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Good fish and chips?

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I'm craving some fish and chips and am fantasizing about where I'll go once I lose a little more weight on my diet. Any recommendations? I checked out some earlier threads on the same topic but thought a new one might be better, I don't know if all the old feedback would still apply. I'm open to East Bay, City, Peninsula, eh, pretty much anywhere Bay Area I guess.

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  1. I just found this post too
    Barbara's in Half Moon Bay and Kensington Circus both are sounding good to me.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bythebay

      I can verify Flying Fish Grill in HMB from that list. Very good.

      Also, in Emeryville, Crispy Fry, a Chinese place in the Emeryville Public Market serves v. good FNC at a very reasonable price.

      1. re: bythebay

        It has been a few years but Barbara's fish and chips, (and fried clams) was good. There is a distinctive taste.

        1. re: bythebay

          I don't much care for fish & chips but I took an old salt and his daughter to the Kensington Circus and they raved and ate everything in sight. Rated it four ARRRGHS!

        2. You know, there was a review in the SF Weekly of a place called the Codmother in Fisherman's Wharf, which was a chippy (chippy truck, I think) run by an Englishwoman who does the mushy peas and deep fried Mars bar and everything. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds worth checking out, especially if you care about the whole "authentic" fish and chips thing, which I don't think exists in SF anymore after The Ace closed.

          1. The Irish Bank in downtown SF puts out a pretty good F&C.


            1. I go to Pig & Whistle when I need my british fish & chips fix.


              1. At the other end of the culinary spectrum, perhaps, but there's nothing like ordering a pint at Edinburgh Castle, and having them run down the alley to bring back your fish & chips from Chelsea. F&C

                1 Reply
                1. re: Rapini

                  Chelsea doesn't exist any more... I believe it has become a Korean snack vendor of some sort...

                2. My current favorite is Sea Salt in Berkeley. Kensington Pub except for the black hole the salt disappears down. Pyramid.

                  Old Chelsea has closed but EC gets F&C from Picadilly. Fun in a UK junk-food way but not the best version around.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Thanks for the recs. I went to Sea Salt and enjoyed it, other than not so great service.

                    1. re: bythebay

                      Service seems to be a problem at all K2 restaurants (except LaLimes). I love the meatball sandwich at Paisan, but I go in and there's nobody to seat me, it takes ten more minutes to flag down the waiter (and there always seems to be only one waiter) to take the order and another long wait for the check afterwards. It's similar at Sea Salt, T-Rex and Fonda.

                      1. re: ernie in berkeley

                        Lunch or dinner? I've never had any problem with service at Sea Salt, but I almost always go for lunch.

                        I had surprisingly good fish and chips at Tomm's in Oakland -- edit, never mind, it's closed.

                        1. re: Glencora

                          Lunch. Last time I was at Paisan, it was packed, there was one waiter and one barrista, and they had to get someone from the kitchen to run plates out.

                        2. re: ernie in berkeley

                          I usually have good service at Sea Salt at dinner, though I usually go after the rush.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            It was almost totally empty when we went. Filled up more near the end of our meal but for most of it was pretty dead. Probably the most noticeably lackluster service I've experienced in a while, and I'm really not picky. Not refilling water, had no idea who our waiter was for a long time after arrival, no checking to see if we had everything we needed (we didn't) till long after we had to ask a busperson for help, etc. Still we enjoyed the food, and service wasn't unpleasant or anything, just not good.

                          2. re: ernie in berkeley

                            Have you tried going to Rotten City for meatball sandwich? OMG! (Sorry) But call before you go at lunchtime and make sure the meatballs are ready.

                            I had bad service at Paisan but never at Sea Salt. Touch snotty there, occasional but they, in their superior way, do rise to the occasion and get you served, not-as-cute as your server that you are

                            At Lalime's I got a piece of broken plastic in my dish, like the container that had held it broke. Complained to staff. They took that dish off the bill but otherwise nada. never went back.

                            1. re: rccola

                              Yes, Rotten City's meatball hero is excellent, too. Also Luca Cuccina on San Pablo.

                              1. re: ernie in berkeley

                                I went there shortly after it opened for lunch with my husband and a friend and it took more than 30 - 40 minutes to get the sandwich (after a few minutes for us to decide what we wanted). That made for a tense "gotta return to work" moment. Is it quicker now?

                                (still wasn't as good as Rotten City)

                                1. re: rccola

                                  You mean at Luca? I'm usually in and out of there in 45 minutes at lunchtime.

                                  1. re: ernie in berkeley

                                    Maybe it was too soon after it opened. I think I got eggplant parm. Maybe they weren't ready for that. My husband got the meatball.

                              2. re: rccola

                                I don't like eating at Lalime's. I've gotten takeout there that I enjoyed but I no longer eat there. Don't like the experience, service, etc.

