Lionfish San Diego


Finally, things are slowly getting back to “normal” with San Diego dining. We’re not quite there yet, but I’m super hopeful with the continued vaccine efforts in San Diego county.

And you can already feel a positive shift in moods as more people are venturing out to dine and explore delicious eats once again.

This week we were invited to dine with Lionfish in downtown San Diego. They offer up modern coastal cuisine and are located in the heart of the downtown Gaslamp district.

While we are not quite ready to eat out yet in public, Lionfish was kind enough to accommodate us with a to order to go.

Upon arriving to pick up, I felt a little disappointed I hadn’t agreed to dine there. As you can see, there was ample outside dining space and 5th street itself was closed off to accommodate this setup. There weren’t many people out yet because I arrived early ~5:30 pm. Oh well, next time…

As I walked inside of Lionfish, I was surprised to see it was socially bustling with a decent number of patrons.

It was nice to see all of the staff sporting KN95 masks which tells me they are very respectful of their guests.

There was a minor mixup in the kitchen when I arrived, so I hung out for a bit before receiving the food.

Dining at Home in Style!

When I arrived home, I was excited to find neatly prepared boxes that were well-labeled.
The first appetizer was the king salmon sashimi.

It came with 4 pieces of salmon, some ginger, and fresh wasabi.

Although it wasn’t big in portion size, the stellar quality made up for that. The salmon was super fresh, sumptuous, and put an instant smile on my face. If you haven’t had king salmon, try it. The fattiness and richness of flavor can’t be beaten by other types of salmon.

The next appetizer we got was a specialty roll – “Baller Roll” – Crab Leg, Big Eye Tuna, Avocado, Shiso, Truffle Aioli, Whisky Barrel Age Ponzu, Chive, Caviar.

This was also fresh and well-balanced with a lot of great ingredients playing nicely together.

The Entrees

For our first entree, we got the 14 Oz. Grilled Charsiu Pork Chop. This came with Blistered Chinese Long Beans, Crunchy Shallots & Garlic, & Barrel Aged Soy.

The pork chop was a hearty choice and the beans added some welcomed contrast to the meat. It was quite good, although a touch too salty and a tad dry (possibly because we got it go). Next time I think we would try out their 8 oz Filet.

Our second entree was their Spaghetti Lobster “Homard” – 1/2 Lobster, Newski Bacon Lardon, Dashi Cognac Cream, & Chives.

This was incredibly rich and satisfying. We loved the pieces of succulent lobster throughout the dish and the big chunks of bacon scattered about.

The Star

For our side we choice the Wild Mushrooms (Hon Shimeji, Oyster, and Maitaki, Smoked Soy, Happy Egg, Truffle Aioli)… yum.

Although it was a side dish, we both felt that this was the star of the night.  The deep mushroom flavors permeated our palettes instantly and we savored the earthy bliss. The happy egg was a great addition which added in a layer of creaminess.

So good! What would have made it even better, was a pinch less of salt. While some bites were perfect, we’d occasionally have some bites that were oversalted. However, that didn’t stop us from devouring the entire thing!

Always Room for Dessert

To top off this great meal, we enjoyed a slice of their Strawberry Crepe Cake (18 Layer Crepe Cake, Cheesecake Filling, Passionfruit Sorbet, Roasted Strawberries).

This was a real treat after a lovely meal at home. The sweet layers of the cake were mesmerizing. I love cheesecake, but sometimes it can be an overload of your senses. This multi-layered cake incorporated the best of cheesecake into a lighter treat.

We’d definitely order this one again!

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Another experience to be had during a global pandemic… fine dining at home!

Thanks to JT who hosted us for this evening’s meal.

Lionfish did not disappoint. They clearly used only quality and choice ingredients in their dishes which we appreciate so much.

As I was waiting to pick up my food I had an opportunity to observe the inside of the restaurant and it’s really great. It’s upscale without being stuffy, and modern and warm simultaneously. I’d definitely consider coming back here for date night and/or with a group of adult friends.

So, if you’re ready to venture back out, or simply want to try some fine dining in the comfort of your home, check out Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine.


Pendry San Diego

435 Fifth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

(619) 738-7200

Lionfish: Modern Coastal Cuisine

About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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