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Fish Grill on Wilshire Between Barrington and Bundy - Suprisingly Decent

When I worked in Century City, I thought there was no worse place for food in the city. That was before I moved my office to the Wilshire corridor between Barrington and Bundy. The lunch choices in close walking proximity are truly pathetic.

Today, I ventured to the Fish Grill (north side of the street; closer to Bundy than Barrington). I was expecting the worst in line with the neighborhood, but was surprised that the fish was actually decent. For $11.95, I got a piece of sea bass that tasted fresh and was not overcooked (two miracles in my mind when eating at a non-Asian, non "fine dining" establishment).

You order at the counter like at a fast food place and there are only plastic utensils, but everything is cooked to order and the staff was friendly and helpful. My only complaint is would it kill them to offer some healthy cooked green vegetables (sides are limited to french fries, baked potatoes and coleslaw)?

Anyway, I wouldn't go out of my way if I wasn't in the neighborhood, but given the neighborhood, it was a pleasant experience.

P.S. The place is kosher. One patron was asking when they were going to get calamari in and the manager cheerfully told her, "never."

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  1. Is this the same as Fish Grill on Beverly Blvd. between Fairfax & La Brea?

    1. There used to be a branch of this mini-chain near me in Sherman Oaks, but alas it closed. There's another one at 7226 Beverly Blvd. (around La Brea?) which is a good fit for that area.

      Your new work neighborhood is strange, food-wise. My grandmother has lived right in that area since 1963 so I've been witness to the phenomenal growth of Wilshire between Barrington and Bundy. The Pavilions used to be a Market Basket! There is Bandera at Barrington, southwest corner. And there are some good places on Santa Monica Blvd. between Barrington and Bundy. But in terms of anything great on Wilshire in that stretch...lots of chains. Some like Literati II but I thought it was expensive and sloooow at lunch.

      1. The location on Beverly is fantastic. It's very reasonably priced and I always get two fish tacos, with a great slaw and sauce on it, served with thin-sliced fries and either a separate cole-slaw and Israeli-salad...it works out to about $7.00 before a drink....you can't beat that for lunch and it's way healthier than a fast food joint, even with the fries.
        It is kosher for sure, and I'd say that 80% of the Beverly location's clientele are from the local Jewish community, but they are always super friendly and smiley when my friends and I show up....the menu is limited primarily to fish, but the fish is grilled to order and it's always been fantastic....

        1. walk a bit north to san vicente and you will be inundated with restaurant choices.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wilafur

            Yeah, I know I can walk north to San Vicente and have much better lunch choices than Wilshire Blvd. But that just doesn't work with walk down from my office, be back in 40-45 minutes. If I'm having a leisurely day, I would much rather get in my car and drive to Sawtelle area than walk to San Vicente (maybe because I don't love Italian and the better restaurants on San Vicente seem to lean Italian).

            1. re: omotosando

              Just a bit west of Bundy on the north side of Wilshire is Amandine Bakery. Their sandwiches, salads and baked goods are really top notch. While the inside seating is not exactly inviting if the day is nice they have a few tables out back that are quite pleasent, and no street noise from Wilshire like the tables out front. Also just across the street is Sainsbury Market which also has good sandwiches, and their daily soup special is usually tasty. The new little sushi place right on the corner just to the west of Sainsbury is okay and even the little bagel place is decent.

          2. Too far to walk, but on Santa Monica Blvd (and about Westgate?) in the old Mama Voula's spot (RIP) is the new El Super Taco. I had a very tasty trifecta yesterday (carne asada, carnitas, and al pastor) with their tasty medium salsa roja spiced up with a few drops of the orangeish "very hot" habanero salsa. They serve you a few grilled onions with the tacos, not chips. Very nice people, tacos just a buck each. It is a couple of doors to the right of Monte Alban.

            On the south side of Wilshire near you, have you tried California Wok? I haven't been in awhile, but their hot'n'sour soup used to be pretty good and some of the lunch specials ok. And long ago on this board somebody had a good lunch at the little Italian place between the Odyssey Video and the McD's. I'm sure you've tried Wahoo's, Rubio's, and Lazy Daizy Cafe. (I sure miss the old Togo's there.)

            8 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              I was wonderng what was going into the Madama Voula's space (I agree RIP). Unfortunately, I loathe Mexican food (just a personal thing). Never tried Wahoo's, Rubio's or Lazy Daisy - just not the kind of food I eat voluntarily. Never even noticed California Wok - I'll have to keep a lookout, although it sounds like fast food Chinese, which I tend not to like because they use way too much oil.

