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Santa Monica Seafood's new cafe

Just received an email from Santa Monica Seafood announcing their new cafe, 10th Street Cafe. It's at 1000 Wilshire and serves "fresh seafood exclusively from Santa Monica Seafood Co." Hours are from 11 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Okay, just a bit inconvenient for most of us.

Here's the link for their menu:


Anyone eaten there yet?

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  1. thanks for the head up. I'll try to go there in the next week.

    1. It looks like it will be less expensive to eat the prepared seafood at the cafe than to buy it uncooked at the Seafood Company. ;-D

      1. THIS IS AWESOME!!! I love SM Seafood and hopefully this means I won't have to go all the way to Malibu Seafood for reasonable fresh fish entrees. Did the email say what day it opens on?

        3 Replies
        1. re: ElJeffe

          My understanding is that they opened today. Their phone number is 310 255-0000 if you want to call to confirm.

          1. re: Outerspace

            I drive by it everyday.
            It's bleak looking from the outside. I was surprised to hear the affiliation with SM Seafood.

            1. re: Wolfgang

              YES!! I mean, no, I haven't eaten there YET, but YAY: I work very near there and am ALWAYS hating the search for cheap (i.e. no overpriced blahfood on Montana, please) but good food that isn't Carl's Jr.!! FINALLY -- a real place to have lunch!! Oh man oh man...

        2. I live just a few blocks from here and might try it tomorrow- will report back. I almost exclusively buy my seafood from them.

          1. Nice addition to the neighborhood! Great to have a reasonable place to go to with my pescaterian daughter! Thanks for the info.

            1. I went there today for lunch. It used to be the Carl's Jr so that's the layout. You order at the counter and they call your number. The meals are VERY reasonably priced and they had a daily special, which I got (cajun fish mix (sturgeon and other assorted mystery fish pieces....yeahhhh....)over rice w/ coleslaw and cheese bread). It was only $7.95...insane and the food was good. Comparable is the fish grill on Wilshire near barrington but this place was way better and more convienient to get to. Its very minimalistic (read bare decorations) but it was nice food. I'll be back frequently.

              1. I went to the 10th Street Cafe for lunch today, as well. I took 4 coworkers with me, and they all thanked me for introducing them to this new place. Two ordered a side of fried calamari (5.95) and different sized bowls of clam chowder. They both LOVED the calamari, though one said she prefers her squid simpler and less seasoned. I sampled a piece and thought it was incredibly good. The breading was so NOT greasy, it was amazing. And according to the other person, they were actually juicy, too. They both liked their clam chowders A LOT, though they both noted it was very thick (not in an overly creamed or starchy way, just thick). They both noted that there was a lot of clam in the chowder and that it tasted REAL.

                I and another person both ordered the spicy tuna burger. It came with a side of fries. I loved it. So did she. It had a little kick of jalapeno or something in the subtle sauce, and the tuna part was nice and THICK. The bun was toasty and warm, and the sliced tomatoes they added were thick-sliced and red and juicy, not anemic and yellow as I often see in my burgers at the slightly fancier burger shops (i.e., not fast food). In other words, the tomatoes looked and tasted really fresh. I loved the fries but I'm easy to please when it comes to them -- they were a bit too salty, though.

                The fifth person ordered fish and chips. He really liked it. He didn't go into detail, and I forgot to ask him his impression. But it was a nice and full plate, and I remember thinking his plate looked impressive for just being "fish and chips."

                We were all extremely happy with our food. I don't believe any of us paid more than 8 bucks each. And to think, just a block north on Montana, our colleagues were forking over at least twice more per person on slow-serviced, overpriced, bland, dinnerish meals at sitdown restaurants... for LUNCH, mind you.

