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Real Fish and Chips

  • carln Aug 1, 2006 09:41 PM

Im from England and cant seem to find a decent place to get fish and chips in LA. Help.

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  1. Whale and Ale in San Pedro has great F&C. They use a Bass Ale dark golden batter.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ernie

      I like the Fish at Whale and Ale Better, but I like the Chips better at Ye Ole Kings Head in Santa Monics (Their fish's batter is just TOO thick for me). Both though, are very good! :)

      --Dommy!

      1. re: Ernie

        I second the Whale and Ale! Great fish and chips and lots of beers on tap.

      2. The Kings Head at Santa Monica and 2nd in Santa Monica. Great fish & chips and plenty of your countrymen watching football.

        1. The Olde Ship in Fullerton

          1 Reply
          1. re: bigdoghh

            Down the street from The Olde Ship in Fullerton is the British Grocer. I was @ the British Grocer (after lunch @ Cafe Hidalgo) and bought me a box of Fox's Chocolate Viennese. They carry an assortment of snacks, teas & some refrigerated items.

            The Olde Ship
            British Pub & Restaurant
            709 N Harbor Blvd
            Fullerton
            714-871-7447 tel
            714-441-1449 fax
            www.theoldeship.com
            British Owned & Operated

            British Grocer
            305 N Harbor Blvd Ste 124
            Fullerton
            714-738-0229 tel

            (Went to the Olde Ship last night to take advantage of the free birthday dessert [sticky toffee pudding]. Anyway, their fish is cod and haddock.)

          2. I've never had them, but a friend swears by the F&C at CASEY'S in downtown LA (http://www.bigcaseys.com/).

            1. Brit's is Pasadena is top notch when it comes to the food. The owner and cook is a former London fish and chips shop owner.

              http://britspasadena.com/

              The Olde Ship in Santa Ana has the food AND the ambiance.

              http://www.theoldeship.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: spankbot

                Brit's is sparkly clean, all the furniture is new and everything matches, and (worst of all!) the peas they serve are a bright, clear green, instead of the proper faded-khaki color...and of course NOBODY is smoking. If you can get past all that, it's a decent pub. And the fish & chips are very good. The batter is very puffy, but quite light and crisp, and I think the potatoes must have a bit of a coating on them as well.

              2. Not sure where in LA you're looking, but Robin Hood Pub on Burbank Blvd. in Sherman Oaks has great F&C... a pint of Stella or Boddie's and you're good to go.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  I second this. Robin Hood has the best fish & chips. That crust is fantastic.

                  -----
                  Robin Hood British Pub
                  13640 Burbank Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91401

                2. For most of the 20th century, Kearny, NJ, was the main point of entry in the United States for Scottish immigrants. It's main boulevard at one point not too long ago had at least a half-dozen fish-and-chips restaurants (and lots of corner bars) and residents would fight over which was best. Limos from Manhattan would double-park at night for ex-pats to get the real thing. When I moved from the east coast to LA, I began the never ending search to replicate the pizza and the fish-and-chips. I'm still looking for the pizza, but I found the fish-and-chips at the King's Head.

                  1. Well it seems to me you've tried a few places that you didn't like. IMHO, it would help sharpen you quest for success if you' let us know what type of Fish & Chips you were seeking. You said your from England but you didn't specify exactly where. Generally if your from the Middle of England down to the Channel, you probably were eating Cod; if you lived near the Scottish border of farther North, than you probably had Hadhock. Actually according to Wikipedia at least 6 different fish are found in U.K. Fish & Chips:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and...

                    As a further example, if you go to the Chowhound's U.K./Ireland Board you'll see a discussion entitled something like "Best Fish and Chips in London". Click on the Blog in the subpost and instead of Cod they had Haddock and Plaice at:

                    The Golden Hind
                    73 Marylebone Lane, London

                    I agree with Dommy's post about preferring a thin batter on mine. Personally, Ive eaten several types of Fish in my U.K. Fish & Chips consumption at many places between St. Ives on up to Dundee. Anyway, in L.A. there's offered standard on the menu(s) for Fish in Fish & Chips that I can think of:

                    1) Cod - Usually Icelandic or Alaskan.
                    2) Haddock
                    3) Halibut
                    4) White Fish
                    5) Salmon
                    6) Tilapia
                    7) Kingklip

                    And at The Dockside Grill in West Covina the manager says they will prepare any fresh fish they have (red snapper, shark, mahi mahi, ect) there for your Fish & Chips order - No Sushi Nazi attitude problems there. However, I couldn't recall any place that offers Plaice, anyway - bottom line - What Exactly was the kind of English Fish & Chips you were looking for?

