I was recently treated to one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had: Fishmonger’s Market & Seafood Bar downtown.

Proudly serving sustainable seafood, every dish is carefully crafted and served with thoughtful preparation at this new location next to 57 Degrees on Hancock St. My dad and I were warmly welcomed by Chef Frankie (“The Bull”), who is immensely passionate about his commitment to sustainable seafood and saw a need for a European-style fish market and restaurant in San Diego.

Both my dad and I are total newbies to sushi (I admit, my experience hardly extends beyond California rolls.) Yet, at the chef’s suggestion, we tried crudo and sashimi and loved every bite! The first was a smoked salmon, perfect for transitioning “noobs” to the world of crudo:

strawberry slices + candied lemon + ginger salt + salmon roe + chocolate balsamic + sea beans

For my main course, I had lobster mac and cheese, which was creamy, rich, and absolutely delicious. Even Dad, whom I have never seen touch mac and cheese in his life, enjoyed the sumptuous bites.

Maine lobster + emmental and jack cheeses + parmesan breadcrumbs

Dad ordered the salmon carbonara, an interesting dish neither of us had ever really heard of, and not one you’d expect to find at Fishmonger’s Market, but it was just as delicious and satisfying as a homestyle Italian dish should be.

grilled salmon + three-cheese tortellini + shaved parmesan

Even the orange caesar salad and the chocolate fudge cake dessert were perfectly done!

While dessert was in the oven, we enjoyed watching and chatting with Fishmonger’s Market Sushi Chef David, who crafted one of their newest crudo creations for us (at Frankie’s personal suggestion.)

Ahi tuna + dark chocolate shavings + blood orange + ginger salt + sriracha
(Let it be known that “raw chocolate fish” is actually QUITE delicious, thankyouverymuch.) The flavors were impeccable, and seemed to truly bounce around your mouth, offering you a taste of each ingredient before you swallowed.

Afterward, Frankie treated us to “Indian candy” – essentially, in my eyes, a glazed salmon “jerky” that is stripped, dried, glazed, and dried again on racks for three days.

His look is misleading – he actually enjoyed it!

Frankie is a gracious host and takes immense pride in running an exceptional restaurant based on direct/sustainable-sourcing. But truly, everyone we encountered was friendly and welcoming, and we left with huge smiles on our faces. We will definitely be back soon, and bringing friends.

Fishmonger’s Market & Seafood Bar
1735 Hancock St.
San Diego, CA 92101
Open Tuesday-Saturday at 2:30pm; Sunday at 11am