When it comes to seafood, we can all agree that Southern California restaurants sure know how to get it right. Whether you’re looking for an upscale experience with creative seafood dishes presented with flair, or a casual plate of Fish ‘N Chips at a beachside eatery, you can be assured that you’ll find a little something to satisfy everyone’s palate here in SoCal.
If you are on a quest to find the best seafood around, here are 10 of my go-to restaurants in Southern California that I think everyone should experience at least once. Did your favorite restaurant make the list?
1. Nobu Malibu
With a waterfront view like this one, it's no wonder it can take up to a month to get reservations at this hot spot in Malibu. Not only is the view to-die-for, but the seafood menu at Nobu is exquisite. With dishes like Yellowtail Sashimi with a kick of jalapeño or the Black Cod Miso, you'll be raving about the meal long after you take your last bite. Pictured here: Diver Scallops with Truffles.
2. Lure Fish House - Ventura and other locations
You can count on Lure Fish House to provide a delicious menu filled with local and sustainable ingredients. Not only do they feature locally caught seafood, but they also prepare their dishes with organic and locally grown produce. Plus, if oysters are your thing, make sure to check out their impressive oyster bar.
3. Fishing with Dynamite -- Manhattan Beach
The name alone was enough to intrigue me. But the seafood had me hooked at first bite. Make sure to order the chowder -- it's one of their specialties and it's something you shouldn't miss.
4. The Fishery -- Pacific Beach in San Diego
The Fishery is popular for good reason. Not only is it an outstanding restaurant featuring a fresh menu of delicious and creatively presented seafood dishes, but it's also a great destination to buy fresh seafood at their onsite market that you can take home and cook up yourself.
5. The Crab Cooker -- Newport Beach and Tustin
The Crab Cooker is a familiar and friendly restaurant beloved by Orange County locals. It's been around since 1951, so it's clearly been doing something right all these years. The portions are hearty, the food is flavorful, and the crab cakes are out of this world. While you're there, make sure to stop by the onsite fish market and order some fresh fish to take home.
6. Water Grill --Santa Monica
Looking to impress someone? You might want to consider taking them to Water Grill in Santa Monica. The sleek and sophisticated surroundings are the perfect complement to an elegant menu featuring freshly prepared seafood, a raw bar, and chilled shellfish.
7. The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar -- San Clemente
This is the perfect spot to end your day in San Clemente. Take a stroll down the pier and stop here for some casual seafood fare while soaking up the view at a cozy outdoor table.
8. The Original Fish Company - Los Alamitos
If you haven't experienced the mesquite broiled fish at The Original Fish Company, you are sure missing out. Not only is it flavorful, but the freshness of the fish is clear in every bite. Don't forget to stop at their fish market before you head home. Pick out some fresh fish so you can practice your culinary skills in your kitchen.
9. Fish 101 - Leucadia
A great spot with a casual yet chic beach vibe that features a rotating menu of fresh and seasonal seafood dishes. Pictured here: Fresh Ahi Poke Bowl
10. Andria's Seafood Restaurant and Market - Ventura Harbor Village
Located in Ventura Harbor Village, this spot has been a family favorite for over 25 years. If you grew up in SoCal, it's quite possible you've been to this popular spot many times. And I bet you ordered the Fish 'N Chips!
Did your favorite seafood restaurant make the list? Let us know in the comments which restaurant you think offers the best seafood in SoCal. I’m always looking for an excuse to try a new restaurant so please share your suggestions.