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Best Seafood West Hollywood to Santa Monica

Have four nights in LA, three covered with steam, asian, italian. What's a great seafood restaurant with a nice, upscale ambience? Providence not available

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  1. i mean steak, not steam

    1. Not just seafood but how about Spago or Mellisse?

      1. Connie and Ted's, good seafood but not upscale. Same with the Hungry Cat. Maybe the new Water Grill (in the former Ocean Ave. Seafood) in Santa Monica? How about Chinois on Main for their famous whole fried catfish with ponzu? Consider sushi and sashimi?

        1. Melisse and n/naka. Both can do all seafood brilliantly.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                ... and don't forget a year's supply of Rice-O-Roni, the San Francisco treat.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  But it doesn't seem like the OP is interested in an Asian or sushi restaurant, no matter how expensive or pretentious...

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    Urasawa is certainly expensive, but not at all pretentious.

                    Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            No. Not interested in spending $500 pp for sushi to a chef who treats his employees like slaves...... Not worth it to me.

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                              Well, when I went it was $250/pp and was well before the labor violations came to the fore.

                              The whole experience was surprisingly unpretentious.


                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                agree - if the prices were not stratospheric I suspect there would be little or no bad mouthing of the place by the dining public, the employees and the press.

                                1. re: Ciao Bob

                                  So you think if it were half the price now, people would not care about his treatment of his employees and flagrant violations of law??

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    I don't think people wouldn't CARE - I think people wouldn't KNOW.

                                    How would we know about this if it weren't such a high profile place? And that lofty profile is largely due to the lofty prices. I am no expert on this, but I suspect many of the restaurants I eat at have an imperfect record here, but how would I know if they weren't written up in the NY Times? When I go out it is to have a great meal not to fight crime and corruption, nor to leap tall buildings in a single bound. All the other things folks want to worry about and discuss here, that has nothing to do with the food (traffic, distance, cost, seating, reservations, violations of x/y/z) are interesting but not of much importance (to me).

                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                      I don't care.

                                      Even when I know. And many times I do.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Please allow me to clarify my position on travel in LA or distance or cost or seating...

                                        I don't base my choice of restaurants on distance, travel or time of day.
                                        Today's Thursday…in my opinion the worst traffic day on the Westside.
                                        On a good day it'd take me 30 minutes to get to the restaurant where I've got reservations. Tonight (Thursday) it'll take me an hour if I'm lucky.
                                        I don't care either.

                                      2. re: Ciao Bob

                                        It's true that only the most egregious will make a major newspaper's headlines.

                                        Still many would like to know as to not knowingly contribute to an unscrupulous employer's profits.

                                    2. re: Ciao Bob

                                      Pretentiousness is "attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed."

                                      How do back-of-house labor issues translate to front-of-house pretentiousness?

                                      Were employees treated unjustly? Sounds like it. Was Urasawa's withholding of OT and tips Illegal? Quite possibly. However, none of this has anything to do with pretentiousness.

                                      Skinflint. Cheapskate. Immoral. American/Japanese cultural differences. But pretentiousness? That's entirely unrelated, from where I'm sitting.

                                      Bear in mind that I'm not at all unsympathetic to labor issues, as I work for a major labor union. But his labor issues have absolutely nothing to do with pretentiousness. That's a total logical fallacy.

                                      Mr Taster

                              1. re: JAB

                                Yet another reason why he's irrelevant.

                                1. re: JAB

                                  Actually, you did hit on something (though I'm not sure it was intentional). I recall one particular dish that he embellished with gold flakes. That was pretty pretentious (though is still unrelated to labor issues, which is a total non-sequiter).

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    I wasn't talking about Jonathan Gold for fucks sake.

                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      As I am sure you have heard gold leaf as served in some Asian dishes is ostensibly a health thing and neither a pretentious move nor a way of jacking up prices. Many other Japanese chefs do it.

                                    2. re: JAB

                                      My problem with the joint is the 24 karat gold strewn over everything. :)

                                      Ok, bad attempt at a joke.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        If that's your problem, then ask for a take-out box.

                                        Price of gold, while trending downward, is still trading at a nice hefty price.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          i was joking it ain't really my problem.

                                          though truth to tell, what's the price, value, going rate on the kind of gold that chefs place on the food ????

                                          just curious. is it quite negligible or it does actually add up so that at urasawa a meal that would cost lets say $400 per person cost $450 per person because of the litany of gold strewn over the goods ?????

                                          a question out of purest ignorance if you will.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            It's fake gold.

                                            Y'know, it's Urasawa-san after all. He who is the devil incarnate who can be accused of and pilloried for labor violations is no doubt also sprinkling fairy dust that only looks like gold.

