THE WHALE AND ALE (San Pedro) - give me the lowdown?
- ipse dixit Feb 17, 2006 11:25 PM
Going to the Whale and Ale next week for a dinner gathering.
Can someone give me the lowdown?
Thanks much in advance.
A little pricey, but they have my favorite fish & chips in LA County. Big fresh cod filet in a golden brown Bass ale batter. I like their small side salad too with walnuts, sliced mushroom, and bleu cheese.
They do have good fried clams, squid and shrimp - a appetizer combo too I believe. Fish and chips are good too (as mentioned). Pretty good beer selection on tap. Cozy pub atmosphere.
Expensive for fish and chips but definitely worth it once and awhile--best fish and chips around! Order the fried calamari! =)
It was okay... the food overall had a better flavor than Ye Ole Kings Head, I perfered the Fish (Because the batter was lighter) but not the chips.
I love this place. The food is great. I read that one post that thought it was pricey, I disagree; I thought it was reasonable. The Fish and Chips are fantastic and they have Bodington's on tap and that's 'nuff said for me right there.
On a side note, let me just say that the owner is one of the nicest human beings in L.A.. Just a really good guy.
I came here today and brought my parents and younger brother for an early Father's Day lunch. I had been here once before with a friend for dinner, where he ordered the fish and chips and I got the shepherd's pie. He claimed his fish and chips were good; my shepherd's pie was rather tasteless.
I decided to take my parents here nevertheless because my mom is always asking to try not-as-commonly-offered cuisines in LA, such as authentic English, German, and Swiss. So I thought, fine, I'll combine the search for a Father's Day meal with Mother's desires, and take them here.
Well, in short, the flavors were there, but the preparations left more than something to be desired. We ordered crab cakes as an appetizer, and when they showed up, they looked amazingly unfresh: flat, mushy, formless. The texture was just pure mush -- soft, wet, unformed, no sign of "cake" at all, let alone having been fried or even adequately heated up. There were just two round pieces, so among the four of us, we each had a half piece, and mine was not only not warm, it was distinctly cold in the center. The flavor was quite good, which sort of made up for the fact that we were eating crab cake oatmeal.
The worst part of our meal was probably my mom's fish and chips, about which I asked in the General Chowhounding board, because I was so surprised how wet and mushy her piece of fish was, I thought I must truly have been uninformed. But having had my gut reaction confirmed (that the fish in fish and chips should not be soft and wet on the *outside*), I can now safely state that her fish and chips did not come out right. She did remark, though, that the flavors were good.
One of the Chowhounders in the other thread said the sogginess was probably due to the dish's having to sit around. Since it had taken FOREVER for them to bring out our four dishes, and the only other tables (two of them, with two diners each) had long received their food before us, I suppose my brother's shepherd's pie or my dad's curry must've held up the line. But you'd think the kitchen would know better than to fry up the fish and chips so soon relative to the other dishes! Do restaurants even think about this kind of thing? Maybe I'm expecting too much.
Lastly, my roast beef/blue cheese sandwich was good, though again an initial disappointment, as the menu said it would be served on French bread. It came out on two pieces of very thin and feeble (almost translucent) supermarket-style sliced white sandwich bread that was only vaguely French in crumb (in that it was kind of dry and holey and not moist like, say, Wonder Bread). Was I wrong to expect something more along the lines of a half-baguette for my bread? In terms of filling, there was ample blue cheese, and the sandwich was just tasty enough (because of the blue cheese and not much else), but I was otherwise really disappointed by such a pedestrian sandwich creation considering the menu description.
I don't know, maybe I just have my head in some other universe; I don't mean that sarcastically, I really mean it -- maybe it really was just me. But after such a meal, I can't ever recommend the Whale and Ale, and definitely not for lunch. Perhaps dinner is better because they're busier? God, I have no clue.