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Casual Seafood in L.A.

Where is a good seafood joint? Does anyone remember Hymie's on Pico or the Crab Shell at Venice pier? I know about Water Grill and Ocean Ave but I'm looking for a place you can go in jeans, sit down and have some fresh seafood with no frills simply prepared.Any suggestions?

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  1. The best idea i can give you....

    hit up the seafood market and find crabs that you like, big/small/softshell/10?/20? go out to manhattan and grill them yourself. bring a pot for boiling, butter for dipping, corn, potatoes...be as messy as you want, with one of the california's best waterfront views.

    1. Reel Inn in Malibu?

      I haven't been in many years, so you may want to search for more current reviews.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Obessed

        I like the Reel Inn in Malibu -- very casual, see what looks good in the case, and order up front. They make a good sauteed calamari steak with capers, grilled fish tacos, grilled fish in general, steamed crab... I'm not wild about their fried items, but it's a great casual place for seafood across the highway from the water, and you can sit indoors or out (without feeling like you're on PCH). Enjoy!

        1. re: debra

          i'm not at all wild about their grilled fish nor their fried items.

      2. Malibu Seafood (on PCH).

        Quality Seafood (on the Redondo Beach Pier).

        Nearly any good Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley, or anywhere, for that matter. I'll start by suggesting Seafood Village, but there's hundreds. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/473018

        Or one of the many Louisiana-Vietnamese places that have sprung up, such as Boiling Crab.

        Boiling Crab
        742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

        Malibu Fish & Seafood
        25653 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

        Seafood Village
        9669 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780

        Quality Seafood
        130 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA

        1. I suggest the Fish Grill - they have a couple of locations around town. Its got benches, food served on paper plates, and the fish is grilled just about as plain as can be. Not open Friday dinner or all day Saturday IIRC, unfortunately.


          2 Replies
          1. re: HastaLaPasta

            Fish Grill is not bad, but just be advised that it doesn't actually serve "seafood"--other than fish--since it's Kosher.

            1. re: HastaLaPasta

              Ate at the Fish Grill on Pico at Beverwil tonight. I had the salmon with a baked potato and cole slaw.

              The salmon was delicious, the baked potato huge and I didn't like the cole slaw because it had caraway seeds.

              Very casual.

              I do not like their paper plates. They don't have serving trays and the paper plates and bowls are flimsy.

              My mother had the Manhattan Chowder and the bottom plate almost collapsed when I was carrying it to the table.

              Oh yeah.... you order at the counter and pick up your food at the counter. Wouldn't mind if they had trays.

              But I'll be back because it was fresh and very tasty.

            2. Captain Kidd's Fish Market in Redondo Beach. They got a menu you can order off of or you can pick your own seafood and they'll cook it any way you want. They got their own free parking lot and an ocean view.


              209 N. Harbor Drive
              Redondo Beach

              1 Reply
              1. 10th Street Cafe in Santa Monica is as casual, basic, fresh and inexpensive as you can get. It is a converted Carl's Jr. that has been bought by the Santa Monica Seafood folks and will eventually become its retail outlet and cafe. Presently it has counter service and minimal decor, but the fish is good and well-prepared. I really enjoyed my fish and chips, three nice crispy pieces for $9.95, and they also did a good job with the fried calamari. I tasted the clam chowder which was great. My friend ordered a tunaburger for $6.95 and they have fresh fish specials simply prepared served with rice and vegies for about $13. They close pretty early at dinner -- 7 p.m. last I checked. On the S/E corner of Wilshire and 10th with free shared parking in the back, a couple of doors west of the Chinese fast food place.

                1 Reply
                1. re: nosh

                  OK, I gave my Santa Monica suggestion. If you are downtown and don't want tacos at Senor Fish, the big favorite is Fisherman's Outlet which is just east of downtown on the west side of Central at about 5th. A lunch place, with lines of businesspeople and city and county workers ordering big plates of fresh-grilled fish or fried shrimp, scallops or fish. The grilled selections come with either a teriyaki or creole spice accompanied by rice or a garlic butter which comes with fries. Covered communal table seating outside, and a cold line on the right side that sells seafood salads and chowder. Big parking lot behind to the south. Excellent place, amazing value with most lunches under $10, and ultra-casual. Especially wonderful in sunny moderate weather, where it is all the more popular and crowded, but not great during windy Santa Ana seasons. Note and beware, there is a competing fish joint across the street to the north which exists on this place's extras and confused potential customers, which isn't nearly as good.

