Last year, Mariscos Chente in Mar Vista became the darling of the L.A. food scene, serving Nayarit and Sinaloa style seafood with a quality unparalleled in the rest of the city. The pièce de résistance was their whole grilled snook, pescado zarandeado, the expertly cooked masterwork of chef Sergio Penuelas. But in April, Penuelas left the Mar Vista location to go cook at another location on South Inglewood Avenue. When he left, that perfect snook left with him.
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The story of the various Mariscos Chente incarnations is dauntingly complex, as there are actually five current locations, with one of them all the way down in Nayarit, Mexico. Due to a series of internal family issues, the shuffling of chefs and owners at the different spots is not easy to follow. But with the help of local blogger Bill Esparza, we've managed to distill all of the white noise down to the bare essentials.
Here's what you need to know: chef Sergio Penuelas is at the South Inglewood Ave. location, along with a newly installed grill, which means that you can finally eat that snook again. Penuelas is currently working Thursday through Sunday, which are now the only days the snook is offered. The restaurant is open every day though, and for the rest of the week you can still feast on the works of the original cocktail master and owner, Vincente ("Chente"). In the end, we're just happy to have our snook back, wherever it happens to be.
Mariscos Chente: 10020 South Inglewood Ave.,
Inglewood Lennox ; (310) 672-0226.
Noah Galuten can be followed on Twitter via @ManBitesWorld.