When good seafood specific to Los Angeles’ South Bay comes to mind, I can just taste a fresh fish taco. It’s a perfect fit for the healthy surf and sun lifestyle, spiced with some of the Mexican influence that colors the South Bay. Grab a fish taco with an icy Corona or a salty margarita and you’re living the local life. Of course the Beach Cities are home to a much broader range of great seafood. Here are a few local restaurants to sample the best seafood in the South Bay, whether you’re after fish tacos or something a little fancier.
It doesn’t get any more picture-perfect than this authentic slice of Southern California beach dining. For more than 25 years, folks have been sitting in the sun on La Playita’s patio overlooking the ocean, enjoying the house favorite fresh fish tacos with lettuce, tomato, cilantro, cheese and homemade tartar sauce. Check out the fish enchiladas and the Pescado Vera Cruz, which is fresh fish poached and service over Spanish rice. This spot is super-casual and appropriately inexpensive.
Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach
This popular, casual local Mexican spot with three South Bay locations has more great fish tacos. The grilled mahi mahi taco features blackened mahi with cabbage and fish sauce in a soft flour tortilla. It’s big and filling. The fried fish taco made with red snapper is a surfers’ favorite reminiscent of tacos served in Baja, Mexico. This taco features a soft corn tortilla filled with fried snapper, lettuce, tomato and guacamole.
Always popular and crowded, this upscale casual spot features a wide-ranging menu but has an interesting selection of seafood dishes, often on the spicy side. Rock’N Fish is also known for its great location, just a few steps from the Manhattan Beach Pier. You name the seafood, they’ve got it: lobster, crab legs, surf and turf, prawns, oysters, tuna roll, clam chowder, calamari, steamers, and popcorn shrimp. There’s a watermelon and prawn salad that’s light and perfect for the beach, or a spicy New Orleans barbequed shrimp that’s hot and sweet. If you don’t know what to choose, go with the shrimp brochette served with rice. Rock’N Fish sits on the site of what was once local favorite Hibachi Restaurant. As a tribute to Hibachi, the Rock’N Fish menu features dependable favorites from that restaurant like the Navy Grog cocktail, teriyaki chicken, sticky rice and Hibachi dressing. Rock’N Fish recently opened a second location at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Tony’s On The Pier
A night at Tony’s is a trip back to the 1960s. Enjoy a Mai Tai near the old-fashioned brick fireplace, and then take in the beautiful ocean view or sunset at your table. Old Tony’s sits above the Redondo Beach Pier, a mash-up of tourist trap shops, an arcade and some nicer restaurants. The restaurant is an oasis from some of the craziness below on the pier. Try the Halibut Piccata, sautéed in lemon, capers, garlic and wine. Looking for more fish tacos? Tony’s has those, too. In addition to the fish, Tony’s is known for great service from its long-time wait staff and old-school, large servings of whatever you end up ordering.