              1. re: omotosando

                California Wok is a real restaurant, not a fast food joint a la Panda Express. In fact they have some "healthy" choices. It's not exactly the most authentic but it's ok. I'm basing this on only one visit to the Wilshire location but on tons of take-out from the Encino location.

                1. re: omotosando

                  Lazy Daisy has a GREAT Mango chicken salad on Fridays for their lunch special.

                  I've been to the Fish Grill. Its not bad...pretty good value....

                  In that corridor, I also like India's Tandoori, they have recently been having a great selection for their lunch buffett.

                  1. re: Xericx

                    Is Indian's Tandori, the place upstairs from Subway and Kinkos in the minimall on the North side of the street? If so, I tried it a few months ago a couple of times and thought it was really bad.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      last few times I've been I've enjoyed it over the other Indian buffet restaurants in the Santa Monica area (All India Cafe and Nawab)....I can walk to Nawab, but I'd rather drive to India Tandoori....they had better varieties and more interesting dishes....last time I had some good chicken Korma and some eggplant dishes.....

                      Have you ever tried The Green Olive BTW? I am meaning to try it....its a few doors down from Fish Grill....

                      1. re: Xericx

                        Actually, I haven't tried the Green Olive and was wondering if it was good. I love Middle Eastern food. Maybe I'll give the Indian place another try, as I also like Indian food.

                        1. re: omotosando

                          green olive is actually good too, their gyros are especially good. and fish grill is most likely related to the other location on beverly blvd. near la brea.

                        2. re: Xericx

                          Tried Indian Tandoori today for late lunch (past buffet time). Garlic naan okay - not great, not terrible. Chicken tikka masala mediocre.

                          Menu typical boring same old, same old, Punjabi. Food reminded me of the cheap Curry Hill places in New York where the joke is that all the food from all the restaurants comes from one central kitchen.

                          The place is 1 minute from my office and I wouldn't go back. Looked at the menu at California Sushi Roll but just couldn't bring myself to go in. I give up on the neighborhood - I'll be brown bagging it in the future.

                2. California Wok is actually on the nicer side of most Chinese restaurants on the west side. It used to be associated with Ching King (not the one in the SGV) which had an ownership shake-up and now is Cheng Du. I like it but in the interest of full disclosure others on this board have savaged it. At California Wok, I've had good luck with the shredded pork with spicy garlic sauce (lots of multi-colored bell pepper strips) and the sliced chicken in either garlic or some other spicy sauce. Lunch special combos with above-average hot'n'sour soup, a small iceberg lettuce salad, and entree with rice for about $6-8.

                  I forgot to mention a very good french bakery, Amandine, on the north side of Wilshire just a couple of short blocks west of Bundy. The best croissant I've had in L.A. Sandwiches, quiche slice, some soup/salad options for about $7. Very tempting dessert pastries.

                  VIP Seafood is on the second floor of the minimall on the NW corner of Barrington and Wilshire. They are about the only Westside place doing dim sum, though I have no idea whether it is weekend only, cart or menu, etc. I'd love to get a report if you can get a few people from the office to join you, or if I'm free for lunch one day.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: nosh

                    Actually, it appears that California Wok is a chain. I've been to the one near the Beverly Center and found it unappetizing. So unappetizing that I would nuke a frozen meal in my office's dirty microwave before I would go there.

                    I've heard good things about Amadine, but I am not a sandwich person and it is too far for a quick walk from my office - I am closer to Barrington than Bundy.

                    I have not been to VIP Seafood.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      Finally tried Amadine. Decent chicken ceasar, but overdressed (next time I would tell them less dressing). Pastries looked wonderful. I wish the place was closer to my office and that they had cooked food at lunch (the only cooked food seems to be omelettes for breakfast).

                      P.S. Just tried the pastry I brought back to my office from Amadine. Maybe it's a good thing the place isn't closer to my office - the pastry was so good, I could see a major weight gain occuring if I went to Amadine frequently!

                  2. I haven't been to that location but the Fish Grill on Beverly almost always overcooks fish unless you ask it for medium rare. Several of my kosher-keeping friends say that is common at kosher restaurants.

                    1. It's not bad; however, most of the times I get up there are during Shabbat... so they're closed.