Get Hooked on San Diego’s Newest Fish and Chips Spot
Davin and Jessica Waite's newest restaurant focuses on sustainable seafood.
As if we needed more reasons to love Oceanside, Brine Box, the newest endeavor from Davin and Jessica Waite, has opened on the historic Oceanside Pier. The Waite’s, who have been a critical force in the emergence of Oceanside as a true culinary destination in Southern California, are known for their commitment to zero- and low-waste measures at their plant-based outpost, The Plot, and sustainable seafood practices at their popular sushi restaurant Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub and poke spot Shootz Fish & Beer.
The new concept is inspired by Davin’s childhood years in England, where he regularly visited chippies, or fish and chip shops common in English seaside towns. SoCal native and longtime employee at Wrench and Rodent and The Plot, Rachel Hurley, has been brought on as chef de cuisine, where she’ll manage the day-to-day operations, as well as creating the seasonal menu. Seafood is sourced from local purveyors, including fishmonger Tommy Gomes of Tunaville Market, a longtime friend of the Waites, and TransparentSea Farm. The menu will highlight whatever type of fish is seasonally available; summertime varieties like halibut, tuna, and yellowtail are currently on the menu; come winter, rockfish, and lingcod are more prevalent.
Brine Box is located at the very end of the nearly 2,000-foot-long Oceanside pier, adjacent to the now-shuttered Ruby’s. The tiny, 109 square foot, kiosk-style shop was executed by designer and general contractor Chris Slowey of CLTVT, who also worked with the Waites on Shootz and The Plot, as well as designer and architect Andy McCabe of Tecscape. The menu is designed for eating while taking in the views from the pier and surrounding beach areas in mind; while there are a few benches to sit on, the restaurant doesn’t have indoor seating.
Brine Box’s signature dish is, of course, fish and chips, beer-battered local fish of the day, crispy seasoned fries, best enjoyed with sides of mushy peas and curry sauce. It can also be made vegan with “carrotfish” upon request. Sea-Animal Fries, a riff on In-N-Out’s not-so-secret Animal Fries, top crispy seasoned fries with melted American cheese, secret sauce, caramelized onions, and seared fish of the day. Grilled jumbo prawns from TransparentSea Farm are tossed in Korean BBQ aside with a seasonal salad to make a light, refreshing lunch, while the Spam, Egg, & Cheese Sando, seared Spam, and a fried egg, with melted American cheese on a brioche bun, brightened with anchovy aioli and served with tots, is a nod to our 50th state.
Other standouts include Market Catch; fish of the day with quinoa potato salad, sweet and sour sauce and veggies from The Plot Garden Project, tuna sashimi, garlic ponzu albacore with a seasonal salad and cheesy chowder tots.