Because doing the same thing all the time is for obsessive compulsives and married people, the dudes behind Carlsbad’s Paon decided to switch it up by creating “the polar opposite” of their pricey, Frenchy, previous joint. Enter Catch, a humpback whale-sized seafood spot with a cool, under-the-sea vibe that that crab from Little Mermaid would totally take Twitpics of thanks to its blue/green hues & lighting, tentacled chandeliers, and brushed steel bar.

Genre-spanning ocean comestibles include a full sushi and sashimi menu, uber-local Carlsbad clams and oysters, or your choice of albacore/mahi mahi/ Fijian ono/white trout pan-seared, charred, blackened, or grilled, in case you suspect it’s acting…yep…fishy (SPOILER ALERT: it is). Aside from a worldly spread of wines (32 by the glass, 25 bottled), the real fermented stars are on the 27-strong sake menu separated into categories like crisp, fruity, cloudy, and ultra-premium, which features billfold breakers like Liquid Gold junmai daiginjo made from 60yr extinct rice, and an ultra-rare koshu daiginjo (only 300 bottles are produced annually) dubbed the Flying Pegasus, probably because a Flightless Pegasus is just a horse.

If you prefer to go harder, they’ve got a “Catchy” ‘tail list, currently including seven picks like the White Russian-esque double espresso vodka/ vanilla vodka/ cream “Fly by Night”, though if you want something else, that’s cool, too. It’s not like you’re married to it.


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