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Mar 14, 2007 04:55 PM

Fish & Chips

I'm looking for the best fish & chips in the Bay Area - anyone have any recommendations?

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  1. We recently had fish and chips at Sear's Fine Foods that were pretty darned good. I don't know if they're the best, but my husband and I were both impressed by both the taste and the value. I've also heard that Sea Salt (on San Pablo, Berkeley) has good fish and chips, but I haven't been there yet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chemchef

      Very recently? According to this week's Tablehopper, Sears recently hired a new Executive Chef who is supercharging the menu. Maybe things are looking up for this well-located institution.

      (Read fast -- looks like the link will expire in a few days and I couldn't find a permalink)

      1. re: Gary Soup

        My husband and I went to Sear's recently and had the fish and chips. The only bad thing I have to say about them is that they give you way too much food! Otherwise, the fish was fresh and crispy and delicious and they allowed me to substitue the fries with sweet potato fries, which I love. Also substituted the tarragon tartar sauce with the harissa aioli. All in all, a very memorable meal. The new chef seems to be doing quite well, however we did see several people come in, sit down, look at the menu, and leave while we were there. It happened so many times that my husband and I decided to ask the waitress what was up. She said that since the arrival of the new chef, they have made the menu a little more "upscale" and thus raised the prices just a bit, but they hadn't gotten around to updating it on the internet yet, so people were a little surprised I guess.

        Anyway, I'd say that they're just going through a transition period, but their food is top notch from what I can tell. I just wouldn't go there expecting a burger and fries so to speak.

        1. re: chemchef

          The move to more upscale makes sense. From the Chron's report when the new owner who took over, he could only afford to take Sear's on by making it profitable (obviously) and that included serving dinner, which it never did before.

          The comments I heard after it went to dinner service was it only so-so and no one really went for dinner, only breakfast, so something had to be done. I'm guessing they haven't changed the breakfast menu much. I only go to Sears w/ visitors, like every other year, but I always liked the breakfast. I'll have to check out the F&C if I'm around there.

    2. O'Neils Irish Pub in North Beach do pretty dish fish, but the chips are way to overcooked and crispy for my liking. Fish and chips is a dish I've struggled to find a really good version off. Actually it is likely as I prefer that slightly soggy texture you get from fish and chips that are wrapped up in paper and carried home after a night of drinking.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rob133

        Rob, if you like fish and chips wrapped in paper, go to Edinburgh Castle. You can order fish and chips from a shop around the corner. Your order will be walked over, wrapped in newsprint about 10-20 minutes later. You can wash it all down with a pint of delicious beer from the Castle.

        1. re: grishnackh

          The newspaper adds hardly any flavor to the heavy, undercooked batter. If you peel off the clay-like substance the fish is pretty good.
          Woodhouse is my current favorite. Great fish, and even though the fry is too cool to cut down on the grease, the fries are medium cut and crispy. The tartar tastes good to me.

      2. Try Cook's in Menlo Park. They use halibut for the standard pieces of fish, but there are a lot of options. I also like the salmon salad.

        Cook's Seafood Restaurant & Fresh Fish Market
        751 El Camino Real
        Menlo Park, CA 94025

        1 Reply
        1. re: yerioy

          Cook's Seafood has excellent fish and chips, and has had since I started going a dozen years ago.

          But even better -- if you'll stretch f&c to include catfish -- is the fried catfish and chips at Backayard on Willow at Newbridge, also in Menlo Park. The flavorful crumb batter is eerily delectable, and the fries are consistently acceptable.

          I haven't been as pleased with Jonathan's Fish & Chips, also on Willow in Menlo Park. Good atmosphere, but disappointing cornmeal batter, with little flavor. I did once have a very bony but flavorful piece of drum at Jonathan's long before Backayard opened.

        2. I haven't been in a few months, but Sea Salt had GREAT fish and chips last several times I was there (I or my husband or a friend ordered them).

          1. what about The Irish Bank awesome fish and chips, place can get very loud, but fun atmosphere