The People Behind the Food...

International Game Fish Tournament Inc.
in Tustin

"Armstrong's in Avalon on Catalina Island: the swordfish, the way they cook it—they broil it—is wonderful. It tastes great. We hold fishing tournaments over there, and that's always a real popular place to go. We hold two tournaments on Catalina and one in Mexico. Teams can win up to $150,000. If I'm over here, I like Santa Monica Seafood in Orange. Just about everything there is good, and they have just about everything. They do a great, classic shrimp cocktail. Do I ever get sick of fish? No, I eat it a lot. I also fish. I caught a shark not long ago outside Dana Point—about 100 pounds."

—Steve Lowery

Office manager at Davy's Locker in Balboa

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"You know, I don't go out for fish a lot. It's not that I get sick of fish from being around it, it's just that I work seven days a week. But one of the places I like is the Crab Cooker. There's one in Newport Beach across from the pier. They have really excellent broiled lobster. A lot of their food is broiled, and that gives it a different flavor—not overcooked. There's also a location in Tustin. Normally, we have access to fresh fish every day—some of the different fish the folks leave on the boat for any reason. There's a fairly decent selection, so usually I take fresh fish home—a lot of albacore, a lot of yellowfin tuna. If I was to tell people to try a fish they normally wouldn't, one fish I'd say is white sea bass. You can't fish it commercially, but you can catch it yourself. It's a premier fish—same for calico bass. They're very mild, very firm, white and flaky. If people get a chance to try those fish, they really should. I think they'll like them."

Fish Department at Gelson's Market in Newport Beach

"Scott's Seafood restaurant—I hear people like it a lot. They say it has great service, and they like the food. I actually don't eat much fish. I tend not to because I'm looking at it all day."

—Steve Lowery

Owner of the Shark Club

Photo by Jack Gould "If I want fish tacos, I know everybody goes to Wahoo's, but I really prefer Rubio's. I know that's not the thing to say, but I just can't help myself. I really like the sauce they put on the tacos. Most of my staff prefers Wahoo's, but I like my fish tacos a bit more moist. If I'm going to have a staff meeting, I like Scott's a lot. I usually get whatever the special is and get it blackened. It's usually really good. I also like just about anything at Inka Grill. Do they have fish? Yeah, I'm pretty sure they do. Everything they have is good."

—Steve Lowery
Photo by Jeanne Rice

Manager of ska/pop/rock band Reel Big Fish

OC Weekly:Do you like seafood?

Vince Pileggi: Yes, I love it.

Where do you go?

Well, I grew up going to the Crab Cooker. I used to go to the beach a lot when I was young, and I loved to go there and grab one of those tall buckets of clam chowder—with the bread balls—and some shrimp cocktail and Coke with lemon and just hang out and soak up the whole ocean breeze and all that crap. That was my favorite place until I discovered the Market Broiler at the Block at Orange. I get the Baja lobster and steak combo; it's a little bit pricey—anything that says "current market price" is going to be expensive—but it's totally worth it. And Todai, the sushi buffet at the Orange mall, has every single imaginable sushi. For 20 bucks, you get all-you-can-eat sushi.

Working with fish all the time, do you ever get tired of fish?

Nope. In fact, I just bought a fish tank that has real big fish in it, but I don't name the fish after the band members because that's bad luck. Fish die.

But so do band members.

[Real big sigh] Yeah, but, you know . . . fish die sooner.

Now, did you buy the tank because you missed the band since they're touring in Europe right now?

No, I just love watching fish. I quit smoking cigarettes, and I have a high stress level, and the fish tank helps me calm down. You can stare at the fish tank and lose yourself.

That's beautiful.

You know what else? I'm a Pisces. Also, I'm a fishy person; a lot of people question what I really do.

—Alison M. Rosen
Photo by Jack Gould

Drums and vocals in the Fish People

OC Weekly:Do you like seafood?

Danny: Some seafood.

What do you like?

I like shrimp and some kinds of fish—not a lot, but some.

What don't you like?

I don't like swordfish.

Any places in Orange County where you like to go for seafood?

No, not really.

Because you don't really like seafood?

No, not really.

What do you like?

I like beef quite a bit. And potatoes.

What restaurants do you like?

What's that one place? Ah, Del Taco. Denny's, too.

It's hard to resist the allure of Denny's.

Its name calls out to you. They have good cherry Coke.

Have you ever had the catfish?

No. I'm one of those people who eats whatever's in front of me, but a lot of times, I gulp it down and don't pay attention to what people say it is.

So then you don't dislike seafood because you find it gross? Gross and slimy? Gross and slimy and icky and yucky and briny and spiny and butt-heinous and redolent of the odor of raw sewage?

I don't find it gross, I just don't eat it much. I'm originally from Nevada, and we don't eat much seafood out there.

Which smells more after three days: Fish or houseguests?

That's a toughie. I'd probably say fish, but houseguests are a close second.

Now, why are you the Fish People? Where did that come from?

We were eating at Del Taco, and we were discussing how terrible the movie Waterworld was. And we wondered, "What if there was a whole world of fish people?" We were also discussing mermaids and mermen.

Do you think if there were a whole society of fish people, eating fish would be considered cannibalism?

No, because I think the fish people would see themselves as their own sect, and they would deny their connection to the fish.

Sales Manager at newport harbor yacht club

"Honestly, the chef here makes the best calamari I've ever had. I'm not just saying that because I work here. His name is Ro

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