Christian's Mariscos & Pescados (Seafood & Fish)

QUOTE:  “For fish to taste right, it must swim 3 times—in the sea, in butter, and in wine.”  --Oceanaire RestaurantOf all the fish in the ocean, I like fresh fish the best!  Thus is the credo of Christian Mahlke’s new gourmet fish market and restaurant in the Plaza Bayside Center in Coronado.  Christian brings in fresh fish daily from both the Pacific and Caribbean, as he has a long established relationship with fishermen and buys from the same people all the time.  The pescaderia features fresh lobster, crab, shrimp, and varieties of fish.  He sells whole smaller fish and uses large deep-sea fish for nice sized fillets.  Christian instills pride in the fact that most of his fish are caught in the healthier deep seas, rather than close to shore.  The pristine market boasts sparkling glass cases adorned with treasures from the sea in their beautiful colors. 

 The restaurant next door has a menu of---you guessed it---fish.  There are two ceviches:  shrimp and sea bass, and a sea bass cocktail for only $4-$4.50.  Patacones come in different quantities with either shrimp or mixed seafood.  There is a delicious soup of the day chock full of fresh fish and/or seafood.  The menu mainly features sea bass and red or white snapper, served whole or in fillets.  You can choose from sauces, including a white sauce with shrimp, mushrooms and white wine, a white sauce with clams, apple, grapes, and red wine, a light garlic sauce, or a Caribbean sauce with mixed seafood and coconut milk.  We have witnessed diners expressing a desire for an almandine sauce, and the kitchen was happy to oblige.  Included with entrees is your choice of patacones, white rice, or French fries.  Printed entrees range from $10-$24, and there usually are specials.  Happily, they have a lovely menu selection for children.

The restaurant is well run with a friendly and efficient staff.  It is subtly decorated in a nautical theme with fishnets, bamboo, and unobtrusive lighting.  They recently started serving local and international beer ($1.50-$2.50), and wine by the glass or bottle ($16-$18).  Currently, the market is open daily from 8 a.m.- 7 p.m., the restaurant is closed Tuesdays and open the rest of the week and weekend from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m.  On a recent Friday evening, the restaurant was packed to the max.  Fish Market:  345-7633, Restaurant:  345-2399, or

TIP:  Beginning sometime in the dry season, be on the lookout for outdoor seating in the evening:  tables topped with paper, furnished with mallets and bibs for some serious crab pounding and claw sucking feasts, just like DiNardo’s in Philadelphia!

Epicurious Em welcomes your comments and suggestions.  Feel free to e-mail me at