Seafood >The Oceanaire Seafood Room
400 J St, San Diego, CA | Directions 9210132.709477 -117.160895
Neighborhoods: Central San Diego, Marina, Central
My First Raw Bar – Last week a friend of mine took me to the Oceanaire for their happy hour and challenged me to eat my very first Oyster. I am not adventurous when it comes to raw seafood, but we were sitting at the Raw Bar and after a martini and the happy hour oyster prices I was more easily convinced. I actually really enjoyed it so we split about a half dozen different types. Dinner was a piece of White Sea Bass that could not have been prepared any better and we split a mountain of hashbrowns which I am sure had a pound of butter in it, but it was worth it.
To sum up my experience the food was top shelf, the host was kind and the bartenders really friendly, we could tell the raw bar/bar area is definitely a regulars hang out, the bartenders new most of the diners by name and we made a couple new friends as well. I will be recommending this restaurant and the raw bar to everyone I know.
Definitely the place to go for fresh seafoood! – Great overall dining experience! I was impressed with the wide variety of fresh seafood on their menu and the different preparations. The staff is very friendly and attentive, but not too in your face. If you are a fan of oysters, I highly recommend ordering from the oyster bar. My friend and I ordered the Halibut and Swordfish which were both very tasty. The sides are served family style, which I thought was great since it gives you the chance to try more than one. We shared the spinach and mushrooms and mashed potatoes which were a perfect pair for the lightly seasoned fish. The cheesecake was wonderful, although, you definitely want to share as the portion is huge. Overall, it was a really positive experience and I will definitely be returning to Oceanaire Seafood Room in the future.
yummy crab cakes – top chef contender brian malarkey is the executive chef at this seafood restaurant in the gas lamp quarter of san diego.
as the name suggests, the specialty is seafood. while you can choose however you want your fish prepared, you can also opt to go by the chef's recommendation on how the fish is to be prepared.
the server started us off with some warm sourdough bread and some chilled veggies and ceviche. they were good enough but we weren't there for the freebies.
the caesar salad was good topped with anchovies, although i thought there was too much dressing.
the clam chowder was passable. it did not wow me though.
the blue crab cocktail was pretty fresh, sweet and good.
my pan roasted black sea bass was served with pancetta and morels. it was good and not overcooked. but it also did not make my mouth water.
j's halibut cheeks with triple corn was also good. not memorable though.
now, c's crab cakes were a different story. they were light and fresh and perfect. the cakes were not breaded, or if they were, ever so lightly. i loved these.
the side of mashed potatoes came big. and too buttery for my taste.
if i come back, it'll be because of the crab cakes.
Way overpriced for what you get! – The food was good, but of course it was, there really aren't that many "bad" restaurants in San Diego. That said, there are many other seafood restaurants I'd recommend that are much less expensive and just as good guality and atmosphere. The menu is broken up into the main protein (mostly fish, some chicken, and a few steaks) which you order seperately from the sides. So for that whopping $25 plus entree, you really just get the piece of fish on a plate... then you have to order a seperate side, which is only offered family style (serves 4 or more) for another $8-12. Wine by the glass starts at $11... for a bottle that isn't worth more than $20 in the stores. Really I don't know what the huge mark-up is all about, certainly not the atmosphere, it was noisy, busy, and cramped.
I certainly wouldn't go back, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, just not worth it for the money. You could spend the same amount elsewhere and get a much better meal, even a few good left-overs for later, and a whole bottle of wine.
Mixed Signals - Mediocre Seafood – A group of 8 went out to celebrate my birthday on January 5, 2008. The Host was very professional and courteous. The waitress seemed a little aloof at first, but warmed up quickly.
We ordered appetizers which included raw oysters. Everything but the oysters came out and only after everyone else had eaten, did the waitress notice that the oyster had not been brought out. Three of us ate our appetizers by ourselves.
