It was a comforting sight to see Queen Elizabeth emerge in public this week to attend the memorial service of her late husband of 73 years, Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The 95-year-old United Kingdom monarch celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year, marking 70 years of service.

Well, all that pomp and circumstance put us in the mood for some fish & chips wrapped in newspaper, which seem to be undergoing a British Invasion on Los Angeles menus everywhere. From the everyman’s version at the Pike in Long Beach to an elegant plate with mushy peas at the Draycott in the Palisades, here’s our list that transcends all classes.  While some aficionados argue that the grease is the best part, our picks are light and sans fishy aroma.

The Pike Restaurant and Bar, owned by Social Distortion drummer Chris Reece in Long Beach, is celebrating 20 years of serving food, music and good beer on Retro Row. The beer-battered cod comes with wide-cut steak fries and coleslaw and is perfect with a pint at sunset or for any of the live performances like The Plastic Horseshoes at midnight. For something a little more kid-friendly in Long Beach, Polly’s Pies has hand-battered Alaskan cod with fries and tartar sauce. 

The Auld Fella pub in Culver City gives its Irish interpretation of the U.K. staple using beer-battered Atlantic cod with house cut steak fries, traditional fish & chips accompaniment, mushy peas, tartar sauce and aioli. There’s also live music most evenings, a full bar and plenty of good brews on tap. 

Fish & chips

The Auld Fella in downtown Culver City (Michele Stueven)

One of L.A.’s most famous British public houses, Ye Olde King’s Head has been a Santa Monica staple for more than 40 years with one of the most extensive menu selections of traditional British favorites. Original or beer battered, the traditional cod comes in queen or king-sized portions with fries, tartar sauce and malt vinegar. 

The Golden Bull puts a savory and bright California twist on the U.K. classic using sweet local halibut and lemon chopped salad slaw, which helps cut the richness of the fish and garlic herb fries. Take in a sunset dinner on their new outdoor patio in Santa Monica Canyon, steps from the beach.

If there’s a winner on this list, it would have to be the very traditional fish & chips at Market Tavern in the Original Farmers Market. The cod is covered in a delicately crispy batter with a little something owner Gary Twinn refers to as “a secret ingredient of an Indian nature” and is served with vinegar, lemon and tartar sauce. Judging from the appetizing yellow hue, our guess is turmeric. The house-cut fries with skins are salted to perfection. But whatever you do mate, just don’t ask for ranch dressing – it’s too much of an American nature for the restaurant. 

Fish & chips

California twist at the Golden Bull (Michele Stueven)

For a more elegant version, The Draycott’s owners Marissa and Matt Hermer draw on their extensive hospitality experience in London. Also the owners of Olivetta and Issima, the Hermers put a British spin on their California brasserie in Palisades Village. The battered cod comes with creamy and sweet mushy peas, tartar sauce and chef Josh Mason’s thick-cut triple-cooked chips.

Head over to the valley for another quintessential British pub and longtime neighborhood haunt, The Fox and Hounds. The cozy and rustic Studio City spot features a full bar, 16 imported beers on tap, another dozen in the bottle and live music. Fish & chips come with a variety of dips, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Fish & chips

Mushy peas at The Draycott (Michele Stueven)

LA Weekly