Lionfish: An Ocean Friendly San Diego Restaurant

Lionfish: An Ocean Friendly San Diego Restaurant

Ocean Friendly San Diego Restaurant

(Source: Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine Facebook page)

If you’ve ever dined at Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine, then you already know that we’re an ocean-friendly establishment. In keeping with the coastal California style, our menu boasts plenty of freshly caught seafood at its peak flavor, prepared simply yet exquisitely.

But we’re not content to merely feature and prepare the best that the ocean has to offer. With environmental issues rampant in the world, we see it not only as our responsibility but as our duty to give back to the ocean that gives us so much. As such, we are proud to have been designated as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant by the Surfrider Foundation. Here, you’ll learn what that means and why it’s so important to our restaurant’s mission, too.

What is an Ocean Friendly restaurant? When we say that we’re an “Ocean Friendly Restaurant,” we’re not just saying that we’re reverent about serving the best seafood (though that’s true, too). To be an Ocean Friendly Restaurant means that an establishment has obtained an official designation from the Surfrider Foundation, an ocean advocacy group.

About the Surfrider Foundation: Before you can truly understand the Ocean Friendly Restaurant designation, it may be helpful to learn a little bit about the group behind the program. The Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.

Boasting a staff of nearly fifty, this group helps support chapter networks in various locales to work on campaigns, champion policy efforts, and when needed, fight legal battles on behalf of maintaining the safety of our coasts. At the heart of everything they do is a deep love for and desire to protect the ocean.

Ocean Friendly restaurant(Source: Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine Facebook page)

About the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. As part of their extensive efforts to protect the ocean, the Surfrider Foundation created the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program. For dining establishments meeting certain standards, this program offers offers restaurants an easy way to indicate that they are committed to making sustainable choices for our ocean and world.

The mission of the program is simple: to reduce plastic pollution in order to increase safety to the many animals that call the ocean home. According to a statistic cited on the Surfrider Foundation site, “Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain.”

The Ocean Friendly Restaurant program strives to clean up the ocean by encouraging and helping restaurants turn to more sustainable practices with packaging and materials used in their establishments. Or, as they put it, “One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.”

As of this moment, Surfrider Foundation chapters have registered Ocean Friendly Restaurants in Hawaii, Huntington Beach/Seal Beach, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Monterey, CA, Newport Beach, CA, San Diego County, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Ventura County, CA, and, on the east coast, the Jersey Shore and Charleston, SC.

San Diego restaurant

(Source: Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine Facebook page)

Becoming an Ocean Friendly Restaurant. An establishment must meet certain standards before it can be registered and approved as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant. According to the program rules, any restaurant to be considered for the program must meet these four criteria:

1. No expanded polystyrene use (aka Styrofoam).

2. Proper recycling practices are followed.

3. Only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request.

4. No plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders.

They also must satisfy at least three other criteria from the second half of the list:

5. Plastic straws are provided only upon request.

6. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.

7. Discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, mug, bag, etc.

8. Vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis; and / or all seafood must be a ‘Best Choice’ or ‘Good Alternative’ as defined by Seafood Watch or certified as sustainable.

9. Water conservation efforts, such as low-flow faucets and toilets, are implemented.

10. Energy efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, are in place.

Lionfish: a designated Ocean Friendly Restaurant. We are proud to announce that Lionfish has officially been designated as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant. We worked diligently with the Surfrider Foundation’s San Diego chapter to meet the necessary standards and establish ocean-friendly practices in place in our restaurant. We are happy to be doing our part for the ocean, and feel that this program is very aligned with the company’s policy of following sustainable practices in the restaurant, top-to-bottom, whenever and wherever possible.

gaslamp restaurant(Source: Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine Facebook page)

What it means for you. As a customer, what does it mean for your dining experience that Lionfish is an Ocean Friendly Restaurant?

From the standpoint of entree enjoyment, our designation won’t necessarily affect your experience. We’ve always been committed to using the highest quality ingredients, and sourcing sustainably and locally whenever possible. Nothing about our high standards and commitment to food quality has changed.

The difference will be found more in the overall experience of dining at our establishment. By putting certain plastic reduction practices in place in our restaurant, we are ensuring the safety of the ocean for all of its resident creatures. As a supporter and customer of our restaurant, you too are supporting sustainable practices.

Perhaps Executive Chef, Jose “JoJo” Ruiz puts it best: “We are extremely excited and humbled to partner with the Surfrider Foundation in helping to protect our environment…This is a huge honor and Lionfish is in full support of the protection of our oceans, beaches and fantastic community for generations to come.”

At Lionfish Modern Coastal Cuisine, we are committed to supporting and fostering community and using sustainable practices whenever possible. As part of the Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, we believe that we can help do our part to maintain the safety of our oceans so that they can be enjoyed by humans and creatures for years to come.

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