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Reel Inn

I am being pressured to go to dinner at the Reel Inn. There are plenty of positive/negative reviews though the review posted on Oct 14 by jimjp300 makes me not inclined to go at all.


Is it worth a meal/drink for me to sit at a picnic table on a Saturday night in November and potentially freeze my buns off? It doesn't seem like it to me...but the pressure is being applied.


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  1. Do you like the people who are pressuring you? It's not a bad place...much more fun on a warm sunny day than a November night, I would say...very casual atmosphere, not bad food, surprisingly drinkable wine...but if you're looking for a fine dining experience, this ain't it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LT from LF

      just make sure you get the fish and chips versus the grilled items. the latter dishes tend to be pretty bland and can boarder on bad.

    2. I would go to Duke's.

      1. Reel inn is this funky little joint that you have to be in the mood for. The food is good enough. If your want upscale
        or even a waiter your in the wrong place.

        1. if you know a bit about seafood, the food is totally terrible + i tried different things. my friend likes to go + now i lost all respect for his taste buds. horrid. i'd say go to duke's, as did chica

          1. trust me, this place is scary bad, just don't eat anything there it is horrid

            1. When I went over Labor Day weekend (I tend to opt for Malibu Seafood, but we were on our way back home and Reel Inn was more on our way), they practically out of everything listed on the menu, which was rather annoying. I ended up with shrimp tacos, which were just passable. I agree with others - it's more about the atmosphere, and sitting outside near the water (unfortunately without a view of it, unless you're sitting inside the restaurant and can see past the PCH traffic) and drinking with friends. It's not about the food at all.

              1. i'd recommend that you get a jacket and a muffler and enjoy living in southern california.
                not too many other places in the country can one even CONSIDER dining outdoors in november.
                that said,
                sometimes it's not about the food.

                3 Replies
                1. re: westsidegal

                  last time i noticed there were thousands of tolerable places to eat outdoors in LA so sitting by the edge of the highway waiting for terrible food at reel inn isn't my idea of something to justify. please take this humorously

                    1. re: epop

                      and i've probably spent time in MANY of them. of course, as a chowhound, i'd rather be in a place that actually serves good chow, but sometimes, especially when accompanied by non-chowish colleagues,it's good just to be grateful that we're here. (absolutely no offense taken!)

                  1. I've been a few times, each time convincing myself that it will be better this time and leaving disappointed and wondering why I thought it would be any more satisfying.

                    The formula at the reel inn is either A) fried food (fish and chips etc, with a really heavy bready batter) or B) pick your protein out of the case, with your choice of blackened seasoning and maybe one or two others, and a choice of two sides which are extremely boring. (Overcooked bland rice pilaf, fries, roasted potatoes, green salad with dressing on the side, steamed unseasoned vegetables...cafeteria food, seriously). I've had perfectly cooked fish there, and also perfectly overcooked. The large portions of totally mediocre food would be fine and dandy if it were a bargain, but typically a plate lunch for two people comes out to more than $50, which is absolutely ridiculous. I've also had the fish tacos and they were just so bland and dry that I picked the fish out and abandoned the stuff around it.

                    It's a shame, because it is a neat spot with good atmosphere.

                    1. Actually ended up going. I had the fish and chips - did not like the fish, I prefer beer battered (not sure what it was corn meal??). Fries were okay. Coleslaw unmemorable. Hub had tuna steak.

                      Overall food not inedible but words like satisfying, yummy and delicious do not spring to mind. Our meal cost $30 including a soft drink and beer. Would not voluntarily return. Though I can see the attraction of the Reel Inn on a nice summer day or evening. Maybe the weather changes the way the food tastes...