Restaurants & Bars

Sitting on the dock of the bay at Fish. in Sausalito

rworange | Jun 5, 200509:59 PM     7

The best seafood restaurant in the Bay Area is Fish., period.

There is nothing pretentious, fussy or precious about fish. It is top grade ingredients served simply but perfectly.

The same name vendors that supply the better restaurants in San Francisco can be found on the menu at Fish. Leave your fancy clothes at home. The atmosphere is relaxed and a eating at Fish. is like taking a summer vacation. The food may be simply prepared, but there is nothing casual or careless about the dishes. The chef worked at Masa’s.

Perched on the Richardson Marina there are two decks with hand-built redwood picnic tables topped with metal pails filled with condiments. It is the idealized version of a fish shack. It is the seafood joint you dream about but never seem to find. Fish is better than anything you could dream up. There is nothing like it in California.

I just recommended Fish. in another post and realized today was the perfect sunny day for a visit. A friend and I went for lunch. We shared a glass pitcher of draft Anchor Steam beer which we poured into glass mason jars.

There’s a blackboard with the daily specials. I had trouble deciding between the soft shell crab sandwich, the grilled calamari salad with Star Route greens and garlic scapes or the California Hamachi.

There is an attached fish market. The trout were so golden they gleemed. We decided to buy some trout and soft-shell crabs to take home from the market. I was also tempted by the Scottish Seine sand dabs from the a Half Moon Bay fishing boat.

The Hamachi I ordered was nicely grilled. It was complimented with a light tomato sauce. The fish is thoroughly grilled which I like. If you like your fish on the rare side, just request that. All items are grilled over oak.

It came with grilled asparagus that was charred and smoky on the outside and tender and sweet inside. For a dollar more I substituted a green salad for the Yukon gold potatoes. The salad was everything that was good about Fish. It was simple yet perfect. The thinnest shavings of red onion and radish graced the salad that was topped with sweet shredded carrots. Each bite was a subtle blend of flavor. The lemon olive oil vinaigrette was served on the side.

My friend enjoyed the clam chowder which I’ve had before.

The clam chowder is the best in the west. It would be perfect if the clams were whole and not chopped. The taste and the ingredients are balanced. There is plenty of bacon to give the chowder a smoky flavor. A thin golden ring of butter graces the side of the bowl if you let it sit. Chunks of potatoes give the soup its weight. Every bite is full of herbs, clams, veggies and potato.

My favorite chowder is the Portuguese red in a broth that has a deep rich tomato flavor, with a splash of Madeira. It is spicy from smoked paprika, organic watercress and cilantro. Like the clam chowder there are chunks of potatoes and in this chowder each spoonful is full of chopped clams, potato and Moniz linguica

It is difficult to pass up the blackboard specials but at the top of my list to try is the crab roll, a West Coast version of the lobster roll. The crab is served with butter, salt and pepper in an Acme torpedo roll.

The produce is organic and much of it from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. The seafood is environmentally friendly. There are lots of hand outs about ecologically sound fish choices. There are even wallet cards from The Monterey Bay Aquarium with a list of fish choices – best choices, good alternatives and avoid.

The staff has always been wonderful and very accommodating. I was interested in a veggie that I had never tried before. Although it wasn’t available as a side, they gave me a tiny sample.

As the link to the excellent review below says, Fish. acknowledges the cultural melting pot that makes up the Bay Area. In addition to the Portuguese chowder there is Guerro-style cerviche, a salmon bahn mi, and Tuscan White Bean and Tuna salad.

The inside is designed to look like a 1950’s fish house that was housed in this location. There are Greek fishermen’s lamps.

This review gives an accurate picture of Fish. It notes a few flaws, but so far I have had nothing but perfect meals.


There is also lots of free parking. Don’t battle the crowds in the center of Sausalito. Forget about valet parking at Scomas.

As Gary Soup noted yesterday, the name of the restaurant includes a period at the end. It has been driving spell-check crazy.

Link: http://www.331fish.com/page2.html

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