                2. One word, MalibuSeafood. Also works as two words.

                  Reel Inn is reel bad.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ElJeffe

                    completely concur with your opinion about the horrible, overcooked, greased up food at the reel inn

                    1. re: ElJeffe

                      i second this! malibu seafood is one of my favorite restaurants in LA. get the shrimp or squid sandwich, clam chowder, steamed clams... actually, everything is good!

                    2. I don't mind Enterprise Fish Co. Their HH menu, especially, is really good. $1 oysters.

                      1. Believe it or not, Hungry Cat! Although the prices are not simple or casual, I find the food worth every dime. Service is slooooow unless you sit at the bar.

                        The Hungry Cat
                        1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                          Agreed, although keep it simple there (appetizers, raw bar, crab legs, simple preparations). I've found that Dave goes overboard on the fish entrees with heavy sauces and lots of ingredients.

                          Casual, hip vibe with a solid cocktail list.

                        2. I still love (and recently have been to) the Fisherman's Outlet on Central and 6th... The turn around is AMAZING and they make everything fresh (Even their breaded fish/shrimp)


                          Fisherman's Outlet
                          529 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                          1. Froggy's, up in the middle of Topanga Canyon is fun. Similar feel to Reel Inn, but I think the fish is a little better, and there's kind of a summer camp vibe going on.

                            1. Fish Grill is certainly tops in my book. But after that, and without the kosher reassurance, I would go with Reel Inn (not that bad, and sometimes actually quite good), and believe-it-or-not, Sharky's, the not-quite-Baja-Fresh chain. Their seafood tacos can be grilled, and is always fresh. Good salsa, too. There needs to be more places like the Fish Grill...

                              1. Captain Kidds was a good suggestion. You pick out the fish you want, they will cook it up for you and you get to choose 2 sides to go with it. They have beer and wine as well. After you can then walk around the Redondo pier.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JEN10

                                  I agree with Captain Kidds. We've been going there 20+ years after getting tired of fighting for a table at Quality. We usually get the northern crabs and have them steamed then cracked and cleaned. They are a little expensive but worth every penny. They also validate the parking if you're unable to find a spot in their small free parking lot. You also have the choice of sitting in the sun or on the upper decks that are indoors and shaded.

                                2. For inland dwellers, I recommend Clancy's Crab Broiler in Glendale. Not necessarily for gourmands, but its got a great 70's-80's retro nautical feel, reasonable prices, large selection (all fresh from my favorite personal supplier, Fish King), and its the place I turn to when looking for some casual seafood.

                                  1. San Marino Seafood. No paper plates, but not formal dining at all. BYOB. Fresh, delicious. Reasonable, not tiny, portions. Once they ran out of the medium-type shrimp, so they gave me the large-type shrimp instead. "Is that okay?" they asked. Well, of course!

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: malisa

                                      Thanks Malisa. I plan to visit the Huntington Gardens tomorrow so the timing of your suggestion is perfect.

                                      1. re: Baron

                                        also in malibu is neptune's net (http://www.neptunesnet.com/). They have the fried fish/seafood, but also the steamer side. and the chowder is great.

                                        1. re: smr714

                                          Have been there only once, and wasn't really impressed. IIRC, had the fish and chips, which wasn't worth the drive & long lines. Am willing to give it another try though. More shorts casual than "jeans" casual.

                                          On a side note, was cool to see Billy Idol sitting next to us.

                                      2. re: malisa

                                        I had lunch at San Marino Seafood and had a great experience. Casual store front type of location. Excellent clam chowder, red and white, fresh oysters, bucket of steamers and a grilled calamari. George, the chief cook and owner couldn't do enough for us. He brought out a taste of their shrimp, smoked salmon and albacore, brought out a small crab cake to try, crab claws and tuna salid. He was very proud of his product as he should be. This place is a real gem. We went away stuffed to the gills! Thanks Malisa. Cant wait to go back.

                                        1. re: Baron

                                          and now they're right next to a place that serves Fosselman's ice cream. Score!

                                          1. re: Baron

                                            Could you please tell me where San Marino Seafood is located? Thanx

                                            1. re: Neta

                                              San Marino Sea Food
                                              2150 Huntington Dr
                                              San Marino, CA 91108
                                              (626) 943-8862

                                        2. What about the several fishmarket/takeout places at Ports O' Call in San Pedro. I was there last week, but didn't try the food. Even so, the whole thing seemed to be packed with people and doing really good business in barbecued whole fish, boiled crabs, pacific lobsters, and various Mexican-style shrimp and mixed-seafood offerings. Has anybody tried it (them) recently? Is it (they) any good? Of the bunch, which is the best?