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Red Fish Simi Valley

t
tofuburrito Feb 7, 2008 06:35 AM

This place has been getting rave reviews in the local papers but I tend to question the objectivity involved. It's portrayed as a very high-end, upscale restaurant with reasonable prices at the Simi Town Center.
I will say the prices are reasonable but I thought the food was boring. I had a grilled salmon, very basic, nothing special, the price tag was in the $25 range. It wasn't bad but I've had better salmon fillets for $8 at fish shacks in Seattle. The side I selected was mashed potatoes but I received roasted potatoes (which I don't think were even on the menu). I ate them, they were o.k.
One odd thing is that their beer line-up was filled with English ales. Other than American Macros, I think all they have is a line of the English ales. I'm not sure what the connection is but our waitress had a British accent. I had a Young's Chocolate Stout.
On my 1-10 scale Red Fish gets a 5.

  1. d
    Dinnyin Nov 10, 2008 01:28 PM

    Let me start by saying, I'm desperately optimistic when it comes to independent restaurants in Simi Valley, and truly wish those trying to serve good, fresh, natural, local food the best of luck and success. I believe Red Fish to be such a place, but they're not quite there, yet, based on my first visit. (I held off going there given the uneven reviews at the beginning, to give them a chance to find their footing). Also, I decided to try it at lunch so they wouldn't be too busy.
    My report:

    The space is great! I love the open kitchen design, the layout, and the overall feel. They've done a great job building it out. It's hands-down the most attractive restaurant interior in Simi.

    Service: Staff was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Our server was nice and not overly attentive, but she was certainly there when we needed her.

    Food:

    Clam Chowder (AKA Bacon Chowder): salt, salt, more salt, and bacon. It does not compare to the chowders back-east of my youth. Would have been great to see more clam and less bacon. That would help cut down on the saltiness too.

    Spicy Tuna Roll: Beautiful, clean, attractive presentation, but the roll was mostly rice and cucumber. After picking out the tuna, on it's own, it tasted fresh with the right amount of kick. There wasn't enough in the roll, though, to detect it over all the rice and cucumber.

    Cesar Salad: lettuce was fresh, crisp, and clean. The dressing was OK, not fresh though. It's a seafood place... break out some anchovies and whip up a great Cesar dressing to order!

    Lobster Bisque: good tomato soup with a hint of lobster

    Mahi Mahi, "Peruvian Style": broth/pan juices were well seasoned, had good flavor and balance. The mushrooms were well cooked, not soft or rubbery. The fish clearly started as good, high-quality product, but it was cooked through to the point of abuse. It was a shame, as the dish showed promise.

    Asparagus side: limp and gray, came out unseasoned. Presumably steamed. Even seasoned it would have been boring, it seemed an afterthought next to the zucchini.

    Grilled Zucchini: excellent! Nicely marked, well seasoned and grilled to perfection. Simple and good.

    Fish and Chips: best for last; this was great! Ranks with the better fish and chips I've had this side of the pond. Crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. Cod was fresh and mild.

    $15-$20 pp + drinks

    The operating owner actually stopped by as I was heading out to ask what I thought. After checking he was sure he wanted to know, I gave him my opinion. He seemed genuinely interested in the details and assured me they were committed to putting out top notch food. I believe him, and will definitely be back.

    1. c
      catlion Jul 11, 2008 09:59 PM

      I completely agree with the original review.
      Food = B-
      Service = A
      Atomosphere = A-
      Prices are too high for the quality of the food. I don't mind high-priced restaurants but they better be worth it, this one def. isn't.

      1 Reply
      1. re: catlion
        b
        bglicklich Jul 12, 2008 09:45 AM

        I enjoy Redfish, after about 4 visits. You can't evaluate a restaurant without considering it's location, and this is, to my mind, the best fish in the Simi area.

        When I order fish, I dont want fancy preparations.. I want fresh fish, which they have. They also get specials of interesting fish, and they do their own portioning in a display cutting room.

        Agreed that they need to dial in the sides a bit, but I enjoy them.

      2. e
        empirejd Jun 22, 2008 08:18 PM

        People with high blood pressure should never eat here since the food is extremely salty no matter what was ordered.

        The service was competent yet seemingly indifferent. It's disconcerting when talking to the waiter to have him suddenly leave while I was in mid sentence.

        The prices are high (for Simi) but the portions are generally large. Entrees start at $16 and go to about $50 per person. Aside from the salt issue the food was prepared competently.

        1. m
          mikester Jun 5, 2008 10:56 AM

          You have to remember, Simi has been a good-food desert forever (I grew up there, so I know) that anything decent is automatically an oasis.

          1. a
            alanna86banana Jun 5, 2008 01:08 AM

            I am a server at Red Fish and I am very proud of this restaurant! The Maryland Blue crabcakes, raw oysters, fried calamari and spicy Tuna Tartare are just some of my favorite selections. I am sorry you were not excited about the salmon; however, most guests find the pomegranate glaze to be an interesting accompaniment. We also offer a lobster macaroni and cheese topped with truffle-infused bread crumbs and a mesquite grilled lobster tail. The blue crab stuffed prawns garnished with truffle Hollandaise sauce or the pistachio-encrusted halibut with green onion mojo are also unique and intriguing.

            Other favorites include jambalaya, scallops, and Oscar-style filet mignon.

            Our potatoes are "smashed" (not mashed) A white rose potato is boiled and then smashed quickly, followed by a topping of chive butter and sea salt.

            I am a big fan of our tap beers, and my personal favorite is the Seadog Blueberry Ale. We also have over 25 signature martinis and two-hundred plus different wine selections. Dessert specialities include creme brule, biegnets with three dipping sauces, and chocolate hazelnut Brazillia.

            My hope is that future visits to Red Fish Restaurant will prove to be the exciting and satisfying experience that most of our customers rave about.
            I hope you will come see us again and try us out!

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