Ocean Beach Restaurant Review – Voltaire Beach House

by on March 7, 2017 · 28 comments

in Culture, Ocean Beach

Restaurant Review

Voltaire Beach House
4934 Voltaire
San Diego, CA 92107

In doing a restaurant review, I frequently invite others to join me because the more people reviewing the restaurant the more authentic the review will be.

Today I was fortunate to have two people review the Voltaire Beach House with me that have never done a review before.  Rosemarie lives in Pt. Loma, and her friend Bette is visiting from Florida so we agreed to meet at 11:00am – opening time – at the restaurant.

When I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes ahead of Rosemarie and Bette I was greeted by Caleb, one of the men working the bar. He told me I could sit anywhere and when I told him I was waiting for two others he showed me where the menus were kept and where the silverware was located.  And when I asked him if he was “working” he said that he was just “helping out.”  (There had been a meeting there earlier in the day and some of the people at the meeting were still there.)  But … he did more than “help out” – and was a seen presence throughout our meal.

Steak and Egg Bowl.

When the ladies arrived I suggested that they pick the seat they wanted. (It should be noted that the tables are high with stools around them.)  The first piece of advice that I can offer you is this – if it is a cold day outside make sure you are wearing warm clothing because the restaurant is primarily outdoors, and even with a few space heaters and a heater that we sat right in front of, we were still cold.

The first table that we sat at was just too cold.  Caleb suggested that we sit at a different table closer to the space heater on the wall. We moved there, but found that we were just as cold.  Then Eddie lit the table with the heater and suggested that we move to that table. (Fortunately there were not many people there yet so we were able to make the move.)  And, in spite of sitting at the table with flames shooting out, we were still chilly.  I would imagine that on a warm day this would not be a problem, but it certainly was this particular morning.

“The Packed”

The “Let’s Get Started” portion of the menu has 9 items, ranging from $8 to $12.  This section also has a “gluten free” veggie toast listed.

The menu states that “Breakfast is served all day”, and there are three items on that menu – an Acai Bowl, $11;  Steak and Eggs Bowl – $12, and a EBLT –fried egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, toasted sourdough, garlic alioi and seasoned fries for $10.

There is a bigger selection of their “Greens” – with 9 offerings listed, starting at $11 and going to $14.  There are 4 sandwiches, beginning at $12 and going to $14; Five different burgers, including a veggie patty, beginning at $12 and going to $15.  Additionally there is a “Grub” menu – which includes Fish and Chips at $14; Fish Tacos at $13, and Mac & Cheese at $11.  There is also a Kid’s menu with prices at $5 or $6.  To round out the menu there are two offerings for dessert.

The drink menu has bottles, draft beers, cocktails, wine, etc. listed and seems fairly extensive.  There are also sodas and non-alcoholic drinks listed.

“Market Fish Tacos”

After some discussion we each decided to order different things so that we could sample more things on the menu.  We did begin with an order of “Loaded Guacamole”, which was described as “crushed avocados – blistered cherry tomato –radish – queso cotija -pickled jalapeno – cilantro – pepitas and house made tortilla chips”.  ($8)  In spite of all of the above, the guacamole was somewhat bland.  The radish, tomato and jalapeno were not mixed in with the avocado, and it was missing a spicy flavor.  It wasn’t bad; just was missing the “kick” one usually gets with guacamole.  As far as the “home made chips” – they, too, were nothing special.

Rosemarie ordered “The Packed” ($14).  That consisted of bulgogi marinated steak, with ginger-coconut rice, green onions, kimchi, sesame seeds, cilantro, and one sunny side up egg.  The marinade on the steak was quite good as was the kimchi.  In fact, she remarked several times that the kimchi was not too spicy; was seasoned “just right.”  She said she would have preferred to have brown rice instead of the white rice with ginger and coconut, but said that that was her preference.  She was very pleased with her order.

“Loaded Guacamole”

Bette ordered the “Steak and Eggs Bowl” ($12), which had many roasted potatoes, steak bits, tomato and onion saute, and two sunny- side up eggs.  When she first began eating her breakfast she said it was wonderful; everything seasoned perfectly; meal was served hot; and the steak was good. The eggs were cooked well; not runny but not hard either.  However, as she neared the bottom of the dish, she said that the steak was either fatty and/or tough, and, for the first time in a long time she did not ask for a “to-go” box.

I ordered the “Market Fish Tacos” ($13) and I had them (2)  grilled instead of fried.  It came with chipotle aloli, cabbage slaw, salsa fresco, avocado, lime, and tortilla chips.  They were ok; the salsa was more of a pico de gallo, and again I found the spiciness associated with Mexican food missing.  I am not sure what species the fish was, but it had a fishy odor and not to my liking.

We each ordered hot tea and were charged $3 a cup.  The brand of tea was one I had never tried before – Revolution – and was very tasty. Some of it was caffeine free – some was not.

Throughout the entire meal, Eddie came back to us and asked if everything was okay; if we needed anything else.  Quite honestly I was so cold that I could only think of finishing my meal and getting out of there.  (Normally I would have asked if there was salsa available, but just didn’t want to take the time!)

Our total bill was $61.42 without the tip.  And so the question comes up “ . . . would I go back?”  The consensus was “maybe”.  The menu is a little pricey for me.  The service was excellent.  So … if it was a hot day and I was driving down Voltaire St. and came across a parking place in front of the restaurant – maybe.


