Sep 2017

Fishwives – Pasadena

Fishwives - Pasadena

Last Saturday night goes down as one of the best in recent memory. After bidding our little lady a good night, The Astronomer and I dined at newly-opened Fishwives before seeing Green Day at the Rose Bowl. What could be better than digging in to New England-style seafood before rocking out to my favorite band in the world with my favorite person in the world? Not much.

Fishwives - Pasadena

Fishwives has barely been open for two weeks. However, strong word-of-mouth among the local set meant that the dining room was packed at 5 PM, with only bar seating available for walk-ins.

According to the restaurant’s website, a ‘fishwife’ is a “a coarse-mannered woman who is prone to shouting” or “a woman who sells fish.” From what I gather, the restaurant was named after the owner’s great grandmother.

Fishwives - Pasadena

Complimentary bread and butter landed on the table while we were perusing the menu.

Fishwives - Pasadena

Our waiter suggested starting with selections from the raw bar and sharing three to four larger plates. The Astronomer and I enjoyed two Peruvian scallops each and a trio of oysters—Kumiai ($2.95), Kumamoto ($3.50), and Malpeque ($3.25). The oysters were served with a classic mignonette, as well cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon wedges, and a killer house-made ponzu.

Fishwives - Pasadena

The oysters were so fresh and delicious that I had to place an order for three more. Round two brought Pacific Chelsea ($2.95), Shigoku ($3.25), and Misty Point ($3.25).

Fishwives - Pasadena

The first dish to arrive was the “Temaki Handroll Flight” ($12).  The three different rolls were each filled with rice along with amberjack, salmon, and Maryland blue crab. Wasabi and soy sauce were served alongside.

While not traditionally found at New England seafood restaurants, these handrolls were a pleasure to see on the menu. Flavor-wise, they were straightforward and tasty.

Fishwives - Pasadena

I polished off the “Fried Oysters on Deviled Eggs” ($10) solo because The Astronomer doesn’t love hard-boiled eggs. The eggs, seasoned with tarragon and Old Bay and topped with fried Willapa Bay oysters, were fairly one-note. The pickled shallots from the mignonette amped up the flavor profile just right.

Fishwives - Pasadena

The Astronomer and I both agreed that the “Portland Maine Lobster Roll” ($25) was most excellent. The brioche split-top bun was plush and buttery, while the lobster was plentiful and dressed in a subtle lemon mayonnaise. Quite possibly even better were the house-made French fries. Possibly…

Fishwives - Pasadena

Fishwives did not offer any desserts this evening. The restaurant will eventually serve a snickerdoodle and vanilla ice cream sandwich, according to our waiter.

Paradis Ice Cream - Pasadena

We walked over to Paradis Ice Cream, located in the former liquid nitrogen ice cream shop, for three scoops of Roman-inspired Danish ice cream: coffee chocolate chip, chocolate ginger, and strawberry.

What a terrific night.

Fishwives
88 North Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103

One year ago: Welcome to the Suburban Years
Two years ago:
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – Los Angeles
Three years ago: 
Craftsman and Wolves – San Francisco
Four years ago: Striking Street Food Gold: 10 Fabulous Finds on South Yunnan Road – Shanghai
Five years ago: Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire – Paris
Six years ago: ‘Lette Macarons – Pasadena
Seven years ago: Bolognese Sauce with Cloves and Cinnamon
Eight years ago: Russ and Daughters – New York City
Nine years ago: Le Toit Gourmand – Ho Chi Minh City
Ten years ago: Cơm Hến: Second Best Thing to Come Out of Huế
Eleven years ago: Turning the Tables: Restaurants from the Inside Out – Steven A. Shaw

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