Between all the sushi, ceviche and fish tacos in this town, it’s easy to forget that there are many fine places to get seafood more classically prepared. Here’s my Top 5:
The Grand Dame of all LA seafood, Downtown’s formal but friendly Water Grill finds the best fish it can and prepares it to expectation, with little twists. They offer as many as nine different oysters at a time (a la carte) and perhaps the most elegant/decadent lobster roll you’ll find. As chef David LeFevre sums up, “We make sure the product is the star of the show.” One Michelin Star.
Water Grill is located at 544 South Grand Avenue, 213.891.0900
In the storied location where Patina first made its mark, Chef Michael Cimarusti takes a classical French approach to la poisons et fruit de mer; lobster risotto, scallops with eggplant and rhubarb and spot prowans are among the must-haves. Sourcing—so important in regard to seafood these days—is everywhere on the menus. Two Michelin Stars.
Providence is located at 5955 Melrose Avenue, 323.460.4170
The Hungry Cat
Chef Susanne Goin’s devotional modern bistro to all things of the sea, the funky-chic Hungry Cat of Hollywood has made its name with its dramatic sea urchin presentation, but you can also get raw bars to order, unusual caviars and even Hawaiian ono.
The Hungry Cat is located at 1535 Vine Street, 323.462.2155
Designed to evoke an ecletic take on the Southern France Seaside, IDG’s Delphine, in the W Hollywood, is equal parts simplicity and scene. The “Petit Delphine” raw presentation is, despite the name, two massive tiers of impressive stuff. But it’s their whole grilled fin fishes that most hit the mark.
Delphine is located at 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, 323.798.1355
The Lobster’s best selling point might also be its biggest red flag: A seafood restaurant right by the Santa Monica Pier with a killer view? Must be a tourist trap, right? In fact, this simple straightforward spot offers everything from a selection of oysters to grilled barramundi at locals-frendly price points. For better or worse, none of it came from the water you’re viewing.
The Lobster is located at 1602 Ocean Avenue, 310.458.9294