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Mar 31, 2008 03:40 PM

Seafood Recs in East Bay

I will watching the A's play this Saturday and was wondering if there are any good seafood places in the area. I will be driving from Sacramento so anywhere along 80 and 880 in the bay area is feasible. I am looking for more of a seafood-house like place that has a good selection of FRESH seafood and is moderately priced (around or less than 20 dollars per entree). Any advice is appreciated, Thanks!

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  1. Probably Sea Salt in Berkeley. You won't find much in Oakland area near Coliseum

    1. Spenger's in Berkeley, just off 880 at University...might push the budget a bit, but a good Happy Hour and great food, in my experience.

      It's weird though, some people despise the place...I've always enjoyed it

      4 Replies
        1. re: Munching Mark

          What do you like at Spenger's? The East Bay Express gave it a less than enthusaistic review this week

          "One would think that cioppino, with its local lineage and rustic, seafaring character, would be made to order for a place like Spenger's. Sadly, its broth is tepid and watery and its crab legs, crawfish, clams, mussels, calamari, and whitefish, plentiful though they are, are overcooked and stringy."

          1. re: rworange

            Agreed, both times I've eaten at Spenger's have been disappointing. I've heard Skates on the Bay is good, but the exorbitant prices have kept me away thus far.

        2. There are not alot of great seafood restaurants in the East Bay. That said thier are some great places serving California and Pacific Rim cuisine where good seafood can be had.

          I can't reccomend anything near the airport or 880 but I have a couple of reccomendations around North Oakland.

          In Rockridge I reccomend Pearl which is a fusion restaurant that does asian inspired small plates including the worlds (Oaklands) BEST Spicy Tuna Poke. They'll have other small plates as well. Wood Tavern is also great...they usually have one seafood offering only though.

          Kirala in berkeley ($$$) or Drunken Fish in Oakland ($) for Sushi

          In Berkekey (and in your price range) you might want to think about Spengers. Very old school and traditional ... but lots of entrees in the $20 range.

          1. A recent review of Spenger's in the East Bay Express was less than enthusiastic.
            Sea Salt is good and an easy on/off from the freeway but is pricey.

            6 Replies
            1. re: wolfe

              I've gotta agree with the EBE review. I went to Spenger's a few times before McCormick & Schmick bought the place, and it was decent, with a few interesting/unusual things lurking on the menu (I still fondly recall the calamari sandwich, even if it didn't include tentacles).

              Since the change of ownership, though, it just seems boring. No creative flair, very pedestrian.

              1. re: Solop

                It may be time for the Solop curse for Spenger's.

                1. re: Solop

                  You mean there was a time when stuff was decent? I have to admit my last visit to eat was in about 1978.

                  1. re: wally

                    I'd bet the last (and probably only second) time I ate there was the 70s or very early 80s too and I really disliked it.

                  2. re: Solop

                    The food at Spenger's went way, way downhill before it closed. The elderly owner thought business was down because the prices were too high, so he switched to frozen, which drove people away even faster.

                    Now it's like any other McCormick & Schmick place. Quality fish, might eat decently if you stick to the simple preparations and send it back if it's overcooked. Oysters and fish & chips are safe bets.

                    I much prefer Sea Salt. Probably more expensive, but higher quality.

                  3. re: wolfe

                    Spenger's is okay for certain things. I wouldn't make it my first choice for seafood but for lunch, it's great. Decent piece of fish for around $10 bucks, validated parking, easy in and out, nver a wait. If you stick to a simple prep and look for something that should be fresh, it's way better then a $8 buck Bette's Oceanview's sandwich.

                  4. Nantucket in Crockett is a very old-school place right on the bay in Crockett. Same kind of place as Spenger's (which is part of the McCormick & Schmick chain) but has a much nicer vibe.

                    Sea Salt is great and the fish is top-quality but the entrees are $25-28.

                    Nantucket Restaurant
                    501 Port St, Crockett, CA

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Have you eaten at Nantucket? I stopped by recently and loved the film noir setting, walking across the train tracks, ignoring the man mumbling to himself in the bushes, but the menu posted outside had fallen down inside the glass and the place was empty. In any case, I doubt the seafood is fresh. We also stopped at Dead Fish, on the hill above, but it was very crowded with loud office parties and didn't look good for the price. So we went home.

                      Last week, though, I had the crab and shrimp empanadas, a nice clam dish with sausage, and the mussels in Pernod at A Cote in Oakland. Not too expensive.

                      1. re: Glencora

                        I had lunch at Nantucket last year after baking at the the Isleton Crawdad Festival and finding nothing decent to eat.

                        At least some of the fish was fresh, as was the draft beer. I think we had cioppino and fish & chips. We had a good time and I remember thinking I'd go back.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          It was pretty spooky on a rainy night, but I can see that sitting outside in the sun could be fun. Good to know that it's not all frozen fish.

                          1. re: Glencora

                            I've eaten at Dead Fish and Nantucket. IMO, Dead Fish is fine if you avoid the fish ... it's dead and tastes it. There are a few good-ish things on the menu that are ok if the view is what you are after. If the choice is between Spengers and Nantucket ... go for Nantucket. We are not talking amazing anything ... but the view is nice. Ask what fresh fish they are serving ... skip the clam chowder.

                            1. re: rworange

                              Dead Fish is right up there with the Old Clam House in truth in advertising.