Escape Fish Bar

Escape Fish Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.escapefishbar.com/
  • Phone: 6197029200
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday & Sunday: 11:00am - 11:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Fusion / Eclectic, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Escape Fish Bar
San Diego's new local eatery, Escape Fish Bar, is a haven for seafood lovers. We serve delicious seafood with recipes influenced by the Pacific Northwest, Central America & Asia. The signature Escape Tacone is a fish filled, perfectly grilled tortilla with home-made roasted pumpkin seed slaw, lime pickled jicama & onions, daikon radish sprouts, & house-made smoked chili avocado sauce. Feast on tempura Battered Fish & Chips with your choice of local caught halibut, wild caught salmon, mahi mahi, albacore, Alaskan cod or pollock served with double cooked Kennebec fries & double horseradish tartar sauce. Other intriguing options include Chipotle Coconut Seafood Chowder, a Spiked Togarashi Caesar, & a Thai Seafood Salad with shrimp & Alaskan white fish on rice noodles with spicy lime coconut milk dressing. For unforgettable food, exciting atmosphere, local handcrafted draft & bottled beers & a wide selection of wines by the glass, - we offer an Escape without having to leave town.
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Escape Fish Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
16 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (9)fit for foodies (7)great for lunch (7)great for outdoor dining (6)late-night find (2)hot spot (2)kid-friendly (1)romantic (1)Show More
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    excellent fresh seafood, well prepared and seasoned. Attentive and friendly/helpful waitstaff.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spectacular Seafood
    Andrew
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    The service was wonderful and the food was spectacular. The menu includes local caught halibut, yellowtail, sea bass, and swordfish. We had mussels from Carlsbad to start and the chef threw in some clams for us as well. The servers were very convivial and accomodating. The portions of the grilled fish plates are more than enough to fill you up. This place is great!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The best AMAzing food!
    Htorres
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    The food was cooked perfect, the flavour fas really amazing!! The service top! Really an amazing place to dinner!
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fishtacular!
    PandCdineout
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Blackened Swordfish. Lemon butter Yellowtail. Both were fabulous. Best meal we had in the five days we spent in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Conference attendee
    Regular
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We wanted seafood one night and picked this based on reviews. It was a pretty small restaurant and there was a table of a dozen guys when we got there. "Mercedes" seated us in one if the two outside tables and warned us our food could take us a while because of the large group. She was great to let us know ahead of time and comped us an order of their special fries while we waited. Our food did take a little longer but it was worth the wait. The busboy and Mercedes kept checking on us and we had a great time. Large portions and great taste! We would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We had a great dinner at Escape. Our server was excellent. She was knowledgeable and really nice. I had the tacones with shrimp. They were fantastic, and I'm only disappointed that I don't live in San Diego and I'll have to travel to have them again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • small place, good food.
    neignbor
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    No ambience. You feel like you are eating on the sidewalk. Food was good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome local fresh fish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    You cannot miss with this place. Always great service and fantastic food. They mix a mean margarita too.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 8 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.6
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 37 reviews are from the Escape Fish Bar reviews archive.
  • Michael
    AdmanVIP
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    Great tempura fish and chips. Pumpkin seed slaw was great too. Both the tartar and ketchup were tangy and good.Great location on historic 5th Street.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    Kelle
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    I recently traveled to San Diego and stayed in the Gaslamp District. My parents also happened to be in town at the same time and wanted to meet for dinner but my dad is adverse to "expensive" meals, but I wanted fish. I found Escape Fish Bar on Yelp and am so glad I did! The prices are very reasonable, there is a great selection of fresh fish and the tacones were perfect for those who want a smaller meal. All of our meals were great! The kitchen is so tiny it is amazing how they get so much done! The service was also great. The food came out quickly and our server was very patient with our big group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good seafood
    colinyourbluff
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The mussels appetizer was great. Probably the best part of the meal. I got grilled shrimp Cajun style and really enjoyed the aioli sauce. Downsides: small and noisy.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • It was ok
    CatDVMVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    The place is ok and the service was so so. Looks a bit like it is being held together with not much care. The food was interesting but a bit overpriced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • ok
    Fishsmith
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Service was quick and friendly. Calamaris a bit gooey and crab cakes a bit spicy. The main courses were decent, not outstanding. Not a bad diner at a reasonable price, however, no lasting memory.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious Fish, So-So Atmosphere
    UlteemitVIP
    Dined on 3/26/2014
    I had lunch here with two business colleagues. We each ordered a different version of their "Taconos". These had our choice of grilled fish pieces with vegetables and sauce in a funnel-snaped wrap. They were delicious. The house hefeweizen was also great. Atmosphere was minimalist, with bare wood tables and chairs and tiled floors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Soggy fries
    K2468
    Dined on 3/2/2014
    We ordered the fish and chips. Halibut was great, but the chips were soggy...a big disappointment.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • High above the ordinary!
