Historic L.A. Waterfront Restaurant Expands To Neighborhood Locations
When the fish and chips arrived at the table, I pushed it aside in favor of some of the other offerings presented to us by the manager of the San Pedro Fish Market Grille in Harbor City, a part of Los Angeles.
After all, on the table was ceviche, a lobster-filled grilled cheese sandwich, a full tilapia and the restaurant’s signature “World Famous Shrimp Tray.” The latter was stacked so high with shrimp, covered in the restaurant’s own seasoning, with grilled vegetables and topped with two long pieces of garlic bread that I had to restrain myself from diving straight into it ahead of the other bloggers with me.
I was unexcited about the fish & chips (actually fish & fries with a side of coleslaw) because usually the fish restaurants use in this dish is tasteless cod and has no flavor. But not here. The fish was fantastic and – much to my surprise – turned out to be my favorite item on the table. And I wasn’t alone, it was also the favorite of Greg Braugh of SuburbanMen.com.
The reason, the manager explained, is simple. Instead of cod, this was swordfish. “And it was brought in today at 2 o’clock,” he said. In other words, it was caught that day. And that’s how the San Pedro Fish Market rolls.
The grill concept keeps the food tradition of the original waterfront location alive and brings it to a kind of modern-style semi fast-food restaurant. You know the kinds of places where you can see the kitchen, the place is bright and airy and there the seating is on the new-wave style of stocky stools with no backs, along with some chairs. The quality of the food is high and obviously, the fish is incredibly fresh here.
For decades, San Pedro Fish Market has been as much part of the landscape in this somewhat rugged harbor town as giant cargo ships and the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
A revitalization project of the waterfront has caused a temporary closure of it while it expands and gets a new more modern building so in the meantime, it has opened up smaller locations in Harbor City, Palos Verdes and Wilmington with one on the way in Long Beach, under a “grill” concept. It seems to be working; the Harbor City location had only been open for two weeks and already customers were flowing in the door as if the place would run out of food.
The “World Famous Shrimp Tray,” by the way, is a feast. It’s all grilled with the restaurant’s own seasoning and is easily big enough for two people. You can take the bread and make an awesome sandwich or just eat it by the forkfull.
The one thing it’s lacking – and this really from a PubClub.com perspective – are local San Pedro and Los Angeles craft beers. I had a michelada and the spices were good, but the beer was a basic Modelo. Myself and James Hills of Men Who Blog, would have preferred to be enhancing all that great seafood with a nice locally-crafted brew.
Their beer selection on draft and bottle is rather basic. They do also have wine.
And all of us recommend it.
San Pedro Fish Market Grill Photos