Tuesday, January 31, 2012



By Michael Baehr


For the love of dog!

Loving the places you can dine with your furry friend


Recently, as this Chowhound was trotting around town sniffing out the latest eateries, I contemplated what “love” I could focus on for the February issue of the Clairemont Community News.   As I stumbled upon the Pacific Beach Fish Shop on Garnet Avenue, I instantly knew that dog-friendly dining was the “love” I would write about.  

You will recognize this former Mexican restaurant by the large swordfish hanging prominently in the front and the group of locals seen huddling around the outdoor fire pit.  The first giveaway that this restaurant is dog friendly is the extra-large jar of dog biscuits on the front counter.  

The process for ordering food is straightforward: pick your fish, select a marinade and pick a serving style.  We began with the lobster lumpia ($6), which included two large rolls nicely stuffed with lobster and crisply fried, made more enticing with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.  For my meal, I ordered halibut smothered in the Fish Shop’s seasoning as a plate, which included two sides ($24).  The 8oz. fish was cooked well and the sweet and salty seasoning was a perfect choice.  My sides of jasmine rice and house-cut fries were standard as far as sides go. Prices vary based on the available fish or special of the day and the “style” selected, such as taco, sandwich or full plate. My partner had the blackened salmon plate ($15.50), which had a spicy kick.  Despite the throwaway plates and utensils, this place can be on the pricey side depending on what you choose.  Tacos seem to be the best bet ranging in price from $3.50 to $6, and dollar oyster night on Thursdays is a deal.  As an added bonus, the selection of craft beers is impressive and you can bring your own bottle of wine without a corkage fee. 


A few of the many dog-friendly dining favorites on this Chowhound’s radar include:

       Bulls Smokin’ BBQ  at 1127 W. Morena Blvd.—This restaurant displays their love of animals with a large sign hanging out front which proudly reads ‘dog friendly’.  Order a pulled pork sandwich and enjoy an outdoor movie with best friend by your side. 

       Sandwich Emporium  at 3054 Clairemont Drive—After giving your dog a bath next door, you can enjoy a quick bite on the patio while Fido dries off.  The Spicy Julio sandwich (roast beef, jack cheese and avocado) is a local favorite!

       Yogurt Luv  at 3085 Clairemont Drive—This little gem is a great spot for a guilt-free sweet treat. Sit at one of the little tables outside with your four-legged friend and people watch while you enjoy dessert.

       Kitchen 4140  at 4140 Morena Blvd.—You and your pup are welcome to dine alfresco at this quaint and tasty neighborhood hot spot.  (Read my review in the January issue).

As you contemplate how to spend Valentine’s Day--or any other day--this year, don’t overlook our furry friends that give love unconditionally.  They deserve a day or night out and will wag their tails enthusiastically just to be by your side.  Clearly a number of local businesses have figured this out and are happy to accommodate you and your ‘best friend’.

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