I have been going to this fish market for years. Recently, they opened a Cafe and it seemed like a good idea to sit at the Oyster Bar and have a quick bite with some good wine.
The BYO wine was terrific.
Oysters: Coromandel, Kumamoto, Sinku, Malpeque and Fanny Bay – they were freshly shucked – the best were the Kumamoto
New England Clam Chowder – absolutely horrid and inedible – tasted like tin. This should never have been served and if a cook tasted it, I have questions about the tasting ability of the cook. I was going to buy a quart to bring home – I wouldn’t have bought one teaspoonful. John complained and they did take this off the bill.
I asked our server if the calamari fritti was lightly battered as I was debating between that and another couple of dishes. I was assured that I would love the calamari – think heavy, zero flavor and a waste – two bites only was enough. Paid for this in full.
Vin Bar’s exquisite calamari – I hope the photo tells the story.
Instead of the soup, John ordered their lox with bagel, avocado, HB egg and cream/mayo dressing (???) Think absolutely soggy bagel, barely, if at all toasted, and no one in his/her right mind would want it, let alone eat it. I suggested that John deep-six the bagel and just eat the lox with the avocado and some of the dressing. Edible.
Santa Monica Seafood used to be one of my favorite fish markets. This is a joke – I used to look at whole pristine fish, carefully laid out on crushed ice and “talk” to the fishmongers about which fish would be best for a certain preparation. I was going to buy some fish, but one look at piles of prepared sliced fish, convinced me not to bother. Of course, the absolutely lousy lunch wasn’t exactly a major plus factor.
Bottom line: I wouldn’t go back if they paid me. What a shame!