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie March 7, 2017 at 11:30 am

Judi calls it like she sees it. There goes any potential ad, I suppose.


Judi March 7, 2017 at 11:38 am

Maybe when it warms up??????


Patti March 7, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Those fried eggs look like the moon’s surface. I’d say that cook doesn’t know how to fry an egg. He must have thrown it on the grill with the heat too high. I would not eat an egg that was holey. I’ve never seen that configuration on an egg before! Can you imagine?! I would have sent those eggs back and asked for a halibut sandwich. Or, if they don’t offer a halibut sandwich I’d have asked to go back in the kitchen and fry my own eggs.

Thanks for sharing!


judi March 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

I wondered about the eggs also, but both Rosemarie and Bette said that they were good. It’s the taste that tells –


Pam March 7, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Why go back when there are many better food options in OB. The service was excellent when I was there; however, the food was lacking.


OB Mercy March 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Pricey sure didn’t work for the late, lamented OB Warehouse.

I haven’t tried VBH yet. I was told by the chef (West Coast Tavern on University) that designed the menu that I would be invited to a soft opening. Never happened, or hasn’t happened yet?

I’ll wait till it warms up here too. I’m a total weather wimp!


Margie March 8, 2017 at 5:10 am

We had the same experience, cold! We moved inside by the bathroom and bar. It was cramped and had a beautiful view of the bathroom. The food was nothing special. I will try it again as I want our businesses to succeed in this area. Keeping my fingers crossed for them.


Frank J March 8, 2017 at 7:08 am

2 fish tacos $13!
I guess I’m out of touch. I look forward to Taco Tuesdays just about everywhere, including the original ones at you know where for $1.79 each. Call me old.


Chris March 8, 2017 at 8:02 am

99 cents at all thee Oscar’s locations Monday through Friday until 6pm.


Debbie March 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Where is Oscar’s?

Can people share Mexican restaurant tacos specials?

OB Roberto’s just raised their prices again!!!!!!

Need some new places to try….thanks


Judi March 8, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Oscar’s is under the tattoo parlor at the driveway of the hotel on Newport. Across the street from South Beach. I was pleased with Ortega’s – and thrilled that Rancho’s (Hugo’s) is open again.


Chris March 8, 2017 at 5:34 pm

There’s three of them. One in Hillcrest and two in PB.


Chris March 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm

Also Mike’s Taco Club in OB has a very similar menu to Oscar’s. I think there’s either an affiliation or some type of split up. Either way it’s very good.


judi March 8, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Chris, the presentation of both the quacamole and fish taco’s was very nice. As you can tell from the plate it was full. But it lacked the authentic Mexican flavor. I will be back, because I want to see it succeed, but I have heard that the chef is one of the better ones in San Diego.

I have been to the Oscar’s in PB – believe it was family and they had a falling out, but even that I am not positive about.


OB Mercy March 8, 2017 at 8:28 pm

Mike’s was Oscar’s when it first opened. A few months later it became the Yacht Club, then Mike’s. I was told it’s same menu by the guys who work there. Best tacos and burritos in SD IMO.


judi March 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Thanks Mercy. I knew it had changed names, but someone told me it was back to Oscar’s. Regardless, I always take new students – and out-of-town – guests there to see what a real fish taco tastes like. So….”Mike’s Taco Club” it is.


ANDRA LOO March 8, 2017 at 2:46 pm

Any idea if the owners of the restaurant that previously occupied this space, OBistro,
have opened another location? Loved their food, prices and service. Sad that they had to close down.


OB Mercy March 8, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Best fish tacos in OB and possibly in all of SD are right on Newport at Mike’s Taco Club. Also, their steak and shrimp burritos are fantastic.


Judi March 8, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Good question, Andra. I heard that they were not in San Diego any more, but I do not know if that is true or not. Anyone else know?


partygail March 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm

This restaurant appears to have all the charm of eating in a carport. And now that Judi has reviewed the menu, even less so. Sure miss the coziness of O’Bistro on a cold night with a bowl of steaming lobster bisque . Or homemade cioppino with garlic bread,
Not to mention their amazing FRESH ahi tacos. Real food, all freshly made.


Tyler March 11, 2017 at 5:48 am

Because o’bistro had charm? Take off the rose tinted glasses.


obandra March 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Great food at fair prices and fast, friendly service — so what exactly is your issue?


judi March 12, 2017 at 1:26 pm

I think you got it wrong – fair food that was pricey. Service was great; but I’m paying for the food.


Colin Purdy March 13, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I think Obandra was referring to O’Bistro vis a vis Tyler’s remark.


obandra March 13, 2017 at 8:27 pm

You are correct. We ate there – OBistro – quite frequently but it was usually for breakfast or lunch. Their prices were right in line with similar cafes. And WE thought their food was good.


Rudy March 8, 2017 at 3:55 pm

We walked by last Saturday, looking for somewhere to eat. The loud club music we heard from the street turned us off the idea. What’s with the tap room in the corner? That seemed pretty chill, but it was small and crowded.


Chris March 8, 2017 at 5:39 pm

13 dollars for two fish tacos does seem kind of steep and from your description they aren’t the best. Oh well, I will try this place eventually.


OB Mercy March 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

Judi, it is not called Oscars anymore, it’s Mike’s Taco Club


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