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Restaurants & Bars 6

A&W Seafood in Northridge -long-

Spoony Bard | Jul 1, 200301:43 AM

Though A&W Seafood is already a well-known chow spot, I've found relatively few postings that mention specific dishes, so I thought that I'd contribute some.

First, the ambience. Though I've never been to Hong Kong, I imagine that many places there have the same kind of over-the-top colonial knicknackery. Pink table cloths, blue embroidered curtains, green marbled pillars, and a giant airbrush of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan at twilight on the back wall. Awesome.

To start we had the fish maw with crabmeat soup. A very light translucent broth with delicate cottony pieces of maw (actually the air bladder of the fish, composed mostly of collagen) and just a few stringy crab pieces. All this was made aromatically perfect with the few parsley sprigs thrown in. A perfect opener, and one of their most popular soups, our waitress informed us later.

Next arrived our baked shrimp in spicy salt. These were almost prawns they were so large, and intact from head to tail, covered in green onions with a scattering of jalapenos. Later, I noticed a large family being brought two orders of the same dish. Strange at first, I let the subtlety of the flavor do its work on me until I found myself reaching for one after another.

As good as everything else, I’d have to say that the next dish was my favorite: Ong choy (aka water spinach, swamp cabbage, or water convolulous, see link) with shrimp paste. Though the chef apparently went a bit light on the fermented shrimp paste, it still tasted like it was seasoned by nothing more than the fish-imbued water of a garlicy ocean, undercut by the slightly nutty ong choy. I could have eaten the entire plate.

No slouch either was the whole sole in black bean sauce. Lightly dressed but covered in onions, green peppers, and a few jalapenos again, the fried fellow looked imposing but was quickly cut down to size. This was my dinner companion’s favorite. I wished for a stronger flavor of black bean, and more crispness to the skin.

Why did it take me so long for me to come here?

P.S. I’m sure that I’m not the first one to notice a preponderance of quality Asian cuisine restaurants up and down Reseda Blvd. Is anyone up to the challenge of a comprehensive guide or crawl/drive even?

Link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/paci...

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