I’ve gotten fish numerous times from Santa Monica Seafood, and every time I’m there I always look at the people in the cafe adjacent to the market and tell myself that one time I’m going to actually enjoy dinner at Santa Monica Seafood rather than just taking my fresh fish and preparing it at home. My parents are big fans of the Santa Monica Seafood cafe, so when they invited the Englishman and I to join them for dinner one evening, we jumped at the chance.
Since I have had nothing but positive experiences from the fish market, I knew I would be in for a treat by having dinner at Santa Monica Seafood. As soon as we sat down at our table we were presented with freshly sliced sourdough and butter.
Sourdough bread topped with butter is one of my favorite things ever and it took all my willpower to not devour the bread basket and spoil my appetite for dinner. So good.
We ordered some calamari as an appetizer and it was light, crisp, and cooked perfectly. I’ve ordered calamari at many restaurants and it generally comes out overly breaded or soaked in oil which makes the entire dish greasy, but this version had just the right amount of crunch and no excess oil.
The Englishman also ordered a bowl of clam chowder (which is one of the few foods that doesn’t photograph well) to start, and it was definitely on par with some of the clam chowder I have had up in the bay area. Not a rubbery clam in sight!
For entrees, I ordered the Grilled Shrimp Panzanella Salad which came with shrimp, avocado, mixed greens, tomato and croutons. It was light and refreshing, and the shrimp was grilled perfectly. I also liked that it came with a light viniagrette instead of a heavy cream based dressing so the seafood could shine.
My mom and the Englishman ordered the Fish N’ Chips which was some of the best fish n’ chips I’ve had in a long time (and the Englishman agreed). The batter was nice and crispy, the fish light and flaky, and you can’t go wrong with a side of fries. The Englishman generously shared some of his fish in exchange for a few of my grilled shrimp.
My dad went with the Red Rock Shrimp and Bay Scallops with Mushroom Ravioli. He let me have a few bites of his dish and the ravioli literally melted in your mouth. I may have to order that dish next time for the ravioli alone.
I am so glad we finally had the chance to have dinner at Santa Monica Seafood. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I will be back again very soon. And if you are in the market for fresh fish but don’t have time to stay and dine, then be sure to check out Santa Monica Seafood’s fish market. You won’t be disappointed.