Finding fresh fish in a hole in the wall spot right off campus

by Devin Whatley, Staff Writer

Tucked away on College Avenue is a restaurant that despite being small, packs an abundance of high quality and fresh seafood to go with an intimate and relaxing atmosphere.

The Fish Pit, opened in 2016 by Zach Stofferahn, is a small restaurant featuring fresh sushi, fish burritos, tacos, poke bowls and more. Stofferahn decided to open his own restaurant after working in the restaurant business for many years in both San Diego and Utah.

“I’ve always wanted to start a restaurant,” Stofferahn said. “I’ve made sushi for over 15 years and I knew that poke was pretty popular. I knew a lot about fish, and so it connected for me.”

The Fish Pit has attracted new and longtime customers in its three years of existence. Two of those longtime customers are Alex Houston and Jeff Moore.

“We have been customers here since the first weekend,” Moore said.

Moore has many reasons why he and Houston have become longtime customers at The Fish Pit.

“We live right around the corner from here, and the fish here is amazing,”Moore said. “The poke bowls here are great, and it is one of our favorites because it tastes delicious and its fresh fish too.”

Houston and Moore both agree the restaurant is a spot people should try to visit.

“We like the owner, the people, our kids like coming here, and it’s convenient because you get a casual and open environment with fresh seafood and BYOB,” Moore said.

Despite that, Houston admits even though the environment is very intimate, it can be a downside sometimes.

“It can be a downside because since it is so small, when it gets crowded and the seats are full with a long wait, we usually don’t come,” Houston said.

One of the popular dishes is the Pit Nachos, which are tortilla chips served with fresh sliced tuna topped off with salsa, guacamole, house sweet sauce, sriracha, cilantro avocado cream and chipotle creme.

The Pit Nachos provide a mixture of everything in a small package convenient for a quick meal. The meal combines fresh seafood with the tuna and a combination of spiciness and creaminess with the mix of sriracha, cilantro creme and avocado creme. The meal is a delicious treat packing all the fixes of a poke bowl in the style of nachos at an affordable price of $10.

Another dish to try is the Fishpit-style Poke Bowl. Featuring your choice of tuna, salmon, tofu, or seasonal catch, this meal combines fresh fish with avocado, coconut, mango, pears and seaweed. It’s a delicious and nutritious bite to go with some spice from the sweet chili sauce. Ultimately, Stofferahn said it feels great to see his restaurant rise in popularity in just three years.

“It’ll be our third anniversary on Oct. 25,” Stofferahn said. “I’ve always wanted to put something here and it just turned into a small shack on College Avenue.”

Stofferahn also hopes to expand.

“That is a goal for me these next two years is to expand The Fish Pit all over San Diego,” Stofferahn said.

Overall, The Fish Pit is more than just a shack tucked away on 4632 College Avenue. It’s a place worth visiting if you want to try fresh fish and seafood for affordable prices.