Fresh Seafood, a Stylish Boutique and Antiques
We look at Fish House Vera Cruz, Matti D and the Del Mar Antique Show in our latest on the Best of North County San Diego
Fish House Vera Cruz
Whenever I travel up the California coast, one of my favorite things to do is try to find each coastal town’s best seafood restaurant. I generally walk around for a spell and approach obvious locals — which, in certain places, like Monterey or Santa Barbara, isn’t easy — and ask them. Invariably they direct me to some restaurant that’s not on the main tourist drag, and in virtually every case I get a truly first-class seafood lunch or dinner. Living in Carlsbad, if some tourist came to me with a similar question I’d point him or her right to Fish House Vera Cruz. It’s not one of the glamorous eateries on the Coast Highway. Fish House is four blocks east, on State Street, and there’s another location in San Marcos. And the décor is more Pismo Beach than Pebble Beach, although the giant fish tank in the middle of the restaurant is sort of cool. But the food is top-notch, always fresh and varied, and always cooked, seasoned, and served just right. The restaurant specializes in freshly caught seafood, from Pacific halibut to Atlantic cod, from salmon to rainbow trout. The clam chowder stacks up to anything I’ve eaten in Monterey or San Francisco, and the fish soup — or sopa de pescado — is a meal unto itself. Fish House Vera Cruz isn’t cheap, but in this case you truly get what you pay for.
417 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, 760-434-6777
360 Via Vera Cruz, San Marcos, 760-744-8000
Matti D is one of the most stylish little boutiques anywhere in Southern California — and that includes such hip hotspots as Rodeo Drive, Melrose Avenue and Laguna Beach. Located in Del Mar, Matti D specializes in high-end designer fashions of the sort you’d see young celebrities wear when they’re out on the town and in the pages of People and Entertainment Weekly. We’re talking Cynthia Steffe, Rebecca Taylor, Poleci, Meghan Fabulous, Dylan George and Stitches Denim — upscale fashions for women and men with the emphasis on “edgy” rather than merely “trendy.” Be sure to check out the selection of vintage, handmade belts. Matti D was recently profiled on Boutiquing, which had this to say: “This fantasy of a boutique feels like falling down the rabbit hole à la Alice in Wonderland. Discovering dreamy designer duds overflowing atop antique furniture lovely enough to warrant its very own storefront and a fountain offering a nature-inspired soundtrack, even Alice wouldn’t be able to withstand a wonderful wander inside.”
2689 Via de la Valle, Del Mar
On the Agenda
The Del Mar Fairgrounds’ O’Brien Pavilion is the place to be this weekend for the 51st annual Del Mar Antique Show & Sale and Wild West Expo. Produced by Calendar Antique Shows, the three-day event, which runs Friday, April 16 through Sunday, April 18, will feature more than 100,000 square feet of antiques, collectibles and decorator items from around the country. Appraisers will be on hand, as will experts at repair and restoration. For the second consecutive year, the antique show also will include a Wild West Expo. Western craftsman will be on hand to sell handmade leather belts, silver jewelry, wood carvings and other goods. The expo also will feature antique dealers who specialize in Western and Native American collectibles, art, photography and furnishings. The doors are open daily 11–7 (5 p.m. on Sunday). Tickets are $8 for adults, with kids getting in free.
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevrd, Del Mar