As I was eating my garlic-butter-slathered grilled mahi mahi at the California Fish Grill in Irvine the other day, I wondered: Why aren't there more of these? I mean, look at the line out the door. It's like this every day. The lunchtime rush to claim a seat at around noon is like a game of musical chairs without the music.
Its formula of reasonably priced fish plates have been copied by lesser "fish grills". But of the original, there are only currently only four locations in OC, each in its own geographic region. The newest is in Foothill Ranch, serving South County. The Irvine, Cypress, and Anaheim Hills branches do well in keeping their respective zones fed in fish.
North County folks (read: Brea and the hinterlands of La Habra)? They probably haven't even heard of California Fish Grill. This will change soon. I heard it through the grapevine that one is being planned at the Brea Plaza Shopping Center. Yes, the very same shopping center where the northernmost outpost of Lucille's Smokehouse also resides.
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Brea's indigenous seafood purveyor, Taps Fishhouse, should be warned that there will be another big fish in their pond.