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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pacific Catch

My in-laws are visiting this week, so Brian and I decided to take them to Pacific Catch, one of our favorite restaurants in the city for casual, kid-friendly dining. It's in a great location, they have a varied menu that specializes in seafood, and most importantly, they welcome children without being tacky. We first came here years ago, and it was during that visit that we became fans. Though we had a reservation, the party seated at our table wasn't getting up, and the restaurant was super crowded. While we waited they brought us sweet potato fries to keep our bellies full and were chatty and friendly to our (then) toddler. When they finally seated us, they brought us a ton of appetizers, all on the house. Today we didn't have that problem, and they sat us right away. To start, they leave a dish of edamame and pretzel goldfish crackers. By the time I met up with family, the goldfish were long gone!


The cool thing about Pacific Catch is that while their menu has remained relatively unchanged for the past few years, they also offer daily specials, for those patrons wanting to try something new.



We ordered a few appetizers and decided to share a bottle of white wine. We chose a 2010 Russian River Chardonnay. It was light, sweet and perfect to accompany our fish.


My in-laws both chose the Coconut & Ginger Tom Kha ($7.00) soup for their appetizer. It was a creamy soup with shrimp, mushrooms & tomatoes in a spicy Thai coconut broth. Very aromatic and tasty!


Hubby and I, on the other hand, ordered exactly what we always get, since they are just so good! We chose the Sweet Potato Fries ($6.00) and our son's favorite food, Cabo Calamari ($9.00).  The fries are served with two sauces. I prefer the ginger wasabi aoili, but the sweet Thai chili sauce also pairs well with the fries. I love the faux newspaper that they are served on, too!


The calamari is light and crispy, and it is served with a spicy chipotle aoili. In addition to the fresh lemon wedges to season the calamari, there are also deep fried lemon slices thrown onto the plate.


We rounded out our appetizer course with the dish that Pacific Catch does the best. It's my favorite, and I have yet to have a better tuna poke out there. The Hawaiian Poke ($9.50) is made from sushi-grade ahi tuna, seasoned with soy, ginger, sesame and onions, and served in a glass surrounded by crispy wonton chips. Divine!


Keeping along the poke theme, I ordered the dish that keeps me coming back here. I literally crave Pacific Catch's poke, so for my main course I selected one of their Pan-Asian Rice Bowls. My favorite is the Japanese Wasabi with Hawaiian Poke ($15.00) which is just chock-full of fresh ingredients and complimentary flavors. The poke is piled on either white or brown rice and accompanied by shaved nori, fresh wasabi, sliced avocado and a seaweed salad. I get this every time, and it never disappoints. I like it so much that I even try making it at home, but my poke never turns out as well.


We also had a salad, and the salads here are huge! The Sushi Grade Ahi Salad ($13.50) has slices of seared ahi tuna over greens with avocado, cucumber, diakon sprouts and sesame seeds with a soy-wasabi vinaigrette. Hawaiian Poke is also available as a substitute in this salad.


Finally, we rounded off our meal with another Pan-Asian Rice Bowl. Brian is a huge fan of pork, so he opted to try the Korean Barbecue with Sticky Ribs ($16.00). The dish was presented beautifully, but he said that he didn't particularly enjoy the dish. Since Korean ribs are traditionally beef he wanted to give the pork a chance, but he felt it was out of place. The ribs were served with a green onion panchan, seasoned cucumber, shredded omelette, diakon sprouts and nori, and tossed in a sweet Korean barbecue sauce.


My advice is to stick with the fish because that is what Pacific Catch is known for. For first-time visitors, the Poke is a must-try, but you also can't go wrong with any of their grilled fish dishes either. If fried is your thing, they have some great Fish & Chips ($10 for 2 pcs) or a Mixed Catch Basket ($14.50) that includes fish, coconut shrimp and oysters. They also have a full bar and Happy Hour from  4:00 - 6:00 pm Monday-Friday, and from 10:00 pm-closing nightly.


Pacific Catch (@PacificCatch)
1200 9th Avenue @ Lincoln, San Francisco, CA  94122



Pacific Catch 9th Ave on Urbanspoon

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