Is there a better food to start your weekend with than a plate of deep-fried fish? I would argue not, especially if the fish is as hot, crispy and fresh as it is at Batterfish, a small take-away shop shoehorned into the bottom floor of an Encino office building.
You might not think of the deep San Fernando Valley as a prime spot for seafood, but since opening in 2014 the Irish-inspired restaurant has gained its fair share of recognition as a hidden gem, thanks to owner and Dublin native Jason Killalee's stellar fish and chips plates.
At Batterfish, you can choose between a variety of fish (catfish, tilapia, cod, salmon) and batter flavors (traditional, chili, curry, lemon basil, garlic-ginger), but for first-time patrons the most reasonable choice is simply the traditional cod, a symphony of audibly crunchy crust and moist flaky fish. On the side is Killalee's house-made tartar sauce, deliciously creamy but delicate enough to not overwhelm the flavor of the fish. The chips, well-seasoned and golden brown, don't merely play second fiddle to the fish and are improved only by a light splash of malt vinegar.
Along with the main event you'll find traditional “chippy shop” sides like mushy peas, baked beans and onion rings. If you're feeling decadent, there also are deep-fried candy bars, which come squiggled with caramel sauce and powdered sugar for an extra dose of sugar. But the best-kept secret is the shop's BYOB policy, which means you can haul in a six-pack of Guinness to pair with your fish and pretend you're in a Dublin pub, rather than along Ventura Boulevard a few steps away from a Benihana.
Batterfish, 16200 Ventura Blvd., Encino, (818) 907-7305, batterfish.com.