Yelp recently partnered with Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine in Downtown San Diego to host a dinner event. Lionfish recently opened in the Gaslamp. You and your guest were able to order:
– Two shared appetizers from the menu
– One sushi roll from menu
– One entrée each
– A 12oz draft of your choice for each guest or glass of selected wine
This was a generous event that everyone wanted to get in to. So we were happy when we made the guest list.
Their website writes:
“Lionfish, located in the Pendry San Diego, is a modern, cutting edge restaurant located on 5th Avenue that features fresh-catch cuisine and seasonal ingredients, all prepared with innovative twists by homegrown San Diego chef JoJo Ruiz.
The two-level space will honor the essence of the city’s lifestyle with a menu that is both hip and healthy, eccentric but not excessive. “
The front of the restaurant is modern and sophisticated. There’s only street parking which wasn’t an issue on the Sunday evening we visited.
The hostess opened the front door of the restaurant for us when we arrived.
The interior is dim with many candles and lamps. We loved the natural wood for the tables and beams.
They were sold out of two items that evening (Diver scallops and the lobster carpaccio). I’ve heard through the years fresh seafood is difficult to obtain on Sundays because of delivery.
Someone brought soy and chopsticks to our table after we placed our order.
Our server recommended the glass of Smoketree pinot which went well with the dishes we ordered. Friend’s glass of Ballast Point Sculpin tasted cold and refreshing.
The slices of seared albacore were topped with daikon and deep fried crispy onions. The tuna was seared well but the fish didn’t taste as fresh.
The lobster was shredded and placed inside the roll with the asparagus. We didn’t taste the asparagus being tempura’d. The slices of seared beef was placed on top of each slice. The roll was fine but the star component of the dish was the dollop of garlic aiolic on top of the slices.
Goodness gracious. This one piece of butter poached king crab leg was beautiful tasting. The crab was warm and tore apart easily in your mouth as you blissfully consumed it. The caviar on top wasn’t even necessary to add to the decadence but the chilled black fish eggs paired well with the warm king crab.
Friends always laugh that I’ll order duck if I see if on a non-Asian menu. The dish is plated with foie butter, seaweed potato gnocchi and citrus jus.
The duck breast was served a near perfect medium. Friend didn’t want to try the meat this rare but I had no issue with it. The duck breast was tender but a bit chewy. I liked the fattiness from the seared duck skin. I didn’t taste much of the foie butter though. Friend and I loved the seaweed potato gnocchi. You could absolutely taste the seaweed in the gnocchi. They weren’t the prettiest gnocchis but they were incredible delicious.
We had to order this 20 oz New York Strip here at Lionfish. Cousin had called me the week before to say her yelp friend attended same event and raved that this NY strip was the best steak she’s ever had.
The bone in steak was prepared a beautiful medium (as requested). The beef itself was flavorful but gristly. The plate also had sunchokes which looked like potatoes. There was another element on the dish that resembled roasted eggplants (had the stringy consistency and feel) but tasted like onions. We didn’t like that part as much. The miso sunchoke puree was smooth and creamy.
Service was pleasant and unobtrusive. Our water was constantly refilled. The general manager stopped by a few times to check on us and to talk about Lionfish. Friend and I congratulated him on a successful opening as well as a packed house on a Sunday evening. He said the restaurant has had fantastic success and is consistently filled with patrons.
Our meal was nice and efficient. We were in and out in about an hour and a half (keep in mind it was Sunday evening). The restaurant is beautiful and we’d return to try more dishes if the future. Thank you to Yelp and Lionfish for hosting !
LIONFISH COASTAL MODERN CUISINE
435 Fifth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101