Archive for the 'Seafood' Category

Fishing with Dynamite – Los Angeles (Manhattan Beach)

Fishing with Dynamite - Manhattan Beach

Let’s just get this out of the way: Fishing with Dynamite is dynamite!

And might I add, far and away my favorite of Los Angeles’ modern seafood shacks (Ahem, Son of a Gun and Connie & Ted’s). From its steps-from-the-ocean locale to Chef David LeFevre’s fantastic cooking, everything about this spot hits the mark.

Fishing with Dynamite - Manhattan Beach

Considering The Astronomer’s and my collective adoration of Chef LeFevre’s M.B. Post, it took us far too long to make our way to its sister restaurant. The airy, 35-seat seafood haven pays homage to the summers the chef spent on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, as well as to Southern California’s beach communities, according to the restaurant’s website.

Prior to making his mark on Manhattan Beach’s dining scene, Chef LeFevre spent seven years at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and six years as Executive Chef of Water Grill in Downtown Los Angeles.

Fishing with Dynamite - Los Angeles (Manhattan Beach)

Most everyone digs into pristine seafood, minimally fussed and chilled over ice, to start. We shared the smallest of the composed platters, “The S.S. Minnow” ($45), which was comprised of four lovely oysters, two meaty clams, four butter-poached shrimp, six steamed mussels, and half a lobster.

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The Ordinary – Charleston

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

For our final meal in Charleston, an extra-ordinary dinner at The Ordinary.

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

Our party of six was seated on the second floor of the former bank building, offering expansive views of the “Southern seafood hall” and oyster bar. I do believe that the award for the city with the grandest dining rooms goes to Charleston!

Adam Nemirow and Chef Mike Lata, the team behind Charleston’s beloved restaurant FIG, opened The Ordinary last year. The menu highlights the “merrior” of the Coastal Carolinas and the East Coast, according to the restaurant’s website. 

The Ordinary - Charleston, South Carolina

I’m not quite sure how Hawaiian rolls ($4) fit into the local “merrior,” but no matter… As soon as I spotted them on the menu, I knew they had to be mine. Though not quite as sweet as King’s Hawaiian Rolls, these were warm, fluffy, and benefited from a generous slathering of butter.

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Mariscos Los Lechugas – Los Angeles (El Sereno)

Mariscos Los Lechugas - Los Angeles

With the Ceviche Lover’s Guide to Los Angeles in hand, The Astronomer and I made our way to Mariscos Los Lechugas, where Jaime Lechuga, his wife Virginia, and their friend Epi Osuna have been selling Ensenada-style coctelestostadas, and tacos for the past decade on a serene-enough stretch of El Sereno.

Mariscos Los Lechugas - Los Angeles

Their colorfully painted trailer, which is hitched onto the back of a pickup truck, can be found on South Huntington Drive every day from 11 a.m. until early evening; it departs between 4 to 6 p.m., depending on customer demand and staff fatigue.

Mariscos Los Lechugas - Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I started off with a coctel. There’s one with just shrimp, another with both shrimp and octopus, and my selection, the “campechana” ($8), which included a bit of everything. The seafood, an array of shrimp, octopus, and tuna, was snappy and fresh, while the tangy tomato brew was well-balanced and terrific.

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Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

After spending a pretty penny at Connie & Ted’s for a New England seafood lunch that neither lived up to its hype nor merited its cost, I was inspired to find a lobster roll fix that offered a solid value.

While I adore Lobsta Truck’s $12 roll, I have mostly retired from chasing food trucks these days. The $8 lobster roll from Son of a Gun is another good option, but I require two (or possibly three) of these petite bites to really be satisfied.

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

My search for a reasonably priced and totally tasty lobster roll, that didn’t require stalking a moving vehicle, started and ended at Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge in Old Pasadena.

This permanent pop-up is run by Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, the cousins behind the Cousins Maine Lobster truck. The guys grew up together near Portland, Maine and launched their truck in 2012.

Cousins Maine Lobster at Live Mixx Lounge – Pasadena

Live Mixx Lounge serves as a club by night and a seafood shack by day, and as a result, the space looks and feels very strange.

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