By now, you’ve probably heard the buzz about Ironside Fish & Oyster, the latest joint from Consortium Holdings in Little Italy. That’s the same group that operates other local hot spots like Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, and El Dorado. We’ve visited Ironside a couple of times since it opened and are happy to say that it’s quickly becoming one of our neighborhood favorites.
The name is a throwback to the building’s past as the home of wrought-iron gate-makers Ironside. When Consortium Holdings took over and peeled back the exterior, they revealed remnants of when the building was an auction house. They decided to leave the raw facade visible, as a nod to its past. We like that.
The nautical-themed interior is especially bright in the daytime, thanks to a large skylight spanning the length of the restaurant. In sunny San Diego, it’s a great vibe. Reminds us a bit of Polite Provisions in Normal Heights—another great CH project where they added a massive skylight.
We couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful bar display. The orange glow draws your attention to the bottles, and a canopy of oversized light bulbs dots overhead.
Let’s get to the good stuff. Our favorite section of the menu is “Hold Fast,” which it says contains drinks “intended to help settle down and digest.” Just go with it.
The Ghostwriter—bourbon, amaro meletti, and black walnut bitters. Absolutely delicious.
It’s no wonder we had to wait so long for this place to open—they were busy adding impressive details everywhere possible. Between seats at the bar, they continue the nautical theme with anchor-shaped hooks to hang your “excess baggage.”
Bar fruit looks even better when it’s in a gorgeous bowl like this.
Where the magic happens.
We just love all the different textures and materials used throughout the space.
We’ve always had wonderful service at CH bars, and this one is no exception. Tell them your favorite ingredients and they’ll make a suggestion or craft something especially for you.
You can order oysters from anywhere in the restaurant, of course, but there’s also a dedicated oyster bar toward the front. The staff is incredibly knowledgable and will tell you everything you could ever want to know about the particular oysters they’re offering at the moment. We also tried the lobster roll and salmon on our last visit and all were excellent.
Next time, we’re having whatever is served in the skull glass.
Whether you stop in for a cocktail or sit down for dinner, be sure to check out Ironside Fish & Oyster in Little Italy. For little to no wait, visit on a weekend afternoon and sit at the bar. You won’t be disappointed.