                                1. re: bythebay

                                  Sometimes I have the feeling that the Lalime's empire is suffering from the complacency of feeling as if they're the top of the Berkeley food chain, aside from Chez Panisse. (Or maybe just the top of the West Berkeley food chain) and don't have to prove anything--like they care about the diner. At T Rex, I've had great meals and then, often and embarrassingly when I've brought in an out-of-town visitor, terrible service and lousy food. The portions at Sea Salt can be proper sized and that's appreciated as I hate over-flowing plates or they can be so small that you leave hungry. I once had a lobster roll like that.

                                  In that Lalime's experience, I felt as if they treated us as if we weren't good enough to eat there if we were going to complain about a little thing like getting speared in the roof of the mouth with a plastic shard still cold from the fridge

                                  They need to step up their game.

                                  1. re: rccola

                                    I gave up on T-Rex except for happy hour, the BBQ went way downhill after the chef change.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      And you were such a proponent of T Rex's!

                                      1. re: rccola

                                        The spare ribs and brisket were really good, but then the new chef fixed what wasn't broke. Still a great happy hour.

                                    2. re: rccola

                                      Yeah, they're okay for when you really want something they're serving but overall I don't like the dining in experience at their restaurants. Not bad for takeout although not cheap.

                          3. Wow, so many suggestions, thank you! Now, to figure out which to try first...

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: bythebay

                              If this is a once-every-3-month end-of-the-diet splurge, you gotta go with Barbera's in HMB. You've got the drive, the ambiance, walking the dock afterward. And the fish and chips are great. You can do the full monte and buy a fish off the dock and _take it to them_ for cooking. "BYOF".

                              1. re: bbulkow

                                Barbara's does a great job with the fish but the potatoes could be better.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Likewise the Ketch-JoAnn- great fish, frozen fries.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Oh no, the fries are half of the equation!

                                  2. re: bbulkow

                                    Sounds fun. I have to admit, I didn't wait for further weight loss. Gave in and went to Sea Salt. Pretty good but I'll continue with my quest, there may be even better out there. I didn't love their tartar sauce concoction. Fish was good but the breading could have been a bit more flavorful. Service was subpar. I liked that that the fish wasn't overly greasy, just right in terms of that and the fish itself was very good. Chips too. Barbara's sounds fun, the full experience. Eating fish while by the water is perfect. But is it really greasy? Since you mention the once every 3 month splurge...

                                    1. re: bythebay

                                      if the east bay is easier for you, try the Hapuku fish shop in the Rockridge market hall (1/2 block away from Bart). they fry it fresh from the fish in their shop, often give you a choice of species. call 'em to confirm what hours they have their fryer going.

                                      1. re: moto

                                        Thank you!

                                2. I like the Elevation 66 version in El Cerrito, plus good beer.

                                  1. tipsy pig in the marina -- but they are expensive.

                                    1. Camelot in Pacifica. With a Strongbow!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: nami54

                                        Ha! That sounds like "Mr. Mustard in the library with an ax."

                                      2. Not destination worthy places, but if you are in the area:

                                        Martin's West in Redwood City has a good rendition.
                                        Anchor & Hope in SF has a good rendition as well, and I like the food there, though the fish & chips is ridiculously expensive (good quality fish though).

                                        1. Did you see this column...and the photos? http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                                          I really liked the 4505 Meats (Ferry Bldg. Farmer's Market on Tues, Thurs. & Sat.) version of fish and chips - the fish is great, fresh and flaky, the chips are crisp and the tatare sauce is perfect - but it's not clear how often those are on their menu; you can check their twitter feed for updates.

                                          1. I love the F&C at Hobnob in Alameda: average fries but amazing crispiness on the moist fish.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: nerdigrrl

                                              Crispy sounds good. I actually wanted to try a place in Alameda, so this might have to be next on my list.

                                              1. re: bythebay

                                                Please do try Kensington Circus Pub and also, for dinner, Bistro 1491 on Solano, a depressingly decorated place with surprisingly excellent food and super reasonable prices. If you get the fried calamari, ask for it to be done with corn meal (they accommodate requests with grace.) They might even give you fish and chips for lunch if you ask. $13 for dinner, plenty of food

                                                1. re: rccola

                                                  Thanks, I haven't been to Kensington in ages. It's cute there, this is a good excuse to go.

                                            2. Thank you everyone, so many places to try! As it starts getting cooler, warm fish and chips will be even more appealing, can't wait to try some of these places.

                                              1. I'm a bit surprised that Fish in Sausalito hasn't made it to this thread. Excellent execution albeit a bit pricey for picnic table fare.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Civil Bear

                                                  Bit pricey? $23? A LOT pricey.

                                                  1. re: rccola

                                                    Sea Salt is just as expensive too.

                                                2. Pier 23 (SF) has a very good, fresh version. Great little salads end up on your plate too.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                    And pretty reasonable at $14.50 or so.

                                                    1. re: rubadubgdub

                                                      Thank you! Sounds good especially at that price.