Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Fish Company – Pho and More

Fish Company
The Fish Company at Crown Shops at C Avenue and 10th Street.

The Fish Company, 1007 C in the Crown Shops, recently put up a large banner on the outside of its outdoor dining area reading: PHO, Noodle Soup. People immediately began asking whether a new noodle place was going to be opened or whether this represented a major change of the menu for The Fish Company itself. Turns out, neither is the case.

My husband and I decided to stop by for a casual lunch and see what the new sign was all about. First off, I should say that we had never eaten at The Fish Company before. I guess it is just far enough off the beaten path of Orange Avenue (a mere block!), that we hadn’t wandered in.

The Fish Company
Al fresco dining on the patio, The Fish Company

We sat outside in the lovely patio area. It was a beautiful and mild 70-some degrees. The incredibly pleasant owner, Tasna Carlquist (who also owns Swaddee Thai next door), told us that she has “always had Pho on the menu,” but she wanted to make sure people knew, so she put up the banner.

As Carlquist and I were talking about Pho, a patron, Eileen White, came up and gave her unprompted commentary on the Pho: “It is absolutely delicious. I had the beef Pho. It was perfect. Tasty and not too salty.”

My husband and I decided to share two dishes – one bowl of Pho (which is giant and a meal in itself for two, in my opinion) and the fish tacos. The Pho can come with any of three added proteins: beef, chicken and seafood. While my husband wanted to try the beef, Mrs. Carlquist told us that her favorite is chicken and so we opted for that.

The food came quickly – almost as though they knew what we were going to order before we even did! The Pho was served alongside a dish of four enhancements – a duck sauce, a spicy sauce, some pickled vegetables, and spice. It also came with a dish of fresh bean sprouts and basil to add to the soup.

True to the word of patron White, the soup was tasty and not at all salty, really. I added spiciness to my smaller bowl of the soup. My husband opted to have his with no additional spice. We both liked it.

The fish tacos were good, too. One difference with most fish tacos that we’ve had is that these were served on flour tortillas rather than corn. I would generally prefer corn, but my husband preferred the flour. It was also nice that they featured a generous pile of vegetables on each taco.

Those two dishes, along with edamame and a soda water, came to about $31. Not cheap, but not out of line for a restaurant lunch in Coronado for two.

Where we sat on the patio, we faced the El Cordova Garage. We asked Mrs. Carlquist if she had heard about Buona Forchetta coming to town and moving into the spot. She asked what it was. When we told her, she said, “Italian? Great! I think anything good here is going to be good for all of us!”

Mrs. Carlquist opened the restaurant nearly a decade ago. As we were discussing what is and isn’t on the menu, a young man walked by – a former classmate of Carlquist’s daughter. He overheard us and said, “What, no sushi anymore?”

“Soon,” she replied.

We are hoping.

In the meanwhile, the current lunch menu is shown below. But Carlquist tells us that she is revising it now and will have a new and improved menu sometime near the end of next week.

If a quick and easy seafood lunch interests you, go now – it’s the off season. Neither the patio nor the restaurant were terribly busy – although we did go in rather early for lunch. It’s a great spot – easy to park, easy to find a table, and quick and pleasant service.

The Fish Company is open for both lunch (11-2) and dinner (5-9 pm) on Tuesday through Saturday nights. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Luan Troxel
Luan Troxel
Luan’s background spans a range of industries from academia to management consulting to investment banking. Along the way, she earned an undergraduate degree in political science at Northwestern University, a PhD in the same field from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia University. She has lived on both coasts and many states in between, as well as in Bulgaria and Germany. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to [email protected]