“We want to change the way people think about and choose their seafood” says SLAPFISH co-owners Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude. “The idea is to get people to eat more seafood, but the right types of seafood, because sustainable tastes better.”
When we interviewed Andrew for On the Line last summer, we met in a space that could morph into the refreshingly responsible seafood shack. His propensity to immerse himself and Jethro in current food news was apparent with each visit. Jethro and Andrew designed the nautical space to match their oceanic lifestyles. Their menu selection reflects both the luxe lonchera they departed, plus a few new specialties.
Instead of typical fish and chips, SLAPFISH and chips are freshly made from hake (white fish) and formed into flavorful golf balls. Once drizzled with malt vinegar, our deep-fried main is both hearty and heavy on the arteries. Diners enjoyed the chowder fries–more plated spuds, but sauced with their New England-style creamy blend. A slew of bacon, chive and tomato garnishes offer some personalization.
Winner of their dish-naming contest, Michael Harris made an appearance to enjoy his namesake entree known as gambas a la plancha. Organic shrimp seared in cast iron, it's accompanied by crusty, garlic bread.
For a party of two, Jethro recommends an order of their shrimp pops (crispy pizza dough wrapped around shrimp, mango chutney and pepperoni), plus a pair of signature Lobsticles to start. Then split a wild Pacific albacore tuna “Pounder Melt,” with a portion of the sales of this 16-ounce meal going to charity. We even spotted a nod to Andrew's love of sandwiches in their “Veto Vote” section. A bacon, cheddar and brie grilled cheese is a gooey option for those just not in the mood for seafood. However, we think a certain Ubergeek will have a hankering for a Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll.
SLAPFISH opens to the public this Friday, April 20. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
SLAPFISH is at 19696 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach, (714) 963-3900; www.slapfishsocal.com.