                The few beefs/issues: it was nearly empty when we got there around 2 pm. It is a pretty spacious place for a "cafe." It totally still looks like a fast-food joint, mainly because of the permanent long counter in between the kitchen and dining area, and they haven't done a thing, it seems, to make the place feel more like a cafe or a satisfying little lunch spot. I am worried they won't get the business they deserve. When we passed by it, it didn't even look like an eatery from the sidewalk point of view -- not good!! There was a TINY paper taped to the corner of one window that looked like their PDF file of their menu, just printed out. This place is on the street corner and has huge windows, but there is no conspicuous sign anywhere. They should totally take advantage of the fact that they've got these nice big windows. No decor, anywhere. You'd never know the place was seafoody -- or even food-related, for that matter.

                Then when you walk in you smell a lot of deep-fry fishy oily smell, which may make people think it's like the poor man's version of Long John Silver's fast food. It would be sad if people mistook this genuinely high-quality eatery for anything less, but the way they present themselves doesn't help them one bit.

                I'm really hoping they put up some decor -- not that looks matter much, but they matter SOME -- cause it's just really empty and kind of scary in there. If I didn't know this was related to Santa Monica Seafood and if I hadn't seen their menu items with prices beforehand (which impressed me), I definitely would have been afraid to go inside if I'd just been a passerby.

                I encourage people to stop by for lunch!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                  hah, i think i was to the side of your party!

                  i was there about 2ish.

                2. The official name is 10th St Cafe (Fresh and Fast Seafood) . I made it there for lunch around 11:30ishtoday . I ordered a spicy tuna burger with fries for $6.95. The bun, burger, and veggies were very good quality. The jury is out on the fries. They were acceptable but not outstanding.

                  The menu is limited but will satisfy most. I saw another's table's order which consisted of some of the entree items which are priced from $9.95 to $15.95. The entree choices consist of grilled salmon, grilled rockfish, Shrimp scampi, Grilled Halibut, and swordfish.

                  They also have chowder, appetizers, fish tacos,and three different sandwiches. i would eat here again. Although, it's obvious that the 'fast food' route is a new endeavor for them.

                  They are open Monday- Friday from 11 am -6pm.

                  There were a few people ordering take out and only 4 other people there. I believe they first need better signage. It's spartan inside.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: socalguitar

                    I went there again today. Tried the "tuna melt", it was pretty weak. It wasn't a melt somuch as it was the toasted garlic bread inbetween tuna salad with some cheddar. They probably stuck it in a toaster oven maybe to melt the cheese and brown the outside of the sandwhich a bit (the toasted garlic from the garlic bread was actually the interior of the sandwhich). just kind of odd.

                    1. re: Xericx

                      I had the same thing today and have to agree, though I did like the clam chowder quite a bit (a bargain at $2 with the sandwich). I will be back to try the fish and chips, though, and hope that they will add fried oysters and/or shrimp to the menu.

                  2. I tried it today for an early dinner at around 5:00. The place was deserted: just two cops on break, and a guy waiting for take-out.

                    The calamari was tender, the breading crunchy and well-seasoned. The chowder was a little starchy, but very clammy and well worth the extra $2. Calamari and soup were enough for a light dinner.

                    I wanted to try the fish and chips, but they make it with heavily-overfished Atlantic cod so I skipped it. Maybe if enough people ask they'll switch to Pacific cod instead.

                    1. Went for the second time today - good place to go if you like to eat alone :)
                      I had the fish and chips. The chips are seasoned fries and quite salty, although I really liked them. They were not 'chips' in the wrapped in paper greasy slabs of potato one might get around the U.K. but good. The fish was not the greatest - a bit tough in places. It did not have any fishy flavor or old oil flavor, so better than many (most?) in the LA area, but not exciting. Overall, I liked the spicy tuna burger better... If I still worked near this cafe, it would make it into my usual lunch rotation (which used to include a cobbled together lunch from Santa Monica Seafood anyway) - but I won't be travelling there out of my way too often.

