November 01, 2014

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop

photo courtesy of The Fish Shop

Most of us in Los Angeles who juggle working full-time jobs while taking care of other life obligations do not have the luxury to cook and eat fresh, nutritious meals every day.  We're lucky if we can pull that off twice or even once on any given weekday.  Fortunately, LA is home to a plethora of restaurants that understand that our busy schedules should never compromise the freshness and taste of the food that we consume and nourish us.  Less fortunately, there are limited choices when our cravings are seafood-related.

Of the handful of quick seafood places, Hermosa Beach Fish Shop is the only seafood restaurant that I know that allows the patron (aka, you) to use your creativity to customize your meal.  In a nutshell, Hermosa Beach Fish Shop is like the Chipotle, Shop House, or Tendergreens of seafood.

(1) Pick a fish (i.e., albacore, ahi, halibut, mahi, red snapper, seabass, salmon, swordfish, yellowtail). (2) Pick a marinade (i.e., blackened seasoning, chipotle glaze, garlic or lemon butter, salt&pepper, teriyaki, plain, Fish Shop seasoning). (3) Pick a style (i.e., taco, sandwich, salad, plate).  Sound too intimidating?  It doesn't have to be.

Start by checking out their education board to learn about the many different fish and the suggested marinade/ alcohol pairings.

See full menu here.

Still feeling overwhelmed?  Well, here are a few dishes that I tried and have deemed winners.  Plus, the friendly servers can also help you craft a delicious meal by suggesting Fish Shop favorites.

(1) TKO Taco - I love fish tacos.  Ricky's and Sea Salt Fish Grill each deliver a solid fish taco, but the fish taco at Hermosa Beach Fish Shop is something you would expect from a hole-in-the-wall fish shop, just a few blocks from the ocean... a lot like its sister shop, Pacific Beach Fish Shop in SD

TKO Taco -- grilled Mahi Mahi with their special Fish Shop seasoning with cabbage, cheese, cilantro white sauce, and a tropical salsa consisting of papaya, mango, and tomato, all atop a corn tortilla -- $5 (add $1 for avocado)

Seems pricey, but the taco is about the size of an outstretched hand.

(2) Fish Shop Shrimp - a sizeable portion of jumbo shrimp, seasoned in the house-secret Fish Shop seasoning, sauteed so that it is blackened and retains great flavor, and served over a bed of greens with chipotle aioli dipping sauce.

Fish Shop Shrimp -- $9.50

By the end, you'll be sucking the spice off of your fingertips.  Too much info?

Swordfish Plate -- marinated with Fish Shop seasoning and sides of seasonal veggies and jasmine rice -- $19

Surprisingly, the swordfish is juicy and almost has a beef steak-like texture. Oh, and that Fish Shop seasoning just elevates the flavors to a whole new level.

Ahi Salad -- greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled onions, capers, herb vinaigrette -- $13

Seared ahi was marinated with just salt & pepper, which may not have been the best choice -- it was lacking something.  But the capers were a nice touch and the portion is generous.

Fish Shop Chowder -- classic clam with smoked andouille sausage -- $7 (bowl)

I was least impressed by the Fish Shop Chowder (though my eating partner would disagree).  While the andouille sausage was tasty and brings a smokey flavor to the chowder, I was expecting more of a clam chowder taste than a creamy potato soup.  Just a simple case of expectations not aligning with reality...

But in all other ways and dishes, Hermosa Beach Fish Shop is the perfect place to stop to satisfy your seafood cravings.  Wind down for Wine Down Wednesdays or get your oyster fix on with $1 oysters on Thursdays.  And best of all, they have nice deck for outdoor patio seating.  Bring your friends and family!

Whatever the day or wherever you may be, keep this place on your radar.  Hermosa Beach Fish Shop are fish folks that know what they're doing.

Hermosa Beach Fish Shop on Urbanspoon

cuisine: Seafood
location: Hermosa Beach
hours: Sun-Wed: 11:00am-9:00pm; Thur-Sat: 11:00am-10:00pm
websites: { HBFS | yelp | facebook | twitter | instagram }
attire: Casual
parking: free street or lot
price range: $10-$25
notes: This was a hosted meal.

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