Beerfish- San Diego (Adams Avenue)
Address: 2933 Adams Avenue | San Diego, California
Cost: Beers $5.50-$7.50 | Starters $4.50-$17.00 | Salads $6.00-$14.90 | Sandwiches $10.90-$16.90 | Plates $13.90-$22.00 Sides $4.00 | Oysters $3.00 each (Mix Six $16.00/Mix Dozen $29.00) | Towers $30.00-$129.00 | Happy Hour M-F 3:00-6:00 (fresh oysters $1.00-$3.00 and $2.00 off core beers and select wines)
About: Although it took owner Abel Kaase three years of jumping through government hoops to complete his dream, Beerfish finally opened in June.
Located on Adams Avenue near the border of North Park and Normal Heights, Beerfish is a fine establishment serving tasty seafood and craft beer. The vibe inside is that of a waterfront seafood shack complete with appropriate decor: colorful dinghies, lobster trap buoys, old wooden lobster trap, and a Pufferfish chandelier.
Huge glass windows on two sides of the room provide plenty of natural light, making it a bright and welcoming spot. Employees wear white rubber fishing boots to complete the look.
Along one wall, thirty taps pour craft beer, wine, and cider under the watchful eye of a stuffed Dorado. The tap handles are made from the butt ends of salt water fishing rods. Eight of the taps are reserved for the restaurant’s core beers, while the remaining taps serve a selection of rotating beers. Beers, wines, and ciders are selected by how well they pair with the food being served.
The casual seafood menu includes an oyster bar that serves six different species of freshly-shucked oysters. Currently, all the oysters at Beerfish are from the west coast, except for the Chesapeakes (east coast). Comfort seafood is being served here, Northwest and East Coast style.
Outside next to the main dining room is a covered patio with communal picnic tables for plenty of seating. On hot days misters are turned on to keep diners cool. The patio is dog friendly.
What I Ate: I ordered the Beer Battered Fish ($13.90) & Chips and Beer Steamers ($13.90) plates. Both dishes were delectable and their presentation was beautiful.
Beer Battered Fish & Chips are the number one seller at Beerfish. Fresh Alaskan Cod from Catalina Offshore Products is lightly coated in a house beer batter made with Anchor Steam beer, then carefully deep fried. Inside the flavorful crispy exterior, the fish is snowy white, flaky, and moist. Like the fish, the chips are perfectly cooked– soft inside and crispy on the outside, and seasoned with Old Bay. This dish comes with fresh coleslaw, a lemon slice, and tartar sauce.
The Beer Steamers were amazing. Mussels, clams, shallots, and leeks are steamed in beer then served in an enameled bucket accompanied by a big glob of herb butter, fresh lemon, and a hunk of fresh, sourdough bread. The broth at the bottom of the bucket? Sublime.
What I Drank: Coronado Brewing Company‘s Stingray Double IPA (7.9% ABV/48 IBU). A delicious beer with citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors that pair well with seafood.
Flavorful, refreshing, and hoppy, it complemented the two dishes I devoured for lunch.
Likes: Craft beer and fresh seafood in one location. The Beer Battered Fish & Chips and Beer Steamers were both delicious and priced well for the quality of the dishes. I liked the ambience of the place, as it reminded me of the many seaside oyster and fish shacks I have visited over the years.
Service from staff was exemplary. Immaculately clean unisex restrooms are a plus.
The Verdict: Beerfish is a welcome addition to the North Park craft beer and food scene. This unique establishment was well-planned with attention to detail, and it shows. It proves that craft beer and comfort seafood are a winning combination. I look forward to returning, soon! Highly recommended.