Sheen Fischer is a writer who grew up gardening, fishing, crabbing, trawling, oystering and hunting with his family in South Louisiana and currently lives in Southern California with his wife of almost 25 years and their two college student kids. Growing up, his Saturday and Sunday afternoons had a unique flavor that has forever impacted the way that Sheen lives, loves and eats; dining room tables covered in mounds of fresh seafood, vegetables, game and home-cooked delights, flying elbows and food bits, hilarious conversations and anecdotes, and hours long feasts with friends and family.

Arguably the hottest and most exciting food and restaurant revolution in all of San Diego County is happening right here, right now in Oceanside.  An eclectic mix of cuisines, the laid-back, beachy personality Oceanside is known for and a quick stir and shake to mix in some of our most creative out of the box thinkers and artistic personalities have resulted in some great and different fare only a short stroll from just about anywhere along Coast Highway.

You’re here, you’re on vacation, you’re relaxing and you’re hungry.  You can get a burger at home.  Do yourself a favor by checking out some of the great new family friendly places to eat that will have you rubbing shoulders with our friendly locals and maybe making a friend or three!

Here’s our take on where you can enjoy some exotic world fare in laid back settings with great service:

BLVD – Specializing in Asian Fusion, the offerings and flavors here are what you might expect from your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant at home – with flavor multiplied enough to make your taste buds sit up and take notice.  Easily recognizable items such as spicy wings (above) and vegetarian offerings using fresh, local produce like the garlic stir fried baby bok choy (below) keep the short, but varied menu easy to navigate with familiar names and ingredients.  Beer, wine and sake cocktails are available.


Panca – It turns out Peruvian cuisine isn’t as daunting as it sounds.  Certainly there are some exotic items on the menu such as beef hearts skewered and marinated in a vinegary chili sauce then grilled…

…but, there are also sandwiches and a large selection of house prepared rotisserie chicken.  Flavor combinations here have nuanced herb and spice overtones such as the sandwich below that contained juicy, seasoned pork, a paper thin slice of sweet potato and an onion enhanced slaw accompanied by great, lightly salted skin-on fries.  Gluten free and vegetarian items are available along with local and Peruvian beers and wine.


The Whet Noodle – Two concepts of Japanese style cuisine under one roof make this a destination spot for locals and visitors alike.  Recently described as a “punk rock” version of ramen, The Whet Noodle features a menu of “not so traditional” ramen offerings and sides with flavors that appeal to anyone who loves a good, flavorful broth and fresh noodles.  Ordering of items here, most under $10, happens at the counter, with table service for the balance of the meal.  Vegan and vegetarian options, sake, local beers and wine are available.

The Wrench and the Rodent – Only the bold would dare eat some of the most innovative and exciting sushi in the region at a place with a name like that.  The seemingly limitless combinations of sushi, sashimi and a wide variety of seafood offerings served raw, grilled, broiled, smoked and fried never fail to delight and surprise even the most regular of regulars.  Omakase, or Chef’s Choice, is highly recommended here for the more adventurous seafood lovers and can be tailored to your tastes.  Sake, local beer and wine are available as well as vegan and vegetarian options.

Local Taphouse and Kitchen – Considering world fare in Oceanside has to include something from ‘Murica.  For a touch of Americana with a bit of southern flair, Local Taphouse and Kitchen is the destination of choice.  Layered ingredients, familiar flavors, healthy portions and a long lineup of local beer with full bar service make this a comfortable one stop spot for a family meal or an afternoon drink after a morning in the sun.

Fun in the sun comes in many forms around our fair city.  Take a little stroll down Coast Highway and let us know what you think of our food and drink – Cheers!

BLVD Chinese Kitchen – 514 S. Coast Hwy

Panca Peruvian Cuisine – 1902 S. Coast Hwy

The Whet Noodle – 1813 S. Coast Hwy

The Wrench and The Rodent Seabasstropub – 1815 S. Coast Hwy

Local Taphouse and Kitchen – 308 S. Coast Hwy

For Sheen Fisher food and the entire experience of eating – the catching, growing, preparing, sharing and enjoying have become the landmarks by which he’s charted his travels and journey through life. On his food-centric blog, The Foodie Whisperer, Sheen discusses how food, the people we share it with and the places we discover it can inspire, amuse, stimulate and transport us beyond the limits of the familiar into a realm without boundaries.

Published: March 28, 2016

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