Had fish and chips three times within the past week or so, here's how they stacked up.
Frisco in North Beach. Fish itself was a bit dried out, but otherwise had good flavor. The batter was a bit overcooked and undersalted. Tarter sauce was very good. The large rectangular fries were rather dull. Earlier reports have suggested these are fresh cut, but they look and taste like freezer bag chips to me. Tried some fried calamari too. The tiny squid had a fresh clean flavor, but the cornmeal crust was sloughing off big time and the tentacle pieces all clumped together. I would consider this place a decent choice for a fishy fried snack in the neighborhood, but I wouldn't travel for it.
Price:$7 for 2 pieces of fish and a handful of chips.
Extras: Calamari C+
Phoenix Irish Pub in the Mission. Several large pieces of fish were well fried. Very flavorful, with a very meaty texture. I didn't get to ask but I'm pretty sure it was mahi mahi. Fries are more traditional square cut, a bit large, with that jagged exterior that's increasingly common to pub fries (maybe they're tossed in cornstarch or something?). They were good and crispy, just not especially unique or outstanding. I can't recall what the tartar sauce was like. Also had an apple and goat cheese salad that was under, or perhaps completely un-, salted. Nice little beer selection, with my favorite fish&chips match, hefewiezen (Paulaner here), on tap.
Price: $11 for a lot of food
Extras: Apples Salad D, Music B
Fish. in Sausalito. Holy mother of God, these are amazing. Tender, juicy, flavorful, riduculously fresh halibut perfectly fried with a light beer batter. And the chips... Wedge-cut, skin-on steak fries, crispy on the outside, fluffly mashed-potato-like on the inside, and bursting with potato flavor. Only negative there is that a few of the smaller chips were overcooked and a bit dry inside. But that's less than 1 out of 10 chips in the huge mountain on the plate, and even those are better than the best fries from the two restaurants above. Excellent tartar sauce with a little punch of heat (mustard? horseradish?). They also have more traditional french-cut fries that looked really good, though we didn't try any. Also had a hamachi sandwich. This was very good, with a delicious Acme roll and that great tartar sauce. The side salad was unremarkable (should've just gotten more chips). But the price, $19, is a bit hard to bear. Not quite a good value. There are other fish options for the sandwich that are even more expensive. The fish and chips is a much better deal. Good little beer selection, although they were temporarily out of the hefeweizen (Franziskaner) so I went with Anchor Steam instead. View is fantastic.
Chips: A (A+ if you ignore the little ones)
Price: $13 for a ton of food
Extras: Fish sandwich A for quality, B- for value; View A
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