Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area

Frisco Fish & Chips, North Beach

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Frisco Fish & Chips, North Beach

CharlieT | May 16, 2006 04:40 PM

The missus and I were on our way to a piece of tiramisu at Stella's yesterday, when we walked by a newly opened Fish and Chips place at 532 Green St. The place was totally empty but looked clean and there was a flyer in the window "Grand Opening Special - (Frisco Products) Fish flown in from Iceland, Norway! Wild quality ocean cod figh (non endangered/pollick)! Try free fish sample!" and we were just in time for the dinner special, 2 pieces fish & chips w/drink $7.00. I hadn't had really good fish and chips in a long time, but things seemed right, so we went in to give the dinner special a try.

Richard, the owner, took the order. It was just him and one other person working the kitchen, which was small, clean, and right there. We could hear them mixing the batter to order. It took a while for the food to hit the table, but it this was one of the best fish & chips I've had in a while. The order came out nestled on a sheet of paper in a plastic basket. The fish was in two evenly-sized big slabs, a smooth coating, slightly greasy. The fish itself was extremely moist with a good flake and a clean fresh flavor. The batter was crisp and thick enough to hold a good texture and add a very slight sweetness to the fish. Great job on the fryer-work overall. The fries (steak cut) were perfect as well. Not too mealy or fluffy, nor over-crisped. Ketchup and malt vinegar were at the table. Tartar sauce came with the basket, and Richard brought over an extra one. The tartar was very rich and creamy, tasted like a lot of fat, not a lot of filler. I liked it though, old-school and not trying to reinvent the wheel. Next time I'll pay more attention to what the chunks in it (capers?) were.

I'm particularly happy to find this place when I contrast it to my last fish and chips experience: Seasalt's $16 plate! That painful experience can be summarized by Kim Goodfriend's review here: http://www.kqed.org/weblog/food/2005/... "We then moved on to the fish and chips, a mound of thick-cut fries and cornmeal-crusted rock cod, served with a light and tangy coleslaw and two sauces: malt vinegar aioli and Thai ketchup. The cod was extremely fresh and flavorful, although it, like the fries, seemed to have been compromised by a fryer on the fritz (as I mentioned earlier, because we had kitchen seating we overheard that they were having some issues getting the temperature high enough on the fryer). The crust, while tasty, was just not very crisp, and the fries, which looked gorgeous, tasted, well, a little old. The malt vinegar aioli was wonderful, although a bit bland, I didn't even really detect the vinegar, and the Thai ketchup had a bit of a strange flavor on its own, but was nice when used along with the aioli. All in all, it was good, but will probably be stellar once they work out the kinks with the fryer." Although we visited 5 months after Kim, the cornmeal batter seemed like it had been cooked too long at too low a temperature. The batter was gritty and crunchy with no crisp, and fell off the fish in pieces. It really seemed like a protective coating for the fish more than an integral part of the flavor experience. The fish itself was dense, almost dry, with no clean flake. The fries were mealy and work to eat, we didn't even finish them. And if regular tartar and ketchup would have taken a few dollars off the price, I could have skipped the fancy condiments. The amount of fish in the 2-piece meal we had at Frisco Fish & Chips, was at least 30% more than we had at Seasalt.

We talked with the owner for a while after the meal. He quit the tech industry to open this restaurant, and things are just starting out. They're making the freshness of the fish a priority, and the quality of the food to order. He's been wondering if passers-by are apprehensive to try out an empty fish and chips place, so they're running a few specials through the end of the month (50% off second meal of equal or lesser value, etc).

I'm looking forward to checking out the other items. Please post if you get a chance to try things out.

Friso Fish & Chips, Inc.
532 Green St (between Columbus & Grant), SF
415-989-FISH

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MENU [I ran the take-out menu through a scanner, looks ok but didn't check every numeral for accuracy]
1 Pc FISH & CHIPS $4.95
2 Pcs FISH & CHIPS $6.95
3 Pcs FISH & CHIPS $8.95
3 Pcs CHICKEN TENDERS & CHIPS $7.50
5 Pcs PRAWNS & CHIPS $8.95
5 Pcs SCALLOPS & CHIPS $8.95
5 Pcs OYSTERS & CHIPS $9.95
CLAMS STRIPS & CHIPS $6.75
*COMBO MEAL $9.95
2 Pcs PRAWNS 2 Pcs SCALLOPS
1 Pc FISH & CHIPS
SIDE ORDERS
BEER BATTER ONION RINGS $2.50
STEAK CUT POTATO FRIES $2.50
CLAM STRIPS $4.25
CALAMARI $5.95
I Pc FISH $2.50
5 Pcs PRAWNS $5.25
5 Pcs OYSTERS $6.25
5 Pcs SCALLOPS $7.00
1 Pc CHICKEN $1.75
1 FISHTACO $2.00
2 FISH TACO $3.50

MONDAY SPECIALS
3 Pcs CHICKEN TENDERS & CHIPS $7.O0
W/DRINK
TUESDAY SPECIALS
1 Pc CHICKEN 1 FISH & CHIPS $7.00
W/DRINK
WEDNESDAY SPECIALS
2 Pcs CHICKEN 3 PRAWNS & CHIPS $8.00
W/DRINK
THURSDAY SPECIALS
5 Pcs SCALLOPS & CHIPS $8.50
W/DRINK
FRIDAY SPECIALS
1 Pc CHICKEN 2 Pcs PRAWNS $8.75
1 Pc FISH & CHIPS W/DRINK
SATURDAY SPECIALS
*COMBO MEAL $9.25
2 Pcs PRAWNS 2 Pcs SCALLOPS
1 Pc FISH 8C CHIPS W/DRINK
SUNDAY SPECIALS
2 Pcs OYSTERS 2 Pcs SHRIMP $6.50
& CHIPS W/DRINK
LUNCH SPECIALS 11 AM - 2PM
1 Pc FISH & CHIPS W/DRINK $5.00
1 FISH TACO 1 FISH & CHIPS $6.00
W/DRINK
DINNER SPECIALS 5PM - 8PM
2 Pcs FISH & CHIPS W/DRINK $7.00
AFT/HR SPECIALS 11 PM — 2AM
*INCLUDES TAX
1 Pc FISH & CHIPS $4.00
OR
2 FISH TACOS $3.00
TRY FREE FISH SAMPLE!

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