                    1. FYI -ANDRIA'S in Ventura Harbor uses a type of Shark for their F&C. The batter is light, crispy, not greasy and the fish thick, meaty and not dry- All makes for a very yummy meal! I liked it better than what I had at Pike's Market in Seattle. However, the shell fish in Seattle is the bomb! :) KQ

                      1. Cod or Skate is really what im looking for. thx

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: carln

                          I don't know any place the has Skate on the menu for Fish in Fish & Chips; but for Cod, I would try the English Pubs the others have recommened as you'll probably find Brit Ex-pats working (& maybe owning) there. However, since you said you couldn't find any decent F & C in L.A., I'm curious "Whose Fish & Chips have you tried already that were NO GOOD?"

                          Personally, I've graduated to mainly Halibut for my fish in Fish & Chips as it just tastes so much better to me and I don't think I'll ever be happy going back to Cod.

                          1. re: JBC

                            the only places where i would have expected great fish and chips was Ye Olde Kings Head and although it was decent it wasnt like the real thing. There are a million places that have FnC on the menu but they all suck.

                            I have heard that RObin Hood is the place to go and will be trying that soon

                        2. Actually, at least based on our experience in London, including our favorite fish and chip place in London, Geales, you can order, 4 or 5 different types of fish ie cod, haddock, and others.

                          Sadly, though we occasionally eat at Ye Olde Kings Head, there is no place in LA that has fish and chips like any number of places in London, (or Canada for that matter; if you're in Winnipeg, try Ducky's). Kings Head is OK, Library Ale house on Main in Santa Monica is OK, heck, though I'm bound to be berated, H. Salt is sometimes OK when you've got to have a taste of fish and chips with vinegar. I suppose if you're on the west side, and you wanted somewhere where there are some Brits, I would go to Kings Head. After a couple of pints, the fish will taste better.

                          1. Malibu Seafood in Malibu

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: malibumike

                              I second that emotion!

                            2. John O'Groats
                              the breakfast place on Pico in West LA supposedly uses the recipe from the old Bit'O'Scotland restaurant in Westwood. YUM YUM

                              Theirs is light and Delish, but unfortunately they are not open for dinner anymore. I think the F&C is on the lunch menu.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: msmd310

                                I second John O'Groats...good enough to take out! (They survive even styrofoam; I don't know of any place here that wraps the fish 'n' chips in paper.)

                                1. re: LT from LF

                                  I'll third John O'Groats, and note that the Encino location on Ventura Blvd. is open for dinner, and has a lovely outdoor patio nestled under a grand old native oak tree.

                                  (I don't know how 'authentic' they are - I've only ever had fish'n'chips once in Britain, and they were *terrible* - overcooked, smelly fish in a limp, greasy batter, with soggy, forlorn chips. I'd assume that's not typical. But John O'Groats' version is terrific - fresh, properly cooked haddock in a tasty, crisp batter with excellent chips and a side salad.)

                                  -----
                                  John O'Groats
                                  16120 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91436

                              2. I second the King's Head in Santa Monica!

                                1. I don't know much about this subject, but I ate at this fish and chips place in ventura county in a little village on the water. Tasted really good and fresh. Have no idea where it was or the name of the place.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: young_chower

                                    That was probably Andrias in Ventura harbor

                                  2. If you are up in Northridge, you can try
                                    Buchanan British Cuisine
                                    Restaurant and Pub
                                    8450 Reseda Blvd.
                                    Northridge, CA 91324

