King's Fish House

825 Camino De La Reina, San Diego CA 92108
$$ Seafood

Think harbor fish market meets fifties diner: this lively restaurant offers excellent quality seafood in a casual and energetic atmosphere. The menu offers a variety of seafood sensations, including soups, salads, sushi, and pastas. In addition, there is steak, chicken, and burgers for the non-seafood eaters. The "Regional Specials" change daily, while fresh oysters, crab, and lobster add to the extensive choice of specialties. The wine list includes a generous selection of wines by the glass. The adjoining King Crab Lounge is a vibrant bar where one could start with a King’s Martini or micro-brewed beer.

Harbor Fish Market Meets American Fifties Diner

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If you are looking for excellent quality seafood at a reasonable price, King’s Fish House is the place to go.  Its upbeat and lively atmosphere, combined with an abundance of mouth-watering flavors and freshness, makes for an enjoyable seafood experience.

The restaurant is the creation of third-generation restaurateurs and fish lovers Sam and Jeff King.  What started as just a small coffee shop 50 years ago has developed into a successful chain, with 11 locations in California, and more branches in Nevada and Arizona.  Having traveled the world and sought inspiration from the traditions, flavors, and ingredients of far-away places, these cousins have created a place where they can bring their experiences together in a unique and festive style.  The Mission Valley location opened its doors seven years ago, and has been thriving ever since.  The kitchen is headed by Chef Domingo Maceda, who joined them a year ago.
This team is dedicated to sharing their passion for seafood with you, and this is evident the moment you enter the restaurant.

The casual and high-spirited atmosphere of this restaurant is complimented by the fresh, flavorsome food and friendly, jovial staff.  There is both outdoor and indoor seating available, depending on your mood or preference.  Inside it is quite bright, and the open layout lends itself to a fairly high noise level, so don’t expect to have a dim, romantic candlelit meal! 

We chose to sit indoors in comfortable leather booths, which offer fairly intimate dining while the busy servers hustle and bustle by, leaving mouth-watering aromas in their wake.  Wooden floors, red brick walls, and wooden paneling create a rustic and warm ambiance.  There is an old fish market feel, with details such as a giant mounted fish which appears to be watching the people below, and old-fashioned painted boards depicting fisherman on the docks.  Big wooden ceiling fans slowly turn in time to the saxophones and trumpets of the 50’s style Jazz music playing in the background.  Near the open kitchen, at the rear, are tanks filled with fresh Lobster and Crab, who lazily blow bubbles while the busy kitchen frantically prepares their delectable dishes. 

Our fellow patrons included young couples, big families with small children, and also elderly folk.  It seems that people of all ages are attracted to the easy-going nature of the place.     

Our server, Misha, was very friendly, efficient and knowledgeable.  And despite being run off her feet, our orders were served very timely, if not a little too much so!  

The intriguing menu contains an endless variety of seafood sensations, including soups, salads, sushi and pastas.  The dishes change daily, and offer a wide variety of exotic and explosive flavors from the seas, lakes and streams of our surrounding regions.  In addition to the fish dishes are offerings of steak, chicken, sandwiches, and burgers for the non-seafood eaters.  The delectable Regional Specials change daily, while fresh oysters, crab and lobster add to the extensive choice of specialties.

They offer a pleasing wine list, which is made up of mostly Californian wines. The list includes a generous variety of wines by the glass, as well as half bottles.  They even have a choice of four different chilled or hot Sake (Japanese wine) for the sushi lovers.  The drink menu includes a refreshing selection of micro-brewed beers, which come in four different sizes, depending on the severity of your thirst.  And last but certainly not least, is the cocktail menu, which includes their King’s Martini selection. 

On arrival at our table we each had a Pomegranate Margarita, which was served in a highball glass rimmed with salt and a slice of lime, and contained the perfect amount of tequila – not too strong, but enough so that you know it’s there!  

A very nice touch was the lovely fresh, homemade bread, which was brought to our table while we pondered over our menus.

For a starter, I chose the half-dozen Oyster Sampler from the “Today’s Oysters” section of the menu, which as the name suggests, changes on a daily basis.  I chose this particular starter as it allowed me to taste six different types of Oysters in one sitting.  These included succulent species from Washington, Canada, and California.  I battled to find a notable difference between the various types, but they were all very soft and buttery.  Already loosened in their shells, they slid down the throat easily – no having to pull them apart with the fork.  Freshly shucked to order, they were creamy and utterly delicious.  They were served on ice with freshly shaved horseradish, a spicy tomato sauce, and diced onion in red wine vinegar – an explosion of flavors.  Parsley and lemon garnish completed the practical presentation.

