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Favorite whole fish dishes?

My go-to for a whole fish dish is at Sea Harbour. Steamed fish straight from the tank.

There are others that I like, I suppose. There's Jitlada's Sea Bass, Zucca's Branzino and Shiro's Catfish, and maybe a few others I'm missing.

What about you?

Where do you go for a whole fish dish?

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  1. I love the way Toscana prepares a whole fish. They start it off on top of the stove and finish it in the wood burning oven. Last week I had a beautiful whole Orata. They nearly always have Branzino. The fish is always done perfectly. Moist and never dry. The vegetables sides are also great.

    Toscana Restaurant
    11633 San Vicente Blvd Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90049

    1. I too am a sucker for steamed whole fish. I usually get it at Ocean Star. Maybe I will have to try Sea Harbour.

      3 Replies
      1. re: A5 KOBE

        Seafood Village can do a respectable steamed fish as well.

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

        1. re: mc michael

          The whole fish dish to get at Seafood Village is the "House Special Fish" which comes in it's own chafing dish and hot plate, and the broth is this wonderful gelatinous concoction of sour cabbage, dried tangerine peels, lonquat and conpoy.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            888 has a similar dish... very tasty. I like to eat 2 bowls of rice with the tasty broth.

      2. I've eaten fish all over the world, all sorts of ways.

        In my book, there is no better way to cook fish than to steam it Chinese style, straight outta the tank, with some scallions, light soy, ginger, hot oil and garnished with cilantro. Complex, tender, and sublime. The fish stock also goes great with jasmine rice.

        Sea Harbour's chefs do it right, I agree. Though on a good night, Hop Woo (yes, on the Westside!) has a damn fine version of this also (see my poorly taken picture)

        Hop Woo
        11110 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        3 Replies
        1. re: J.L.

          Hop Woo? Is that talapia?

          >>In my book...<<

          Okay, i'll bite - what book?!?! You can't make statements like that in passing and expect no response...

          1. re: bulavinaka

            My book? Hmm... A novel idea! I shall try to make it happen and put it on Amazon once it's published!

            Yes, it is tilapia - Though rock cod is fantastic for this type of cooking as well.

          2. I really like Chinois Whole sizzling catfish with ginger and ponzu sauce.

            2709 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

            1 Reply
            1. re: wienermobile

              For me, nothing beats a whole imported Dover Sole (not to be confused with the cheap stuff sold at the super market.) It's high end usually between $40-$60 ala carte. Typically its sauted or baked and wheeled to the table where the server will debone it. I always take the whole fish and bone it myself.It's a sublime dish. The Grill on the Alley in BH does a good job. I had a great one in Vegas and I Cugini in SM serves a decent Dover Sole. A whole Dover Sole resembles a small baby halibut. The flesh is white and firm with a delicate sweet taste - just perfect.

              I Cugini
              1501 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            2. Pescado zerandeado from Mariscos Chente brought me back to appreciating whole fish dishes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bulavinaka

                also, their deep fried mojarra frita is fabulous.
                Mariscos Chente
                west imperial highway at yukon
                inglewood, ca

              2. links and info

                5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                Shiro Restaurant
                1505 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030

                Zucca Ristorante [CLOSED]
                801 South Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                sea harbour
                3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                1. Which type of whole fish straight from the tank? Black cod? China Cod? Sea trout? Does anyone know the name of the red rock cod looking thing with the big head and delicate tender flesh? Thats easily my favorite whole steamed fish.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Porthos

                    I believe it is called pacific rock cod.

                    1. re: A5 KOBE

                      Yup, pacific rock cod.

                      What's available in the tanks will vary, depending on what's at the market, etc.

                    2. re: Porthos

                      It's not just one species, but yeah, it's a rockfish (family = Sebastidae), and dozens of species occur in the eastern Pacific. Typically deep-water, slow-growing. And darn good.

                      My vote is Mariscos Chente for most memorable, but followed up by a sort of surprising entry, the whole striped bass at Enoteca Drago. Really spare grilled preparation with lemon.

                      I like the whole pompano at Thai places but none stand out right now.

                      Enoteca Drago
                      410 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                      Mariscos Chente
                      4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                    3. I like the goat hot pots at Phong Dinh and the pork's blood. Never cared for their baked fish dishes, however.

                      Phong Dinh Restaurant
                      2643 San Gabriel Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                      1. I'm a big fan of that catfish at Shiro's.

                        1. One of the first times I went to Master Chef, they had a whole fish in a brown sauce and it was wonderful. I've read on CH, that Master Chef isn't as good now as before, I haven't been in over a year, so I don't know.

                          Master Chef Restaurant
                          937 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                          1. whole baked catfish, favori or thien an restaurant.

                            1. Lukshon - whole steamed fish with black bean ghee has wowed me a few times lately.

                              1. Spanish mackeral @ Sushi Momo. If you ask for two orders, you get four pieces of sushi, followed by the head & bones (intact) fried (and cracker-like).

                                Sushi Momo
                                208 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832