10 Best Seafood Restaurants in Los Angeles

Shrimp aguachiles at Coni'Seafood
Shrimp aguachiles at Coni'Seafood
Anne Fishbein

Though Los Angeles is a seaside county, we don't have the number of seafood restaurants that most other ocean-facing locales enjoy. But of the relatively few we do have, there are some pretty excellent choices when you're in a fishy mood. This particular list doesn't include sushi — that is, blessedly, its own category in L.A.

Read on to find out where to get the tastiest sea creatures, in tacos and soups, fried and boiled.

Fishwives
Fishwives

10. Fishwives

We're breaking our own rule somewhat with this choice, as Fishwives does serve a small sushi menu. But it's dwarfed by the East Coast–inspired majority of the menu, with clam chowder, a fried seafood basket, crab Louie and cod fish and chips. It's a very Californian, "we do what we want" setup, and though it just opened in September it's already winning over fans. Pair your Scottish salmon with a Dungeness crab roll, because you can. —Katherine Spiers

88 N. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena; (626) 219-6199, fishwives.com.

Shellfish soup, prawn, crab, mussel, clam, fennel, tomato at Lost at Sea
Shellfish soup, prawn, crab, mussel, clam, fennel, tomato at Lost at Sea
Anne Fishbein

9. Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea is cozy and appealing, with its black subway tile and blue walls, its white-painted and wood tables, its fresh flowers and round mirrors that evoke portholes. It has a human scale that is one of the trademarks of Pasadena's best restaurants. What owners Tim Carey and Santos Uy seem to want to achieve here is fairly straightforward: a neighborhood seafood restaurant with cooking that reaches significantly higher than that of the average fish house, and a wine list that follows suit. —Besha Rodell

57 E. Holly St., Pasadena; (626) 385-7644, lostatseapas.com.

Seafood platter at Fishing With DynamiteEXPAND
Seafood platter at Fishing With Dynamite
Christina Gilmour

8. Fishing With Dynamite

Fishing With Dynamite's popularity clearly speaks to a yearning in Manhattan Beach for that seafood shack of our fantasies, casual but high-quality, laid-back but delivering the seafood of our dreams. The raw bar delivers on its promise. Lobsters can be had for $22 for a half and $38 whole. There's a mix of East and West Coast oysters, seven varieties on any given night, and the quality rivals any oyster spot in town (though at close to $40 for a dozen oysters, it's fairly steep compared with some crosstown rivals). There's grilled octopus and New Zealand Tai snapper for two. Platters of assorted, chilled seafood range from $45 for a restrained "SS Minnow" meant to feed one or two to $160 for the "Mothershucker" meant to feed five to six. —B.R.

1148 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach; (310) 893-6299, eatfwd.com.

Mixed bag at the Boiling Crab
Mixed bag at the Boiling Crab

7. The Boiling Crab

The Boiling Crab has many imitators, but then it's an imitation itself: The small restaurant chain built its premise on East Asian Gulf Coast culture, where Louisiana's Cajun spices meet Vietnamese fishermen and everyone has a party. Really, there's no way to not have fun when you're eating seafood out of a bag. Diners order the sea bugs of their choice (shrimp, crawfish, crab, mussels, etc.) by the pound, add in sausage, potatoes and corn if they like, then choose the seasoning and level of desired mouth burn. Then get in there — it's meant to be a full-body experience.  —K.S.

Multiple locations; theboilingcrab.com.

Mariscos Jalisco
Mariscos Jalisco
Anne Fishbein

6. Mariscos Jalisco

Don’t be fooled by the imitators, the lesser producers, the many other tacos dorado de camaron in L.A. The version at Raul Ortega’s Mariscos Jalisco, the Boyle Heights mariscos truck, is far and away the king of fried tacos, in this city and perhaps in the country. Don’t be confused by the crowds surrounding the other trucks nearby. Go directly to this corner of Olympic Boulevard and wait as they fold the shrimp into a tortilla and fry the whole thing in hot oil, pulling it out at the perfect point of golden crisp, then coat it with creamy slices of avocado and pert red salsa. If you’re in the mood for a feast, the Poseidon tostada, loaded with a jumble of ceviche, octopus and shrimp aguachile, will have you feeling like a god of the sea yourself. For that, and for the crispy tacos, our loyalty will never waver. —B.R.

3040 E. Olympic Blvd., Boyle Heights; (323) 528-6701, twitter.com/mariscosjalisco.



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