Ten Great Seafood Restaurants in Orange County
You wouldn't go to a seafood restaurant to only eat the calamari. So why would we populate a list of seafood joints and only stick with the predictable, not to mention expensive, options?
So for this list, we've drizzled on a few food trucks, some Asian eateries, a fish and chip shop and a mariscos dive as if it were lemon juice and Tapatio--to add a little zing. Got your own to pile on top? Share 'em in the comments. Objections are, of course, also welcome.
10. Taps Fish House & Brewery
Meet the restaurant that single-handedly made Brea a destination. Good oysters at a dedicated oyster bar, well-prepared fish, but almost just as important: award-winning beer from expert brewers. There are eclectic pints such as the Portola Porter, a dark beer brewed in house with coffee from Jeff Duggan's Portola Coffee, to pair with your chosen and previously ocean-dwelling meal. 101 E. Imperial Highway, Brea, CA 92821, 714-257-0101, http://www.tapsfishhouse.com/
9 . Lobsta Truck
Though technically an LA-based truck, The Lobsta Truck devotes equal time to serving OC, and you needn't look further to realize that this whole food truck thing isn't about pinching pennies. Until a Foie Gras Truck debuts, The Lobsta Truck will probably be the most premium of all the premium-priced, new-age luxe loncheras you'll find rolling the streets.The lobster roll toll is $12 (at our last look). But look at the thing! There is what we estimate to be a half-pound of the costly crustacean stuffed in that bun. To expect them to charge any less is to be ignorant on how business works. Is it good? Well, yes. It's lobster, after all, soaked in butter, shoved into a griddle toasted torpedo-shaped roll---a vessel that does its due diligence as a transport device to get the meat into your mouth and nothing more. They also do a crab roll for about a buck cheaper and Whoopie Pies in their original packaging for you New England transplants. (626) 782-5562, http://lobstatruck.com/
8. The Chippy
If you think it's easy to find good, inexpensive fish and chips outside of seafood restaurants and pubs, go try it. Most often you'll end up at a take-out joint which uses the frozen, preformed stuff. It will rarely, if ever, come from whole fillets that's dipped by hand. In Orange County, The Chippy ends the drought. The glory of its fish starts with the crust. It's rippled, has ridges petrified into a gnarled crunch measuring only a few hairs thick and is just slightly heartier than tempura. Break into the golden crispy cocoon and a plume of steam billows out, revealing its virgin flesh -- a white, moist, milky meat, unmolested by machines that melts into supple flakes when you bite into it. And it doesn't end there: all manner of sea life get the same deep fryer love. Always provided is tartar sauce, lemon, and malt vinegar. Here, once and for all: great fast-food fish & chips where you don't have to tip a waitress or a bartender. 2222 Michelson Dr. Ste 216, Irvine, CA 92612, (949) 833-2322, http://www.thechippyfishnchips.com/