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Curious to know more about Canetti's Seafood Grotto in San Pedro

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  • Jeff Shore Sep 25, 2000 08:39 PM
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On John Z's advice, my wife and I drove down to Canetti's on Sunday after stopping for potato tacos. Sadly, they were closed -- their location is stunning and the decor is right up our alley. We are already strategizing for a visit when they are open -- can anyone tell me more about what to get? This may seem silly, but is the fish good? I am curious to know anything...

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  1. Canetti's is very much a local San Pedro hang. Lots of men who are, or used to be, in the fishing industry eat here, which is not a recommendation for the place, just a fact. The fish is fresh, and very simply prepared, either deep fried or grilled. Joe Canetti is almost always around, chatting with the regulars. The food is very, very basic. No fancy sauces (just tartar sauce), no fancy sides (basic green salad, fries, coleslaw, etc.). If you want a piece of pie for dessert, it comes from Costco. Canetti's is fine for what it is. Since I live in San Pedro, I used to eat there a couple times a month, usually getting some type of grilled fish with fries, but eat there less frequently now.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Tom Armitage

      So what ARE some of the great places to go in San Pedro?

      1. re: Tom
        t
        Tom Armitage

        I don't think of San Pedro as having "destination" restaurants. As you drive down Gaffey St., you get the impression that San Pedro residents eat nothing but pizza and fast food. There are indeed scads of pizza places in San Pedro, but none worth a drive. Culturally, San Pedro is home to substantial Croatian, Italian and Hispanic populations. There are lots of Mexican restaurants in San Pedro serving passable food. My favorite Mexican restaurant in the area is Birrieria Tepechi in nearby Wilmington. The specialty of Birrieria Tepechi is birria (roast goat), but there are many other tasty things on the menu, including a nice chicken mole and a creamy flan (made with condensed and evaporated milk). There is only one Croatian restaurant in San Pedro, Ante's Restaurant at 729 S. Palos Verdes St. The food at Ante's is home-style, not haute cuisine, and includes dishes such as octopus salad, stuffed cabbage, cevapcici sausage, and pot roast with mostaccioli. The Indian food at the Hamburger Hut on Gaffey St. is good, especially the unusual falafel and, when available, the jackfruit curry. But, people looking for good Indian food in Los Angeles will aim their cars at Cerritos, not San Pedro. Likewise, the imperial rolls and feather light egg custard at Nam's Red Door Vietnamese Restaurant on Pacific Ave. are just fine, but one wouldn't drive here for Vietnamese food, instead of, say, to the Golden Deli in San Gabriel or the many other good Vietnamese restaurants in San Gabriel or the "Little Saigon" area of Garden Grove. The Moroccan food at Babouch Moroccan Restaurant on Gaffey St., owned by two Egyptian brothers, is tasty, as are the lamb shanks at the Sixth Street Bistro, 354 W. Sixth St. For lunch, the take-out roast pork sandwiches at Busy Bee Market, 2413 S. Walker St., are swell. There are number of good breakfast spots in San Pedro. My favorite is the Pacific Diner at 3821 S. Pacific Ave. (don't miss the chile verde omelet with pico de gallo), followed by the adjacent Lighthouse Deli/Café, 508 W. 39th St., and then the Omelette and Waffle Shop at 1103 S. Gaffey St. Billy Baker's, in the mini-mall on the southwest corner of Western Ave. and 25th St., makes good muffins and scones.

        1. re: Tom Armitage
          r
          Richard Foss

          I would add Sugar's Barbecue on Gaffey to the list, as I think it is second only to Dr. Hogly-Wogly's in the greater Los Angeles area. It is advisable to go early, though, as they sometimes run out of ribs- the kitchen seems to be a low-volume operation.

          I also think of Babouch as a destination restaurant in San Pedro, since the decor is lovely and the food is superior to Dar Mahgreb. Dar Mahgreb does have nicer decor, but the b'stilla I had there a few weeks ago was very dry.

          RF

          1. re: Richard Foss
            t
            Tom Armitage

            Sugar's is okay in a pinch, but for really good 'cue my car practically goes on autopilot to JayBee's at 15911 S. Avalon in Gardena. It's the closest to San Pedro of the top three or four places for barbecue in Los Angeles, and only a slight detour for me on my drive home from work. For more on JayBee's, see the link below.

            Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. re: Tom Armitage
              r
              Richard Foss

              I like Jay Bee's brisket but not their ribs, which I found to be a bit greasy. The brisket is world class, though - worth sitting at the splintery outdoor tables and guarding your bread from the pigeons just to enjoy the stuff.

              RF

              1. re: Richard Foss

                I haven't tried Jay Bee's brisket, but I think that the ribs (pork and beef) are pretty good. If you think the brisket is much better, than I gotta have some :)

          2. re: Tom Armitage

            re: "(that's "Pee-dro," folks)"

            do local Hispanics pronounce it that way, too?

            1. re: Jim Leff
              t
              Tom Armitage

              "re: (that's 'Pee-dro,' folks), do local Hispanics pronounce it that way, too?"

              Local Hispanics, generally yes (though not universally). A lot depends on how long they've lived in San Pedro. Non-local Hispanics, almost never.

              I experienced a similar incongruity when I lived in the Philippines. I lived in Baguio, pronounced by Americans with a long "a", which mispronunciation was then adopted by many the local Filipinos.

              This mispronunciation of non-English names is not a practice I support. But the fact of the matter is that when someone pronounces San Pedro with a short "e" (Pay-dro), they are instantly identified as a non-local.

              1. re: Tom Armitage

                Hey, there's no such thing as "mispronunciation" when a given pronunciation is agreed upon by a large group. "Correct" pronunciation (like any facet of language) is determined by useage, not hard/fast rules.

                I was just curious!

            2. re: Tom Armitage
              b
              Bill Cuthbert

              Well......as an SPHS Grad '72....We Could Always Tell a Non Local By The The Way They Said: "San Pay-Dro" !
              May Not be Correct.....But if You're San Pedro
              Born and Bred......It's "Pee-dro" The ONLY Way To Say It!!