                                            Imported straight from Tokyo. The cubic zirconia of gold dust!

                            2. couldn't get into melisse. thanks for other suggestions.

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: Servorg

                                  I love son of a gun. very casual but great inventive seafood and more.

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      Son of a Gun is excellent -- great food. Seafood-centric, but one of the don't-miss dishes is the fried chicken sandwich. Smaller plates to share and a boisterous atmosphere. In West Hollywood area.

                                      Hatfield's is one of our best, most respected upscale restaurants.

                              1. If you like basic east coast seafood - steamers, lobsta rolls, fried whole belly clams... - nothing beats Connie & Ted's. The patio is quieter than the restaurant. It's on the casual side but as good as it gets in L A. The Lobster in Santa Monica is more upscale, has a great view, Maine Lobster and decent fish. Catch at Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica is nice as well.

                                1. In case you don't mind traveling a bit both Manhattan Beach's MB Post and Fishing with Dynamite serve wonderful seafood.

                                  1. Son of a Gun
                                    Blue Plate Oysterette
                                    The Lobster
                                    Hungry Cat Santa Monica's Rustic canyon
                                    Salt Air Venice

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                      Salt Air was actually very nice. Great grilled octopuses in a brightly and airy room.

                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        I had actually found Rustic Canyon and tentatively booked there--anyone care to compare Rustic Canyon menu and experience to Hatfield's?
                                        All interesting suggestions--I am from Boston so familiar with typical seafood restaurant. Hoping for a place that prepares fish well and creatively in a more luxe setting with good wine. Should have said "fish" instead of "seafood."

                                        1. re: gateau

                                          I was not specifically recommending the restaurant Rustic Canyon, was just differentiating between the Hollywood hungry cat and the one on PCH.

                                          From your updated criteria, I'd say Hungry Cat. For sure.

                                          1. re: gateau

                                            Both are quite good. Neither is a "fish" restaurant per se, though both have fish and seafood.

                                            Hatfield's is a bit more "upscale" in terms of ambiance, dress (though very little in LA is ever dressy by East Coast standards) and the cuisine is a bit more precious and/or complicated than Rustic. I prefer the space and neighborhood at Hatfield's and the food at Rustic.

                                            For a real fish place Hungry Cat/the Lobster/Water Grill or the many Italian fish places may be closer to what you want. Though I do not think any of those places are as good as Rustic or Hatfield's.

                                            1. re: gateau

                                              Looking specifically for fish I would suggest TheHungry Cat. Just looked at the menu and they are currently offering, among other fish, Barramundi and Hawaiian Ono. I have had their Barramundi and it is beautifully prepared.

                                              1. re: gateau

                                                If you stick with Rustic Canyon, I recommend the Clam & Mussel Pozole Verde and the Seared Scallops. Beyond seafood/ fish, just about any of their vegetable dishes (especially in the Small Plates section) are great, as are the Chicken "Nduja" Omlette, the Olives, and the occasional dishes they do with charcuterie and offal.

                                                1. re: gateau

                                                  It seems the O.P. is getting a lot of recommendations for mollusks and crustaceans, all of which are available in his home turf. Quoting: "Hoping for a place that preparers fish well and creatively in a more luxe setting with good wine. Should have said 'fish instead of 'seafood.'

                                                  1. re: maudies5

                                                    Hence why we both agreed on recommending the Hungry Cat ;)

                                              2. Enterprise Fish Co in Santa Monica has reliable good and fresh seafood simply prepared and reasonably priced.
                                                live 2lb lobster for about $35, $1.50 oysters after 4pm.
                                                (in case you pass on "upscale.")

                                                1. I saw someone mention dukes elsewhere If ur willing to head up to Malibu great fresh fish reasonable prices and ocean view

                                                  6 Replies
                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                      Fresh good fish well prepared nice variety not snooty

                                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                                        The view more than compensates for the food, which really isn't that bad, I'd say a small step above "just ok" but that could be the view talking. ;-)

                                                      2. re: jessejames

                                                        Have a couple of stiff drinks and watch the dolphins and the food will still be 'just okay'. Was forced to eat at Gladstone's on a Monday (where most places are closed for lunch) and walked away feeling nauseated…price wise and food wise. Bleh.
                                                        I'd give anything if Malibu's collective food scene could rank above 'just okay', excluding Nobu of course.

                                                          1. re: latindancer

                                                            As reported previously, I also recommend drinks at Nikita, as the setting is fabulous, and the food is also quite good, albeit pricey.

                                                        1. If you really wanted to do Providence, i would call over there and speak with Donato. Tell him you are only in town for 4 days and that you really have been wanting to go there. they are generally pretty cool about working with you to help you out and will probably find a time for you. Just a thought.

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