Anthony's Fish Grotto - La Mesa

4.4
881 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Anthony's Fish Grotto, located on its own private spring-fed lake in La Mesa, offers delicious food, amazing service, and an unmatched atmosphere. A complete menu offers both seafood and meat choices. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. You can enjoy cocktails in the bar or on the heated lake view patio alongside our fire-pit. Your well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you at our lakefront tables to enjoy a relaxing meal together. Our Bocce Ball Court can be used by any guest or booked for a private event.
What 881 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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San Diego
25 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The view of Lake Murray with palm trees and fountain through the panoramic windows is amazing, creating a terrific atmosphere for a business lunch or family dinner. More grilled fish on the menu and less of an emphasis on breaded seafood would be an improvement.

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JW
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anthony’s has a really good cobb salad with seafood in the mix. Gigi is a first class server.

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A
San Diego
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the diners at our table said he is allergic to olives. It turned out his dish had olives in it and he didn’t know that. He told the server, and without missing a beat she offered to get the chef to make the same dish with no olives and she took the dish with olives back. She served a new dish with no olives in a very short amount of time. That’s great customer service!!

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LS
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

Food was excellent but service spotty. Lovely view of lake. Greeted warmly and seated immediately. But dirty plates left on table until we departed. Table cloths would improve the ambiance. Or at least placemats.

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j
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our swordfish was cooked perfectly.
The wine choice went great with all our meals. Thanks for the complimentry birthday desert

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BK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great. Service was slow and table behind us was noisy and demanding. Waitress spent a lot of time trying to please them, and left us unattended a lot.

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R
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Anthony's in La Mesa is one of my two favorite eateries in San Diego. Anyone taking the stairs down from the parking area is immediately led away from urban mundane into a serene almost jungle like surrounding before entering the restaurant. The under-the-sea decor of Anthony's is interesting but what I like most about the layout is the spacing of tables... ample space away from other diners. The food is delicious, and well prepared. An outing to Anthony's is always a treat. May they live long and prosper.

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SB
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was busy, but they worked us in. Once we were seated, there was no rush to get rid of us. The server was extremely attentive and polite and we were easily able to converse with each other despite how busy it was. The food was great as always!

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NB
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

I wouldn’t suggest coming on a major holiday such as Mothers Day. I made a reservation thinking it would be the smart thing to do. I had been here before and knew I wanted to sit inside by the window overlooking the lake. I had my grandchildren with me and knew they’d enjoy the ducks. Upon checking in I was told our table wasn’t ready and it would be 20 mins. and maybe longer for a table by the window. It was also my birthday and I wanted the table by the window to make my meal more special.
The waitress came and took our drink orders and after serving them we ordered our starters and meal and I never saw her again. Our appetizers were served by someone else as they became ready which was fine. I wanted to order a bottle of wine to go with dinner and managed to flag down the hostess and asked her. Apparently our waitress was getting off and whoever was waiting on us now had not come to our table to introduce himself yet. Finally my bottle of wine came and it was delivered by our new waiter Ricardo. He delivered it and left. Our meal came and I had ordered the lobster tail and filet mignon. My steak was overdone and my baked potato was not done. I don’t like crunchy baked potatoes. I wanted it fixed but wasn’t able to flag anyone down. I managed to eat some of my steak before finally Ricardo comes to the table by us and I tell him about it. He brings me another and it was fine. We ordered dessert as well and my grandson told Ricardo that it was my birthday. I ordered the strawberry cheesecake and my grandson ordered the Spumoni. Ricardo came back and placed a bowl of ice cream in front of me with a decoration in it and said happy birthday. He placed my strawberry shortcake in front of my grandson and totally forgot the Spumoni he ordered.
This was a very trying experience. I was so looking forward to this day. It just didn’t work out this time. I just wouldn’t advise coming on a major holiday. The service is very poor when it’s busy.