                                    http://www.buchananbritishcuisine.com/

                                    I didn't notice what kind of fish, but it was quite pleasing to me. The tasty chips are more like lightly fried potatoes, than deep fried (airy) french fries. The peas served with the F&C are excellent.
                                    The regulars sit there drinking pints and watching that other "football" on the telly. I think it might be real.
                                    I've never been to UK, but thirtyfive years ago I used to get mind-bendingly real F&C served in a (real) newspaper cone from an elderly Brit couple (he wore a straw hat) in Salt Lake City at a place called Yorkshire F & C. Sadly they disappeared around 1971.
                                    Is Yorkshire known for F&C?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Otius Gojius

                                      I'm from scotland and so far i havent been able to find a single place that comes close at all! I miss the chippy that comes around my school in the fish n chips van when i was a kid. I've tried most of the fish n chip places in LA, since its my favourite food i usually order it at any restaurant i go to, but have been disappointed thus far. The closest place i've found was actually in seattle called the Pike Street Fish Fry, they serve the FnC on newspaper! but i still feel the chips are not soggy enough.

                                      1. re: c0ldf1ame

                                        I'm assuming you've tried Robin Hood's and Pickwicks

                                        1. re: mucho gordo

                                          They're not in areas that i'm normally at but i will try to make it out this month

                                    2. Still haven't found better than big willie's grill in burbank (yes I know it's not authentic but damn their fish is good)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ns1

                                        Have you tried the FnC at Lucky Baldwins?

                                        1. re: Peripatetic

                                          not even on my radar...

                                      2. Now that Brit's is dead and buried, soon to be (or maybe already is) another Lucky Baldwin's, I will tentatively suggest (once again) The Redwood in downtown LA, on Second a couple of doors down the hill from Hill. Batter is not thick, at least the times I've had it, and the fish has always been quite good. Chips are actually thick CHIPS, in the American sense of the word, though I think if you want frites they'll humor you. And if you're with someone who doesn't want fish, the burger is damn good.

                                        14 Replies
                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                          Since we're resurrecting this thread, I'll chime in with Golden State and the York.

                                          -----
                                          The Golden State
                                          426 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                          1. re: Chowpatty

                                            Thank you.

                                            I was raised on the F&C from the original "Mucky Duck" on 3rd Street in Santa Monica ... long before the Promenade. After it was sadly torn down, the name was sold to another entity in SM.

                                            But the original Mucky Duck is my standard. :)

                                            1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                              That was a great place.

                                              1. re: malibumike

                                                Sorry I missed out on the F&C there. About 30 years ago, when Mrs. O and I were visiting out here from Nashville, we met a bunch of her old USC buddies at an Irish pub in SM for drinks and dinner, and then walked several blocks to the Mucky Duck for "dessert" (more drinks). My memories of that evening are for the most part imprecise, but I remember a more or less constant mood of hilarity, and that the atmosphere at the Duck was at least partly to thank for that.

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  Here's the problem - every place mentioned is a bar and/ or restaurant - nobody's operating say "Jose's Fish & Chips" or " Clive's Fish & Chips." There's no specialists out there. Like In 'n' Out Burger they'd just make two things plus drinks - and do the two things very well.

                                                  With all the food trucks now proliferating you'd think someone would open a F&C wagon - and if the fries were good enough they'd make money without selling a single order of fish. Great french fry trucks where I come from.

                                                  I'm from Toronto and the best F&C I've ever had came from two places - the venerable Penrose F&C on Mt. Pleasant and Caz' Great Fish on Davenport - better than anything I ever had on my many trips to England. Penrose uses halibut and Caz' uses haddock. And I've never had even adequate F&C here in LA - including the King's Head.

                                                  1. re: Jeryy

                                                    Funny you mention the truck idea. I was just talking to someone a while back who had experience running a couple of restaurants and was thinking of starting a F&C truck. His preliminary research didn't satisfy him that he could turn out a consistent enough product at a fast enough rate. At least to his standards. He said it was challenging to have enough hot oil at the right temperature.

                                                    1. re: Jeryy

                                                      > Here's the problem - every place mentioned is a bar and/ or restaurant - nobody's operating say "Jose's Fish & Chips" or " Clive's Fish & Chips." <

                                                      H. Salt is the ONLY stand-alone F&C-only operation I've encountered in this country, and it's pretty much disappeared from much of their old territory. (I also believe they've expanded their offerings to other menu items.) The list of SoCal locations shows 21, mostly in the LA area. The stuff has its partisans, but the only shops that appear to be thriving sell other things as well, and to my taste at least there are other shops, pubs for the most part, that do a better version.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        There is also a Long John Silver's place here in the valley but in a neighborhood I try to stay out of.

