Coffee Break: Goldfish Point Cafe

Photo by Alwin Szeto/Guardian
Photo by Alwin Szeto/Guardian

1255 Coast Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037

Sun. to Wed. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thu. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A quick trip down a few flights of cement-paved stairs leads you to a magnificent view of the Pacific and an all-too-familiar La Jolla Shores Beach. On your left, through the piscine smell, swath of minute flies and wood-framed glass doors, is the fortuitously located but subpar Goldfish Point Cafe.

Although the cafe can boast its amazing view of the La Jolla Cove and proximity to it, the environment within the cafe is not ideal. The pairing of a strong ocean smell and seafood works well with an area that is selling the sort, but it’s not the case for this cafe. The smell is not utterly overwhelming, yet it lingers and only detracts from a cup of coffee or a sandwich ready to be eaten. The occasional flies, which are truthfully out of the cafe’s control, may nonetheless prove irksome to diners. Cafe lighting is understandably provided by wide, open doors and sunlight, but overcast days aren’t great for diners sitting inside or diners unable to get the limited outdoor seating. The little-to-none indoor lighting makes a cloudy day evermore dull and gives the cafe a less inviting presence.

Added to the cafe’s persona, or lack thereof, is its eclectic mix of interior artwork. The collection — an assortment of aquatic life and waves — would add to the cafe if there was some cohesion, even if just in the framing. The framed photos, really the only splash of color inside the cafe, hang lackluster along the walls and are easily overlooked.

The drink menu is a run-of-the-mill selection at standard prices, serving an Americano ($1.75 12 ounce compared to Starbucks’ $1.95 12 ounce) down to a White Mocha ($3.50 12 ounce, Starbucks $3.40 12 ounce). However, Goldfish Point does skimp on flavored lattes if those are the types of drinks you’re looking for. The Spiced Chai Latte, a weighty $4 plus tax for a 12-ounce cup, is heavy on the foam and standard on the spice. The drink is decent taste-wise, although it stands at a rather expensive price (compared to Starbucks’ 12-ounce Chai Tea Latte at $3.25). The Cafe Mocha ($3.25 12 ounce compared to Starbucks’ $3 12 ounce) is less powerful on the additional mocha flavor, which would be a benefit to someone looking for a more robust espresso expression, but the espresso tastes a bit watered down and detracts from the drink in its entirety. Alongside the coffee that is served, Goldfish Point’s menu also serves beer and wine and has a slightly more creative and extensive food menu. Food options are categorized under Breakfast, Specialty Sandwiches, Salads, Paninis and a Kids Menu. Although the food has some fun items like the Green Dragon (a roast beef sandwich) and Oletea (provolone and vegetable sandwich), the items were, like the drinks, average in taste and average in price.

Overall, Goldfish Point Cafe misses its mark with such a prime location. The interior feels a bit outdated with its worn-down wood flooring and seating accommodations, and the menu is typical at best. Like the goldfish you win at a carnival, this cafe and its view are a short-lived thrill that can be passed on and easily forgotten.

Price: $

Rating: 1/5 stars