    Souplover
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    We reserved a table here for a dinner for 2 after reading reviews on multiple websites. We were in SD for a convention and like to eat at great restaurants when we travel. This one fit the bill. The menu is smaller than some, but each item seems to be well thought out, perfectly prepared and , well, a GEM! It was our favorite seafood restaurant of our trip. The service was perfect, food perfect, ambiance superb. It's small, not overly loud, friendly and easy to overlook from the street. Don't miss this one. It's a great little place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Real food
    Janet
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    The menu is simple and not fussy- choose your fresh fish, choose the prep style and voila! The food was delicious, fresh, creative, simple and the service super friendly. What stands out is the small size makes your dinner intimate and prices are great compared to many more touristy places. It's nice to have pure good food and small scale venues when travelling.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I tried the halibut fish tacones...
    nickpark99VIP
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    I tried the halibut fish tacones... OMG!! They were phenomenal! So fresh, moist and flaky.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DISAPPOINTMENT
    suebeedo
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    With no one else in the restaurant I ask myself how could the service be so poor. The waiter was busy socializing w another employee and left us there. I use your website often and I really think u should take this one off your list.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great little find
    FoodieVIP
    Dined on 2/20/2014
    Unassuming to say the least its not a restaurant you would pick for its looks, but the food is quite pleasant. A must try are the panko shrimp cakes, absolutely delicious and full of flavor. The fish tacos had hearty portions of fish, we chose the sea bass which was very fresh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find in the Gas Lamp
    mobilediner
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    This was a great find with the help of Open Table. Food has very reasonable and yummy. Tempura pickles and Chiptotle Soup was a hit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent local fish
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Great service [thanks, Lawrence], quality libations, fresh and delicious food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice variety of fish
    traveler
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    This is a small neighborhood restaurant, be sure to make reservations. You can dine either inside or outside. Now for the food, had the fish and chips, choose the halibut, but they have other varieties as well. I like malt vinegar with my fish and chips, but it comes with tartar sauce and a chili type sauce as well. The fish was cooked to perfection, large mound of yummy fries and some of the best coleslaw that I've every had in my life. They also have wraps, salads, a nice beer and wine list. There a several restaurants along this street, this one is definitely worth your attention.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • TINY BUT TERRIFFIC
    fritchie
    Dined on 1/31/2014
    Super fresh fish and veggies done to perfection. Don't miss the LARGE Escape Margaritas! One of the best we've had! Reasonably priced. Right in the heart of the Gaslamp.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting FRESH menu
    onlyfreshwilldo
    Dined on 1/25/2014
    Though it is very small in size, Escape serves a quality meal. Everything we ordered was presented beautifully, the portions were generous, and everything was delicious. The bottomless Sangria was a big hit at our table as well. The service was prompt and friendly. Wait staff was knowledgeable and helped to make our dining experience memorable. We will definitely be back and would recommend it to any one, as there were many choices besides just fish on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small But Superb
    EatalyVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Small place but the food was special. Very fresh fish and I won't spoil the surprise on the chowder but don't miss it. Chef came out to make sure everything was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful Hole-in-the-Wall!
    AlessandroVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    Don't be fooled by first impressions. The Escape Fish Bar looks like a small modest eatery with few tables and no frills. The seafood, however, is very very good and our server was attentive and and knowledgeable. My wife and I dined at an outdoor table on the small sidewalk patio. We were surprised at the number of people who stopped to look at the posted menu, started to come in, then had second thoughts and left, muttering that the place didn't look like much. They don't know what they missed out on!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food
    Kat76
    Dined on 11/12/2013
    The Fish was great, plus the Extras like veggies etc. Enjoyed it
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hidden Gem in the Gaslight Quarter
    PlumVIP
    Dined on 10/26/2013
    The fish is very fresh and well-prepared. We had the sea bass tacones and sea bass fish and chips. Both dishes were delicious, and plenty of food for a decent price. The service was friendly and helpful, but not intrusive. A delightful little place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    AZfishloverVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2013
    Eat at this restaurant. You will not be disappointed. It has fresh seafood that you can have prepared one of four ways plus other special items on the menu. Our party picked three different fishes, prepared as fish tacos and grilled. All were terrific!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresh Fish
    ariel
    Dined on 10/15/2013
    I was looking for fish and chips using cod. Waitress encouraged me to try the halibut fish and chips which were awesome. My wife's salmon was exquisitely done.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Hope it stays open
    Indycouple
    Dined on 10/15/2013
    This place was delicious! We visited on a Tuesday night. Made the reservation at 6:30, but arrived by 6. There were all of 2 other people there. It is a small place with a limited number of tables. We sat outside to watch the crowds on the street, and the wait staff lit up the heaters, being down to 60 degrees and all. As for food, there was a choice of fish, some local, but all fresh. The tacones were really just grilled wraps with wonderful dressings and the fish. The rice was super heavy on lime, but very good. At first sight, I thought it wasn't enough food for the price. Then, I proceeded to not eat it all! Maybe it was because of the Tuesday, but this place deserves more customers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Seafood Restaurant
    AlannaK
    Dined on 9/30/2013
    Excellent food and exceptional service. It was my first visit to San Diego. I had the Sea Bass Tacone and my daughter had the Halibut Tacone. They were excellent! Large pieces of fresh fish - very generous portions with reasonable pricing. If you are looking for a great seafood place, I highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find
    MontrealLover
    Dined on 8/18/2013
    My boyfriend and I ate dinner there during our trip to San Diego and we loved it. Certainly a highlight of our trip ! The service was perfect, the food was divine, and we had a lovely time ! We especially liked the small details like the jokes on the menu. I would recommend this small restaurant to everyone visiting San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just ok
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/13/2013
    Food was ok, service sufficed, therefore just ok. Would not go back, as there are many other choices in that part of San Diego
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food, Great Prices!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    A small little storefront along busy 5th Ave (we missed it the first time we passed), Escape Fish Bar offers great fresh fish done extremely well. We started with an appetizer of fries (with the tasty curry ketchup) and oysters (a real bargain). Both were great, especially with their selection of local brews. We had the option of having our main entree done in various ways. My swordfish was grilled with a dill lemon dressing on a bed on jasmine rice and freshly steamed vegetables. My companion had an interesting local take; "tacones", in this case yellowtail wrapped in a tortilla cone with roasted pumpkin seed slaw, pickled veggies and an avocado sauce. Both were exceptional. The waitstaff was very attentive and helpful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fish tacos!
    Seafoodjunkie
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    Best fish tacos in San Diego! The food was incredible! We had great outdoor seating right in the heart of the gaslamp. Will return here to eat again when back in San Diego again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Quick lunch or dinner
    MoreoverVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2013
    Most of the OpenTable picks are larger restaurants with an extensive menu. Escape however, is a small cafe style on a busy street in the gaslamp quarter, which was actually a nice change from a more formal sit down restaurant. The service was good. The fish tacos were tasty. Although the garnish in the tacos is the same garnish used in the crab appetizer so the tastes are continuous throughout, could be good or not so much if you're opting for variety. The halibut is a quality portion in both the tacos and fish and chips dinner.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Meals!
    freddy
    Dined on 6/25/2013
    We found Escape on tripadvisor. It was rated highly so we gave it a shot. Small restaurant in the heart of the gaslamp district. We sat at one of the few outside tables. Our server was excellent, had great recommendations. We both loved our meals. It was fairly quiet at the time we were eating, so can't really say much about the atmosphere, but it was perfect for us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • we sat outside on the patio
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 5/13/2013
    we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the energy of the street - casual and fun, delicious fish taco
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic