By ROBIN DOHRN-SIMPSON
When the Szechuan Mandarin Restaurant closed a while back, it was like losing a limb for San Diegans who grew up dining there. It was the cornerstone of Mission Gorge Road and Interstate 8 for 40 years. Mark Sun sold the restaurant 20 years ago and now he finds himself back in the kitchen with his new passion project, Fish Grub, which held its official grand opening on March 31.
The newly remodeled restaurant boasts a lovely patio with a fire pit. Enjoy indoor, outdoor or bar dining. Inside dining is now available and they offer comfortable booths, tall tables and an inviting bar. For your entertainment, you can watch a vibrant video of colorful fish swimming among coral on many big screen televisions throughout the establishment.
Sun’s philosophy is to serve seafood that is responsibly sourced. He is health conscious and combines standard cooking with an Asian fusion twist.
Fish and chips are the mainstay of the menu. Try the Sriracha aioli sauce with your battered fish. It’s mild yet tasty and addicting. Add a side dish of Asian slaw with sesame vinaigrette. Another intriguing side dish is cauli-mashed potatoes.
If you don’t enjoy fish or seafood, you are still in luck. Fish Grub offers a variety of sandwiches including chicken served on a hoagie bun. Here is another chance to try the Sriracha aioli sauce. It’s just doggone good. Coconut curry shrimp or chicken with rice is a nice alternative or creamy walnut shrimp.
If you want just a bite, there are tavern bites offered. Oyster shooters, peppery calamari, sesame crusted seared Ahi, or fish tacos.
Craft beers pair nicely with fish and Fish Grub offers 13 different local or nearby brews. White and red wines also pair with different fish and sauces. Try a chilled white wine paired with fish. If you enjoy red wines, they also pair nicely with the depth of some of the sauces. Both Pinot Noir and Zinfandel can also hold up to the bolder flavors.
This restaurant will become the new cornerstone on Mission Gorge Road. Try them now before the lines are out the door, which they will be once the secret is out.
For menu details and a map of the area go to www.fishgrub.net.