                                                      2. re: Jeryy

                                                        There are a couple of F&C shops in OC. One's next to al-Amir. I should try it.

                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                          I've tried H.Salt a couple of time in hopes of something good - but left disapointed. They are standardized franchise operations - not bad, not great. I'm just wishing for a dedicated F&C place that does it right.

                                                          Now that I think of it, the best places here in SoCal are usually black-owned "You buy 'em, we fry 'em" fish places. But the fries often leave a lot to be desired. Fresh fries , rather than frozen, are a rarity in LA with fish.

                                                          1. re: Jeryy

                                                            H. Salt has gone downhill lately IMHO. The pieces of fish are smaller than they used to be and a litle on the oily side.

                                                            1. re: mucho gordo

                                                              H Salt gone downhill? I tried one location one time quite a while back and they were not good then. I guess they could have gotten worse, but it's hard to imagine.

                                                              1. re: Akitist

                                                                This is why I haven't been back there in quite a while also.

                                                                1. re: mucho gordo

                                                                  There is a fish n chip shop called England fish n chips in Long Beach,corner of willow and pacific, similar to H.Salt but with nice pieces of Alaskan Pollock (a cod variety) Very reasonable and it's on the way home. Only two or three small tables to eat in and it is run by a pleasant Asian family.

                                            2. It is impossible to find fish and chips as found in Britain. This is because the fish in British chippies is fresh, not frozen...there is a big difference. Last year we went back home to Watford and had fish and chips at a chippie run by a Greek family. The cod was delicious. The closest I've found is at The Kiwi Lodge in Cebu City, Philippines. They use fresh white fish, not cod

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: lewis2

                                                RobinHood pub is ok, although I haven't been there in a few years. Kings Head pub is hit or miss. But the closest we've found to a hole-in-the-wall chippie shop in the L.A. area is Northridge Fish & Chips in the valley. It's been there for almost 45 years, the original owners retired a few years ago and passed along their secret recipe to the new owners. All they make are Fish & Chips and the little shrimp baskets. A truly greasy dive, but the best F&C.

                                                1. re: BrunoS

                                                  have you tried Pickwick's Bar & Grill on Ventura in WH?

                                              2. I was trying to get the menu for Northridge Fish & Chips when Penguin Fish and Chips came up. On Pico between La Cienega and Fairfax. Anyone tried it?

                                                1. I like the H.Salt in West L.A. It's run by a Korean couple and it's pretty good. H.Salt are franchises and are hit and miss. Some are good like this location, but some totally suck. It all depends on how the owner runs it. Check the Sunday Times for coupons. I usually get the London special with 2 pieces of fish and chips. Plenty of condiments. The fish doesn't sit around too long - they cook it fresh.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: meg3325

                                                    Is this on Santa Monica Blvd. near Barrington -- minimall south side of street?

                                                  2. Ok firstly I agree with almost all of the postings below.

                                                    Listen Carl, you'll NEVER find "perfect" Fish and Chips in LA ( just like you'll never find a perfect Donner kebab or Vindaloo) nor should you.

                                                    It's like looking looking for the perfect Lousiana Gumbo in Milton Keynes or the perfect Pastrami sandwich in Birmingham... it's just not going to happen.

                                                    It's also partly because the newspapers smell different over here (joking) but there are LOTS of places that give it a good try....many that have already been mentioned.

                                                    But what I'm curious about is this place...........THE HOT RED BUS in Alhambra (really?)

                                                    Billing itself as "the first British-Indian fish and chip shop in Los Angeles".

                                                    Apparently there will be " wraps (stuffed beef or lamb doner, chicken tikka, onion bahji, veg pakora, etc.) Also expect samosa rolls with various fillings (saag, potato and peas), and perhaps most importantly, freshly battered fish with seasoned double fried chips sprayed with a malt vinegar mist."

                                                    31 E. Main St. Alhambra; 626-576-2877.

                                                    Sounds weird but could be great!!! Anyone know ANYTHING about this place???