My companion chose the Ahi Poke starter, being a Sushi-lover, and found it to be a deliciously unusual twist on the basic tuna sashimi (raw tuna).  Spiced with poke sauce, it was a taste sensation.  The combination of the raw tuna and this hot and spicy sauce was a very pleasant surprise to the taste buds.  The tuna was firm but tender.  The sprinkling of crunchy macadamia nuts, sesame seeds and cucumber made for a fascinating combination of textures.  It was loosely presented with seaweed and sprouts - the flavor made up for the presentation!

I made my selection of entree from “Today’s Regional Specials”, which changes on a daily basis.  Our server recommended the Macadamia Crusted Alaskan Halibut, and I’m so glad she did.  It was absolutely sensational.  The fat (but not fatty), round piece of fish was fluffy, moist and very tender, while the Macadamia coating was both crunchy and crumbly.  A rich Orange Ginger Butter sauce completed this glorious dish.  The entree was served with my choice of two “sidekicks”; a nice approach.  I chose the Sautéed Fresh Spinach, which was very soft and very tasty.  To my glee, it wasn’t bitter and didn’t stick to my teeth.  My second side order was the Coleslaw, which was crunchy and fresh, but a little dry and not very tasty.  The serving size of my meal was substantial: not too big, not too small.  There was still enough space left over to consider dessert.  I sipped on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (Fetzer, CA) with my meal, and I found it to be very light and crisp with grassy undertones.  It would go better with Shellfish, but I enjoyed it thoroughly with my Halibut nonetheless.

My guest decided on the Idaho Trout Amandine, served with Lemon Butter sauce and topped with Toasted Almonds – another magnificent fusion of flavors.  The fish, which comes from Alaskan waters, was very firm and fresh, while the rich, crispy coating added exciting and delicious texture.  He opted for the Garden Vegetables and Parsley New Potatoes on the side.  Both were tasty, but not very exciting.  A glass of Pinot Gris (McMurray, CA) accompanied the meal.  It had quite an unusual flavor, and was a slightly heavier and sweeter white wine.  But the crisp, fruity taste with hints of Peach and Honeydew Melon complimented the dish perfectly.   

With some enticing from our server, we agreed to share something sweet and simple from the selective dessert menu.  We decided on the Traditional New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Puree.  What a delight!  The sizeable slice was just the right amount for two substantially filled people to share, and was creamy, soft and totally delectable.  It resonated that distinct, original texture of grandma’s home baked cheesecake recipe.  The smothering of strawberry puree and mint garnishing made a beautifully presented and tantalizing treat. 

To help us on our way we drank Cappuccinos made with Illy coffee and frothed milk.  The flavor was toasty and very appreciable; an excellent way to end a very pleasant and satisfying evening.
Due to the relaxed and laid-back nature of this restaurant, one could almost expect the food to be of a lesser standard, but you may just find it to be above your expectations.  The lively atmosphere and casual manner, together with their delicious dishes, is what makes this place such a pleasure to visit, whether you are 9 yrs or 90 yrs old!  It is situated in a retail complex and is easily accessible, so whether it is day or night, you should be able to find parking right outside the door.  And the fact that they are open 7 days a week from lunch till late makes it a worthwhile choice.  I will definitely find myself returning to the addictive energy of this jovial joint.

Additional Restaurant Features:
An additional feature of the restaurant is the adjoining King Crab Lounge, which is a lively Sports Bar and a great place to start off with a pre-dinner cocktail, or maybe you would prefer to end off with a smooth liqueur.  Alternatively, you can take advantage of their Easy Hour (Monday to Friday), when they serve light meals and drinks at hard to beat prices.  The cheerful fairy lights and brightly colored decor adds to the warm and festive atmosphere. 

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Business Info

  • Address: 825 Camino De La Reina, San Diego CA 92108
  • Cross Street: Camino Del Arroyo
  • Location: Mission Valley & Clairemont | Mission Valley
  • Cuisine: Seafood |
  • Cost: | Inexpensive
  • Category: Casual Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Unknown
  • Dress Code: Casual
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: None |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Phone: (619) 574-1230
  • Features: Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Takeout Available, Wheelchair Access,
  • Occasion: Child Friendly,


King's Fish House - King's Fish House

Business Hours

Reservations Available
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
All Day - Main Dining Room 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Customer Reviews & Ratings

4.5 out of 5 stars based on 1 votes