The appetizers were an unfortunate omen of things to come. First, a friend's plate arrives as the "ono" dish, but he had ordered Sea Bass. The dish went back and then came back out. The manager apologized, but claimed the dish was actually the Sea Bass and an error had been made when it was referred to as "ono". Sadly, the alleged "sea bass" was chewy/rubbery.
I was very much looking forward to the Pecan Encrusted Wahoo dish. It came out very over cooked and I required a knife to cut the fish. I was advised to send it back and did so. A few minutes later, a dish looking very much like the alleged "sea bass" dish came out as my new wahoo dish. It didn't have pecans on it and didn't even look like my original dish. The manager argued that it was and tried to push the dish on me. My patience was done at that point and I told him to take it back. I refused another entree and made clear that they had ruined my birthday dinner.
At this point, the inspired Host re-entered the picture. He apologized profusely for the confusion. He explained that the "manager" was new and unfamiliar with the dishes. He had two bottles of champagne sent to the table and one of each of their desserts. The gesture was admirable and the deserts were very tasty (especially the homestyle cheesecake), but I did regret not having a good seafood dinner for my birthday.
WOW A great place to go for a special occasion – It was my wife's birthday last Friday, and we decided to go to the Oceaniare to celebrate. The restaurant itself is very classy. Our waiter told us they were trying to create a "50's" sophisticated kind of look, but it looked very modern and chic to my wife and I. After being seated, our server brought us a tray of "mini-appetizers" to eat while we looked over the menu. The tray included olives, pickles, cucumbers, and pickled herring. Along with some bread, it was a very nice start to the meal. The menu is based upon the fresh fish that they have brought in, and is pretty extensive in terms of seafood. My wife and I started our meals with the maryland blue crab cake. It was fantastic. It was about 90% crab meat, and was excellent. For dinner, I ordered the scallops in a thai curry sauce with shitake mushrooms, and my wife ordered sole stuffed with crab, brie cheese, and shrimp. As a side dish, we ordered the wasabi mashers. My scallops were cooked very well, and the shitake mushrooms were almost "steak-like" and complimented the scallops very well. The curry was a bit more subtle than I would have liked, but it was still good. My wife really enjoyed her sole, and it was very rich. The only real down side of the meal were the wasabi mashers. Those mashed potatoes were OOZING with ginger, to the point where they weren't that enjoyable. Since it was my wife's b-day, they brought us out a Baked Alaska for dessert. The presentation was very creative, and the dessert itself was the perfect end to a great meal. This place is a bit pricy, but is totally worthh it. I highly recommend this place to any seafood fans, as well as people looking for a special place to celebrate.
Agreed. – I echo all of the postive reviews posted here. I have been lucky enough to dine at Oceanaire in both Seattle and San Diego. Excellent food and service at both locations.
Best Seafood and Service – Simply THE BEST in San Diego for:
1- the freshest seafood in beautiful preparations of various world influences
2- taking someone you want to impress with a beautiful dining room and the most attentive and knowledgeable service
3- feeling comfortable even on a not-so-dressed-up night just to enjoy delicious, well prepared food and fun, classy ambiance.
An amazing variety of types of fish from all over, and creative flavors that accompany them. Desserts are HUGE - share!! Impressive wines - ask for the reserve list. We go often and are treated like royalty. Make a reservation if you can, they always seem to be busy!
Exceptional in Every Way – Phenomenal. There are some nice seafood restaurants in San Diego (as there should be), but none come anywhere close to Oceanaire for service, attetnion to detail, ambienece, and exceptional food. This is special-occasion dining so dress appropriately.
best seafood experience in San Diego – Usually I am a carnivore, but friends of mine convinced me to eat at the "new hot-spot" in the Gaslamp. Upon entering, I immediately felt as though I was swept into a vacation for my senses. Towers of colorful shellfish and steak-like cuts of fish passed me by on the way to my table. Everyone from the smiling people at the door to the wait-staff and bussers were all so pleasant and acommodating. The food was so fresh and scrumptious, that I am now a converted seafood lover and Oceanaire fan for life!
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