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JW
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

It breaks my heart to have to give Anthony's such a bad review because up to this point we have just loved them so much over the years. We had a reservation for my wife's first mothers day and though I truly understand that this is a crazy day for all places I was particularly disheartened because ultimately we never got seated and left. When we arrived they were keeping a list for walk ins and reservations. I stood at the front waiting for our name to be called as we were told it would be about 10 minutes only to find that people who had walked in, no reservation were being seated ahead of those who did have a reservation. I did not misunderstand any of this because I stood right in front of the desk and heard those saying they had reservations vs those who were told it was up to a 1 hour wait if they did not. There were 3 tables in the outside area that sat empty at one point so I finally asked why they are not seating people there and her answer was "those tables are reserved" . I answered "but I have a reservation how far down the list am I?" She said it would be just a little bit longer. After an hour, we finally just gave up as did others around me. We wound up having a wonderful mothers day after all at home but such a disappointment as it was my wife's first Mothers Day and we had our sweet 5 month old daughter with us and my mother and father in law and were really looking forward to it. I won't say that I will never go back because I do understand the madness that Mothers Day can bring but It will certainly not be our "go to" anymore because of all off this.

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JM
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Top of the line seafood! Wonderful table outside by the lake. Open Table reservation didn’t allow a request for an outdoor table. We had to wait over an hour be seated outside even though we had a reservation. That was a little disappointing but overall it was great!

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DW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Mother's Day lunch ever! Stephanie was the best waitress ever, and the food was excellent.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Amazing brunch venue by the pond, animal friendly and idyllic setting.

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EO
Phoenix
10 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating Mother’s Day with dinner the night before. There is something for everyone from the menu and a variety of fun cocktails. The service is fantastic! With good food and great service at good prices, it’s no wonder why this restaurant is busy! Love coming here whenever I am in San Diego!

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KB
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

We waited over 30 minutes for a table with reservations. They took a party of 5 before us even though we’d been waiting longer and had reservations prior. If it wasn’t for a server who felt sorry for us we never would have been seated. He went over the hostess and seated us at a table that was WAY too small for 6 but we made it work.

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OT
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

wonderful ambience and decent food. Unfortunately overpriced and our server refilled our drinks not one time in the entire meal. definite room for improvement, but it does appear to be a great place to have a larger party

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MR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Had a pre Mother’s Day dinner with my mom and girlfriend they both loved it, food was excellent, service as well. Beautiful atmosphere to top it all off

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ST
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Had a wonderful birthday dinner here with friends last week. The hosts made sure we had access to the bacci ball area and warmers for outside since it was a bit windy/cold, but beautiful! They did offer us to go inside, but I really wanted to enjoy the scenery and privacy outside. Our waiter was congenial and quick. We always enjoy coming here and the food is always good, but it is a bit overpriced which keeps us from being regulars in the neighborhood compared to other seafood spots.

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RL
1 review
Dined on May 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were pleasantly surprised by how nostalgic Anthony’s was. The ocean decor inside makes the place quite cozy. It feels dated in a good way, like walking back in time. The view of the water feature, the ability to bring your dog and sit outside and watch the ducks and just the overall nuisance of the place was really awesome to experience. We had great service and the food was really good, without the cost being excessive. I highly recommend Anthony’s for a nice nostalgic take on a good meal.

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A
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice place for dinner. I was disappointed to hear they moved from the port but completely understand the reason as to why. And my papa actually took us here, and now we all decided it would become our tradition to go every time in San Diego.

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g
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It has always been a favorite but wow the avocado salad is too expensive,

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y
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We were able to enjoy an evening dinner with a 6yr old. Watching the water and ducks kept her busy.

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KB
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anthony's Fish Grotto was one of my mother-in-law's favorite places to eat in La Mesa. When she died this month, we decided to have a pre-funeral dinner there to honor her memory. The food was superb, the waitress was informative and had a delightful personality (the wine she recommended was perfect with our food) and we felt like the occasion was special. We even came back the next night, just for the food! Great place, a La Mesa landmark, and we look forward to eating there the next time we visit San Diego.

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JM
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 5

The salmon was not cooked properly. It was undercooked. We sent it back to be cooked better. It arrived about 10 minutes later. ‘‘This time it was satisfactory, but we have had better at the Cheesecake Factory.
Paying the check took to long to get the attention of the waiter.
We had a much better experience at the old fish Grotto, and at Anthony’s By the Sea in years past.

