Let’s start off by admitting that we set out with a hankerin’ for some fish & chips. Destination: Trollers. Half hour wait there so we walked over to Penny’s Palapa which was also busy. Having coughed up $1.50 for parking, we were resigned to lunch downtown so the Lighthouse Bistro & Pub it was.
The upstairs section was pretty deserted but the views were glorious, overpowering the vague bar-smell that lingered in the air. (What is that? Years-old tobacco smoke ground into the carpet with spilled beer?)
The menu was pretty unremarkable. Except for the high price on the fish & chips. That was remarkable. $20 for two pieces. Elsewhere the menu offered the usual suspects of West Coast Cuisine with sandwiches, pastas, and seafood mains. But we were not to be deterred: bound and determined to chow down on some fried fish we decided to do sharesies on one order of salmon and another of halibut fish & chips.
The plates looked fine enough when they arrived. What was billed as Pesto Coleslaw (a cool idea) was more like Pesto cabbage salad: each bite lifted to my mouth elicited cheek squirts, anticipating the tang of slaw, sadly finding none. Then the fries were soft. (In my world there is little that inspires more sadness than soggy fried foodstuffs.) The batter may have been okay but it was hard to tell because both of the fish portions were greasy and required copious application of malt vinegar. The tartar sauce was pretty good though; it appeared to be homemade, with texture but not too much chunk, so I’ll give ’em that.
Yes it was an unfortunate choice. Would the Lighthouse have fared better if we’d gone without an agenda? I don’t know that it would have. And besides, if you can’t deep fry fish what are you doing on the waterfront?
Food or Fail rating: Fail