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San Pedro Fish Market

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My wife, son and I went to San Pedro Fish Market for the first time Saturday evening. We chose to bypass the fresh fish side and go straight to the "Fast Food" part and ordered two orders of fish and chips ($7.95 ea.), a squid and chips ($7.95) and a shrimp cocktail ($9) and three soft drinks. (Altogether it was $38 and change.) None of it met our expectations. The shrimp cocktail was best, mixed with tomatoes and cilantro. The fish and chips seemed like tilapia and was picked from bins of pre-fried offerings behind the cashier. The french fries were greasy and soggy and the cole slaw was decent. I was also surprised by tartar sauce coming in small packets rather than making their own. The environment was sorta fun if you're in the mood for it -- it was packed with people and music of various types was being played loudly.

Having read good things about this place from Jonathan Gold and seeing it on some Food Network show, the food was a big letdown.

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  1. Yeah, over the last few years its taken a REAL downhill slide... It's all the same stuff and you know that stuff is not fresh... :P

    For a much better experience, go to Quality Seafood on Redondo Pier sometime. It's a bit more expensive, but way worth it for the variety and quality of food.

    --Dommy!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      And when you go to Quality Seafood, stick to the freshly prepared items. I've had terrible fried food there. You want the freshly steamed items...

      1. re: JudiAU

        I have ALWAYS been happy with their freshly fried Smelts... but I get what you are saying... the stuff they have at the "hot bar" is not so hot...

        --Dommy!

      2. re: Dommy

        I would also recommend Captain Kidd's, just north of the Redondo Pier, for cooked-to-order stuff from their cases.

        1. re: Tony Miller

          captin kidd's good call tony!! I normally order a sandwich ( fresh board to pick fromZ).. salmon and snapper is always very good and dependable with two sides for less than 10 bucks. nice lunch. heck I may even bike over there in the next few days..

          1. re: Foodandwine

            I always cringe when I recall my first trip to Captain Kidds. Believe me, I grew up eating street food in Mexico and Chinese Food in the SGV, so I'm usually so squemish... but the way they keep their dining area is just ATROCIOUS!! There was not one bench that didn't have Sea Gull droppings on it!! UGH!! Now, it was a few years ago... so things might have changed... but honestly after that total gross out (We ended up taking the food to go), I have no desire to return to find out myself...

            --Dommy!

      3. Im still a San Pedro Fish Co fan. You have to avoid that fast food stand though, it has never been good. I usually find a good, fresh fish - shrimp as well if the price is right - and turn it over to the grill stand at the bottom of the stairs. I like the way they deep fry the fish, I like the potatos and bread. If you are craving crabs and lobster it is pretty good from the shellfish section. I try to watch the prices, they vary wildly and watch the freshness. If there is nothing I like at the fish co, ill go down the walkway to the other restaurants and see what is happening.

        There is always something to be said for a place my kids love, and there is lots of beer. I like beer.

        1. that place is overrated..just go to Santa Monica Seafood

          1. San Pedro Fish Market on 5th Street

            We went there the other weekend.
            It’s really bad!
            We arrived early and found a place to park, and then hit one of the larger fish markets with an outdoor patio and live music. The place is really dirty, and the food is some of the worst in L.A. or Orange County. An oriental family owned the place (no problem, but they could not speak any English) The place filled up fast with a ton of people that looked like gang members (also a ton of cops “in their cars”) the alcohol really gets flowing. I think this is a place for people to unwind and get drunk cheap, before Monday. I have been in a lot of bad areas and down to many parts of Mexico where I should not have gone, but this place made me fell real uneasy. For the first time someone yelled out “no gringos”.
            Again it’s a dump were people even bring their own food to listen to loud Mexican music and get wasted.
            Also at 1100 am the parking lots (hundreds of spaces) were completely full. They had people in rows acting as spotters, following people to their cars and physically standing in parking spaces waiting for the rest of the group.
            I have heard so many great things about this place, but we wasted our day and were so thankful to get out of there.