                      More interesting - the cafe has the drawings up for what the new Santa Monica Seafood and Oyster Bar are going to look like (coming Fall 2008 according to the drawings). Looks nice and having an oyster bar of some sort will be nice.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: igj

                        We split the Spicy Tuna Burger this afternoon. It was tasty and we would order it again. Fries were fresh but salty. Good portion of food to split as a late lunch.

                        Since we were the only customers, we spoke with the young lady at the register about the cafe drawings located on the wall to the right of the menu. She stated Santa Monica Seafood will be relocating to the Cafe location (10th and Wilshire) in the Fall of 2008. In addition to the Cafe and Seafood Market, there will be an Oyster and Chowder Bar. Obtaining a Beer and Wine license so it should be a nice place for a quick meal.

                        Assuming Magellan's will be moving in 2008. Parking lot is not that large. I mentioned to SO that maybe he would be able to pick up fresh fish on the way home from work and he glanced at the parking lot and rolled his eyes.

                      2. are the chowders the same as at that seafood branch on colorado, or better (I hope)?

                        1. Santa Monica Seafood is relocating its Colorado store to the Wilshire location. But before they began construction they wanted to introduce people to the restaurant side of their business and generate some interest while they are going through the permitting process. The new Santa Monica Seafood store will offer the same selection of fresh seafood available at the Colorado store plus you will be able to eat-in or take-out lunch and dinner from a large seafood menu. Fresh oysters, clams, beer and wine will also be served at a seafood bar. The 10th Street Café highlights just a few of the menu selections that will be available.

                          In several months they will close 10th Street Cafe to begin construction on the new Santa Monica Seafood retail store/restaurant which should open in the fall of 2008.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: AIS

                            Well, that would explain the ad hoc feel to the cafe's decor. While the chow may have its strong points, the Carls Jr. with a paint job seems rather limiting in its appeal.

                            1. re: igj

                              Yeah, the seating and the decor are not very welcoming but the food is nice for the price. Had a spicy tuna burger with cole slaw--pretty tasty. I kind of like the old location better. Although 10th St. is closer to me, I don't like the traffic on Wilshire.

                              1. re: fdb

                                I get the impression, from talking to some of the folks at the current location (12th and Colorado) that they're not moving because the WANT to. Somebody -- the person I was talking to didn't know who -- has bought the piece of property where the current store is; the property, he told me, is much larger than just the store, but also encompasses both of the parking lots and more, so it's big enough to do some serious building on. The person I was talking to had an impression that the buyer is in the entertainment business; if so, that plus the fact that lots of EntBiz stuff is moving into (and has already moved into) the part of Sta. Monica between Lincoln and 26th, Wilshire and Olympic, would lead me to think that somebody's fancy offices might be the future of that lot. It'll be a shame to see the 12th and Colorado store gone, because it's so easy to access (i.e., it has a lot of parking). Parking at 10th and Wilshire will presumably be behind the store, which could work -- it does, for instance, at the Petco that's farther east on Wilshire. I hope they won't have to go the valet route, though.

                                1. re: ozhead

                                  that is correct, the original sm seafood site was sold. i reviewed the offering package for the site a while back and passed on it.

                                  1. re: ozhead

                                    Tom Hanks bought the property as a film production house.

                                    Went to 10th St. today. Food was pretty decent. The grilled fish tacos were really nice. I'd give them a nod over Malibu Seafood's and maybe even better than Wahoo's.

                                    The Fish N' Chips were good, but I'd still give Malibu Seafood the advantage by a big margin. Malt comes in packets vs. having bottles, and only plastic forks, so the experience is certainly still rough around the edges.

                                    Had the grilled Rock Fish as well. It was decent, but not as fresh as Malibu seafood and had a dry cajun spice that I didn't care for.

                                    Overall, I'd recommend 10th St. Cafe for really good, affordable seafood, albeit very casual. Not sure when they're going to re-design to re-open the seafood store, and how it will affect the Cafe.