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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

 ANTHONY'S FISH GROTTO
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

This is an outstanding restaurant and I guess it's the flagship of the local seafood chain.  The minute you set eyes on the menu, you know you're in for a treat.

For seafood lovers, the first dilemma comes with the list of appetizers!  It's a hard decision.  Friends have raved about their famous crab cakes as starters but I'm always captured by steamed clams.  And here, if you're torn between clams and mussels, you can get a few of each in one appetizer.   Chowder lovers will love their fish chowder prepared either with a tomato or cream base.

For a California restaurant, the menu is unusually heavy on shrimp prepared in many different ways.  Call me stupid, but I usually shy away from shrimp at California restaurants because I'm hooked on fresh shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico.  I think they are the finest in America.  When we lived in the New Orleans suburb of Gretna, Louisiana I headed to a nearby channel and bought head-on live shrimp (still wiggling around) for a buck a pound!  Ah, those were the days!  But if you try the shrimp at Anthony's, I'm sure they will live up to your expectations.

The restaurant offers king crab and lobster and combo platters with some of each and/or a steak, too.

I'm a stickler for fish and I usually order whatever is fresh and in season.  Halibut is an outstanding choice here.  Ditto for rex sole, Pacific salmon and petrale sole.  Plus, they offer a fish combo which lets you sample three different types of fish.  It's best to keep the preparation simple to enjoy the true flavor of the fish.  I like my fish grilled over an open fire.  However if you like your seafood fried, this is not the kind of a place that's going to say no.  They will fry up your fish for you or you can order a fried seafood platter.

Pasta lovers will be delighted to see some tempting dishes on the menu and if your idea of a great meal is a salad, they offer a nice selections (although we've never tried one here).  And if you don't like seafood (what are you doing here in the first place?) there are a couple of meat offerings (chicken and steak) on the menu.

While this restaurant isn't cheap, it is moderately priced compared to many other seafood places in Southern California, especially when you consider the quality of the food.

There are several locations but we're familiar with the restaurant located at 1360 North Harbor Drive in San Diego.  For directions and menus, they have a nice web site here.