bay Park Fish serves its grilled fish blackened, or more simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I went for the latter, and enjoyed the tender white filet, most of which was succulent and moist. The peppers, onions, and squash were pretty blah; that’s usually how the vegetables turn out at local fish spots.

But we don’t usually care, because we go for the fresh fish. Now being served outdoors in Bay Park, and all around San Diego.

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