SF South Bay: Entertainment & Dining Fun for the Family

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Most people think of the San Francisco South Bay as a place where techies hang out as it is no doubt, the center of technology innovation, however folks rarely think of it as a family fun spot if they’re heading west to take in the traditional sites you’d expect, like Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

One of the things we love about the South Bay is that the temperatures can be ten degrees warmer than the city

I wrote about 7 Family Fun activities in the San Francisco Bay Area in January that were largely indoor activities given that it was winter, but it included things like House of Air, the Exploratorium and paddling on Stowe Lake, all in San Francisco, but it also included family fun ice skating at Winter Lodge in Palo Alto. Here, we cover a fun family fun restaurant in San Mateo and entertainment in Redwood City.

family fun restaurant

Fresh seafood at Pacific Catch in San Mateo

Pacific Catch

Truth be told, the Pacific Catch we tried out recently was in San Mateo location, however they have eight locations in total in the SF Bay Area, including Marin and the East Bay.

The San Mateo Pacific Catch is casual but relaxing and we thought it was the perfect spot to dine after a day of activities if you have kids in tow. First of all, they have fish and chips on the menu (oh yeah and Thai Coconut Shrimp that is sure to appeal to everyone), as well as Island Tacos served with chicken, steak, shrimp or Mahi Mahi. Oh so yum, right?

Also appealing to older kids would be their Rice Bowls (think Hawaiian Teriyaki, Korean Barbecue, Japanese Wasabi or Thai Curry) and you can get your own choice of salmon, Marinated Skirt Steak, Chicken, Salmon or Mahi Mahi depending on the rice dish.

We spoke to a few locals who come here all the time and it sounds like the Rice Bowls at Pacific Catch are a favorite among locals. Vegetarian? No worries — you can substitute Tofu instead of meat or fish.

If you’re a healthier diner, they have five signature salads on the menu, ranging from chicken and salmon (for more traditional taste buds) to Pacific Crab and Ahi Tuna, the latter being one of my favorites. They serve that delicious Ahi Tuna salad with Avocado, cucumber, sprouts, ginger and sesame seeds. You can also get Hawaiian poke instead.

Speaking of poke, they kinda specialize in poke here. Meaning….they have several options of Hawaiian Poke you can choose from and you can even do a Poke Trio and try a sample, which is what we opted to do. Et hem — such a great choice!

While the original Ahi Tuna Poke may be tempting, we had to go for the more unusual options on the menu, such as their Macademia Nut Ahi Tuna with Scallion Sweet Soy, Salmon Avocado with Toasted Shallot Oil, Avo, Lemon & Fried Shallots and something they refer to as the Serrano, which they serve with sweet onions and spicy aioli serrano chillies.

family fun restaurant Pacific Catch

Family fun dining at Pacific Catch. Shown above & below is the Poke Sampler served with wonton crisps, seaweed salad and daikon salad.

They also have sushi rolls on the menu with short grain white or brown rice and you can get pitchers of Margaritas, Mai Tais or beer on tap. We went for wine by the glass to keep things simple and for appropriate pairing with fish, which is what we ordered for entrees.

Appetizers are a ton of fun as well — try something different and go for their Beet Poke with white soy ponzu, greens and hearts of romaine scoops OR their Thai Brussels Sprouts which they serve in a honey vinaigrette and toss with a fresno chillies and crispy shallots and scallions.

family fun

Thai Brussels Sprouts at Pacific Catch

For fish entrees, I’d recommend the Grilled Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower, Maitake Mushrooms, Wilted Baby Kale and a Turmeric-Tahini Coconut Sauce (Anthony loved it) or their Miso Glazed Black Cod with baby kale goma-ae, roasted chioggia beet poke and a ginger-garlic forbidden rice. The pairing was divine!

family fun Pacific Catch

The Grilled Salmon

family fun

Miso Glazed Black Cod

For desserts, go for their Mexican Chocolate Creme Brulee. Why? Because you rarely see it on a menu. Think chocolate cinnamon custard, with burnt sugar crust and whipped cream. The kids will love it.

Also fun is their Macadamia Nut Brownie Sundae with ice cream and fudge sauce, but we had to try the Crispy Dulce de Leche Spring Roll instead. No kidding – cheesecake serves as the filling – yum!!!

family fun pacific catch

Mexican Chocolate Creme Brulee

family fun

Crispy Dulce de Leche Spring Roll

Two thumbs up!


Pacific Catch

243 South B Street
San Mateo, CA 94401 

(650) 389-2482

Visit their website for more information and other locations.

Next up is a musical in Redwood City. It might not be Broadway in the Big Apple, but rest assured that Redwood City does indeed have its own Broadway.

Broadway by the Bay

I’ve always been a musical fan for as long as I remember. It doesn’t hurt that I hailed from upstate New York and we headed into the Big Apple a couple of time a year to see a show as I got older. And so, I’ve seen them all, well almost all of them.

The truth is that I’ve never seen The Music Man, which is an oldie but goodie, a classic that brings us back to Mason City Iowa, which is the setting of the show. The Music Man is by Meredith Wilson who grew up in this small town and he wanted to create a nostalgic piece about the joys of growing up in the Midwest.

The musical was held in the beautiful Fox Theater in Redwood City which is located along Broadway Street of course.

family fun Fox Theater

Inside the Fox Theater

During break, we had a chance to view some of the photos they were selling of the Redwood City performance cast. For those who have seen the musical before know, the lead is a traveling huckster named Harold Hill who transforms the town by getting people a reason to smile and express themselves without courage or fear, reminding them that beauty is around them all the time.

Harold Hill was played by David Schiller, and the traveling salesmen (my favorites actually) were played by Derrick Contreras, Joe Hudelson, Mohamed Ismail, Anthony Maglio, Daniel Lloyd Pias and Danny Quesada. The oh so clever opening scene on the train into Iowa was a delight and brought a huge smile to my face.

Below are some images of the musical itself that were printed in the front since photography wasn’t allowed in the theater.

family fun

The small children in the play were so precious, you’d be hard pressed not to beam with joy as you watched them sing and dance, including this gem of a child actor Liam Kimhi, who played the piano teacher’s nephew Winthrop Paroo.

family fun

This all male quartet kept the audience laughing throughout the musical, played by Derrick Contreras, Jonathan Chan, Daniel Lloyd Pias and Mohamed Ismail (part of the traveling salesmen from scene one)

family fun

The Embrace Between characters Marian Paroo and Harold Hill towards the end of the musical

Two thumbs up for an incredible local performance, that was a treat for everyone around us, especially those who had kids in tow.

The Fox Theatre in Redwood City opened in 1929, was remodeled in 1950, and was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1994. While we saw the show on Easter Day and it was their last performance, they have a season of fun shows coming up, so be sure to visit their website for what is coming next and also Broadway by the Bay website for their list of 2018 shows.

family fun activities

Fox Theater Redwood City (outside shot) taken on Easter Day 2018


Broadway by the Bay Box Office

2219 Broadway Street

Redwood City, CA 94063


Fox Theater

2215 Broadway

Redwood City, CA 94063




Note: we were hosted but all opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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