Former Seattle-ites may be pleased to know that a new branch of Ivar's has opened at the food court in the Westfield Shoppingtown (Valley Fair Mall) in Santa Clara (2855 Stevens Creek Blvd). It's purportedly the first one to open outside of Washington. The counter guy mentioned that a full service restaurant is also scheduled to open in Monterey in the future, one at SF's Fisherman's Wharf, and with additional plans for expansion into L.A. and even China.
While I don't know if they're considered among the best purveyors of clam chowder and fish 'n chips, I thought they were pretty darn good during my visits to two of their branches in Seattle. I tried the white chowder and cod at Westfield and thought both came pretty close to those served in Seattle, according to my dim recollection.
I do know that I plan to visit the branch again, if at least to rekindle those fond memories of Seattle. Next up: halibut and salmon. Hopefully one of the new full service restaurants will offer alder-smoked salmon and other Northwestern cuisine with some semblance of the "real thing".