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WM
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service for our large family of 7.

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JM
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Haven't been to Anthony's, La Mesa in about 60 years ago! Made reservation on Open Table which was very easy. I looked at your website to check out the setting. The pond and outdoor seating was what I was looking for and we couldn't have been more pleased. delightful service and wonderful seafood Cobb Salad. Looking forward to another time! Thanks.

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JM
1 review
Dined on April 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Been dining here for 30 years. Always exceptional food, nice lake view, and quiet even when busy. We had an 8 person family group for lunch on a busy Good Friday. Becky, our server was fast, efficient, friendly, and patient. Wait time for our food was very short. Anthony's has the best fried fish and shrimp I have ever had anywhere in the country.

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MH
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my daughter’s birthday. We were seated right away at the window (as requested!). The food was delicious and the service was timely and the staff friendly.

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PN
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Thank you enjoyed

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

Our service ruined our entire dinner. The hostess who seated us was very kind - I don’t remember her name. But our waitress Kiley was horrible. We waited over 10 minutes for her to simply come by to say hi and get our beverage order. We had a feeling service was going to be slow so we went ahead and ordered our cocktails, ordered water, our appetizers and our entrees. When our drinks arrived and our meal - I asked for water again. No water came. Half way through my meal another waiter came by and was about to serve us another tables drinks. So I asked him for water. Finally the third time around, our waitress brings the water - after I’ve completed my meal - and she gave no apology. Through out our meal - she never checked up on us - not once. Between just my husband and I - we spent $163 for dinner. We eat out often. We easily and happily pay over $200-300 for a dinner - unfortunately the food did not outweigh the horrible service we got - definitely not worth dealing with the poor customer service. What a shame - but thankfully there are other better choices here in San Diego!

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LG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

5 of us went for an 80th birthday dinner on Saturday night at 6:45. I made a reservation and in addition went to the restaurant the day ahead to ask for a really quiet table because of hearing issues in the group. Trisha the hostess left a special note for her colleague the next day, and we ended up in the banquet room separate from the dining room. It was wonderful - all of us with hearing issues were able to participate in the conversation. Thank you, Trisha!

The ambience in the evening is just wonderful. The dining room and outdoor dining areas wrap around a large outdoor pond which has fountains and colored lights. The menu is a bit dated, but if you have any special needs, they are easy to meet here. And there are non-fish selections as well.

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L
Los Angeles
18 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Make a special trip to this location since the one in the harbor was closed. Foo and service are Siesta good if a bit pricey but worth it.

View of the lake in or outside is calming.

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MR
San Diego
54 reviews
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We were outside and it was beautiful. The tables just outside the door were a bit close together and others' conversations were hard to avoid. We really appreciated that the Louis and Cobb salads now feature very nice gulf shrimp, which are much better than the bay shrimp that used to come with them. Thank you!

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OT
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on April 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Good experience. Outside patio was very pleasant.

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RO
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Brunch. Had a wonderful time. Relaxing atmosphere.

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JB
Palm Springs
14 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for Lenten meal

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TC
Los Angeles
130 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Do you want to return to the 1950’s or 1960’s? You can at Anthony’s Grotto. The ambiance is lovely and warm. The waitstaff makes you feel like they’ve known you for years. The mixed seafood kebab was excellent. The coleslaw side dish was savory. It’s worth the experience

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BB
Portland
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We were a group of 4 with 6:00 PM reservations, arrived at 6:00 and were promptly seated. Wait person was very conscientious about our ordering of drinks and food, perhaps a bit too conscientious. Grilled octopus and scallops were great, swordfish very good, petrale sole was very plain and the shrimp and crawfish ettouffe, while very good, had too much green pepper and not enough of the other typical Louisiana ettouffe seasoning.

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JY
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, on point service, pretty place, what's not to love?

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JP
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place for fish ect. Pleasant staff. Nice view of their private little lake. Makes it fun watching the ducks. They also have outside dinning and is a dog friendly restaurant.

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