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Restaurants & Bars 1

Go Fish. (longish)

Al@Fairfax | May 5, 200412:16 PM

I wanted to try Fish. in Sausalito again before posting, but the piece in today's Chron prompts this. I knew the old Caruso's as the place at the end of the pier where you boarded the party boat to go fishing. A natural suspicion arose when I heard that a former Masa's chef was moving in. How much haute cuisine could the Sausalito waterfront take, after all? No need to fear: at first tasting, this is a real fish house with upscale touches but not upscale prices. It is a corrugated steel structure, industrial in appearance, with high ceilings and great light. You stand in line at a counter, order, and find a seat at the tables on the pier. There are blackboard specials, which that day included salmon, halibut and sturgeon. All fish are fresh, all are local or at least regional. No special was over $20 and all looked appealing, but we were drawn to the regular menu to sample the basics. I had fish and chips ($15), my friend had the crab roll($16). If the rest of the offerings are as good as those dishes, we are all in luck. The fish was crusted with a very thin batter which, when it broke off the fish became a wonderful chip itself. The fish, local halibut, was perfectly cooked, moist, deliciously fresh tasting. I was quite suspicious about my friend's crab roll,, having given up on crab salads a long time ago. But this was superior: nothing but flaked crab, with butter, salt and pepper, on an Acme sandwich roll. Excuse me while I drool. Now where was I? Ah yes, the fries were also fine with a slightly spicey seasoning. The wine list is limited, but well-chosen with every wine $5 a glass or $20 a bottle. Draught beers are $5 a pint, $20 a quart; we opted for the Lagunitas IPA and were happy as clams. Well, happy as the many folks eating oysters at tables around us.

As we ate, two different parties from nearby houseboats rowed to the dock, tied up, and ran into Fish to get provisions. My fears about the demise of the old Sausalito were alleviated a bit. There is a fish market counter as well, which did not have a lot of fish but what they had looked fine, including skate wing. All fish for sale are fresh, never frozen, and local. With salmon season now underway, I expect the counter to be full.

Two sad notes: some servers are still unsure of the system, and wanted us to stop eating and leave our food to the gulls in order to go back and wait in line for a refill on our IPA. We talked our way out of that. We also had to ask twice for the salad we had ordered when in line. Still, these glitches will undoubtedly be worked out with time and I mean to return soon. I have got to try the Portuguese Red chowder, the Saigon salmon sandwich, the fish tacos, and perhaps after chowing my way down the menu I may even have to order a special.

Oh yes, the other sad note is the punctuation of the restaurant name. It is always written Fish. with the period at the end, even on the blackboard. I am not going to do that again. But I will go Fish again soon. Recommended.
350 Harbor Drive

Link: http://www.331fish.com

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