10 Essential Places to Eat Fish in OC and Long Beach

Fish on a pan!
Fish on a pan!
Christina Bryson

You gorged yourself on steak on Tuesday in preparation for this: the first Friday of Lent. So tonight, it's fish. And it's going to be fish (and/or seafood) for many Fridays to come.

Here are 10 of this non-Catholic food writer's essential places to eat fish while you are observing Lent, or if you just happen to like fish.

Agree? Disagree? What did I miss? Put in a comment, will you?

Anepalco's
Tilapia with serrano beurre blanc!
Tilapia with serrano beurre blanc!
Johannes Dewald

There are so many things to eat and marvel at Danny Godinez's second Anepalco's, but the single best dish has to be a pan-sautéed tilapia where Godinez turns a bargain fish into something as delicate as seabass. Everything you require from a French restaurant fish dish is present, from the coveted crispy sear of the flesh, to a silken potato puree, to a lick-the-plate good serrano beurre blanc an accomplished saucier would sell his soul to produce.

California Fish Grill
Grilled fish and fries!
Grilled fish and fries!
Edwin Goei

In these times of foreclosures, lost jobs and general economic malaise, why would you, in good conscience, spend major coin on seafood when you don't have to? Get thee to California Fish Grill where they somehow still manage to charge no more than $10 for meals that usually go for double everywhere else. Salmon, ahi, mahi mahi, swordfish and other Finding Nemo friends are fried or grilled, then served up with nutty rice or crisp fries and coleslaw. Tipping isn't compulsory, but you'll feel like a complete criminal if you don't drop at least some loose change in the jar.

England Fish & Chip
Fried fish and fries!
Fried fish and fries!
Edwin Goei

The man in the kitchen at England Fish & Chips is a modern-day fry alchemist, utilizing hot oil to transform what was once liquid batter into cocoons of crunch. Encased in the greaseless golden goodness is all manner of sea critters. Most notable is the cod, sliced off from a whole filet (not the preformed or machine-molested travesties that pass for fish at other joints), the formidable length and thickness of a billy club.

Fish Camp
Seafood!
Seafood!
Edwin Goei

Fish Camp is the new kid on the block among Sunset Beach's old-guard seafood joints. Like all those before it, trophy fish are mounted high, twisted and frozen in valiant poses. But this offspring of the King's Fish House chain is the most forward-looking of all the county's fish joints. Meals are ordered at the counter, drinks are self-serve, and there are homing-beacon devices on each table allowing the servers to bring you your food, no matter what corner of the restaurant you choose to sit. And you want this food: mussels served with a bowl of the dripped juices or peel-and-eat shrimp dusted in Old Bay--the kind of stuff you need a wet-nap for afterward.



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