It's no secret that we love our Slapfish. Best fish & chips and seafood restaurant in our Best of 2012 make them legit. Edwin is a fan of their oysters, while this Forker stops for chowder fries. After surviving their freshman year in Huntington Beach, co-owners Jethro Naude and Andrew Gruel want to continue educating folks on sustainable seafood. The values which they built their brand on will be the focus of the next six weeks.
Okay, they kicked things off Monday (We were still recovering from the weekend). Each week, a new summer special will be featured, along with some knowledge to expand your horizons. Maybe you go because it tastes good, but giving a damn about how or where your food is harvested doesn't hurt. Per Naude, "Sustainability is a balancing act between supply and demand. We believe in taking wisely from the ocean, without harming the marine eco-system. Our seas must always be able to replenish themselves."
We wanted to highlight three specific weeks, so let's start with next week's special: BBQ yellowtail banh mi sandwich ($9.50), photographed above. Stuffed with pickled radish, cucumber, carrots and jalapeno, it is a mouthful. Of course, it's on an OC Baking Company baguette. California yellowtail is most commonly found along the Pacific Coast between Southern California and Baja. They begin to reproduce at an early age and in large quantities.
Week four introduces a crispy white seabass taco ($7). Adorned with pickled red onion, pickled cabbage and drizzled with their spicy "rooster" dressing, it packs just enough heat. The texture of a just-fried corn shell was unexpected in a good way. Fished commercially and for sport since the early 1900s, white seabass populations were in decline from the 60s through the 80s. However, efforts to save them have helped their numbers in California grow back.
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In their final week, Gruel and his kitchen crew will offer baked Carlsbad Luna oysters (price TBD). Served four to an order, these mollusks had an herb crust and wild mushroom and bacon stuffing. Since oysters are bottom feeders, they don't rely on fish to survive. In addition, their preferred eating method helps the coastal waters they live in. They were also pretty tasty.