About a week-and-a-half ago, I read that Fathom Bistro would start serving brunch, which usually wouldn't mean more than a glance. Except that I quickly noticed "loco moco" in that post for Eater San Diego. You know me; I'm always looking to add to my loco moco collection. I quickly sent Candice a message asking if having a loco moco here would be worth my while?
Which is how I ended up down on Shelter Island Drive on an overcast Sunday morning.
I think the location is really great, original, and quirky, as it's located on a pier, which on this morning was packed to the gills (no pun intended) with folks fishing.
Man, you really can't beat the view; which was really great even on an overcast morning.
There's an actual bait and tackle shop on one side of the building.....and it's a bit of a stretch to call this a building. The kitchen look as large as the dining area, which look like it somehow holds about 20. There are a couple of tables out front as well. I loved the collection of vintage National Geographics which took me back to elementary school.
Fathom has a nice variety of beers; but that's to be assumed with Dennis Borlek, formerly of Hamilton's and Monkey Paw in charge. The brunch menu is tight, basically five items, but it instantly earned my affection. In addition to a loco moco, they feature Eggs, Spam, and rice.
We started things with the Beignets.
It's fried dough, with powdered sugar, and chocolate sauce.......'nuff said.
We also got the Italian Sausage Biscuits and Gravy.
Truly, the best Country Gravy I've had in a while. The abundant chunks of house made Italian sausage added a nice mild spice and tons of flavor to the wonderful tongue (and belly) coating gravy. The only problem with this dish were the bisquits which were very hard hockey pucks. But hey, it's only the second day they've been open for brunch. Hopefully, they'll straighten this out. I instantly knew why I heard the word "hangover" bandied about in the dining room.
Well, since Candice knows everybody, Dennis came over to chat. Dennis is quite a character, very friendly, witty, funny, with a ton of stories to boot.
Which brings us to the loco moco. I originally ordered it with straight up and traditional beef brown gravy, but Dennis talked us into getting it "half-and-half" with half beef gravy, the other half Japanese Curry. At first I was kind of doubtful, but hey after having the Kaloko Moco who am I to criticize?
First off, the rice was perfect. The Japanese curry tasted like it should, though a bit runny. The beef gravy was totally by the book, solid in flavor and seasoning. The hamburger patty had a nice char , nicely seasoned, and was still moist. There was one problem with this for me. You can tell, can't you? The only way you'll get eggs here are scrambled.....and it's kind of painful calling this a loco moco without an easy over egg. Dennis told me that the eggs are pre-prepped to minimize stress on the kitchen. I'm hoping everything gets squared away and they start doing eggs to order.
Dennis mentioned adding Spam musubis to the menu. I mentioned Portuguese Sausage and he said it would be a logical progression since this was Point Loma and all. He also said it would be made inhouse. Now if that happens, I'll be sure to get there early! Because as time passed, more of those "hats and 'tats" folks started drifting in for their Sunday hangover remedy.
Next time you're fishing on the pier and get the munchies and perhaps a bit thirsty, Fathom is the perfect spot. Heck, the evening view of downtown San Diego must be pretty good as well.
Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle
1776 Shelter Island Dr. (On the pier)
San Diego, CA 92106
Brunch served from 10am Saturday and Sunday only.
You know, it's kind of sad that I really never come down here and tend to associate the area with Humphries and tourists. There's quite a bit to see, like the Tunaman Memorial.
And other public art......
Now with Fathom, there's a better reason to explore the area.