Mouthwatering Seafood in Santa Monica
Santa Monica Seafood Restaurants
In total, the world’s oceans span 140 million square miles. In a coastal city like Santa Monica, it feels natural to serve a wide variety of sustainable, fresh fish, crustaceans and bivalves. Since Santa Monica restaurant’s are blessed with so many talented chefs, the results are often destination-worthy. Learn why Santa Monica seafood dishes are so renowned at these eight most scintillating seafood restaurants.
What do Popeye, the Santa Monica Pier, and seafood platters have in common? The Albright was able to weave these threads together in 2013 when Yunnie Kim Morena and husband Greg took over for her parents, who previously ran S.M. Pier Seafood at the same address starting in 1977. The Albright is named for a sailor’s knot that binds multiple generations. People now gather around picnic tables for lobster rolls and fish and chips. Still, it’s their deluxe seafood platter that truly stands out. They blanket an ice bed with sweet tiger shrimp, split King crab legs, large green New Zealand mussels, tiny clams briny Kumiai oysters from Baja and Peruvian sea scallops on the half-shell. Each platter comes with squeezable lemons, cocktail sauce, creamy horseradish sauce, and shallot-filled mignonette. Dress the seafood to your liking.
At first, Westside Rentals founder Mark Verge was a force in real estate. Now, On The Verge Hospitality has become a beast in the restaurant world, running four Santa Monica restaurants. He’s stocked Montana Avenue with two personal establishments. Verge named Margo’s for his mother and Art’s Table for his father. Both parents, who were married for 61 years, are immortalized in a mural that includes a Route 66 sign and says, “The good old days are now.” After 4 p.m., their night menu includes a pasta dish that helps confirm the aforementioned adage. Montana & Ocean linguine is tossed with spicy sauce crafted with peppers, roasted tomatoes, basil, and garlic. A fresh seafood array joins the fray, including chunks of lobster, salmon, sea bass, and a few plump Prince Edward Island mussels. Fresh basil and crispy calamari coated with a light hand help to cap the bowl.
Fia is the creation of the hospitality trailblazer Micheal Greco & chef Brendan Collins. The menu at Fia delivers on the flavor and execution that Santa Monica seafood restaurants are known for. Fia highlights the freshest seasonal ingredients available, inspired by California and Italian Coastal Cuisine, that will satisfy all palates. Fia also has carefully crafted cocktails with an extensive old and new world wine list. A dining experience that attracts both locals and visitors to savor the exceptional offerings at Fia, making it a must-visit destination for seafood lovers in Santa Monica.
A restaurant called The Lobster has overlooked the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier on and off since 1923, including a triumphant return in 1999. Executive chef Collin Crannell continues to turn out premium fresh seafood from this classy, glass-sided perch. Of course, lobster is the restaurant’s signature ingredient, which is available steamed, butter poached, in mashed potatoes, or served over pasta. Still, grilled lobster is The Lobster’s most impressive preparation. A three-pound lobster (or more, if you like) is split, grilled, and dressed with fresh herbs, lemon, and garlic butter. Each red beast from the abyss comes with a bib and cracker, since eating this lobster is bound to get messy.
Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café
The Cigliano family started on the Santa Monica Pier in 1939 and eventually moved to Wilshire Boulevard in 2009, where they now run a grand seafood market and café. Santa Monica Seafood stocks a 60-foot, U-shaped case with fresh seafood from all over the world, some of which makes its way to the raw bar and marble tables. They typically source swordfish from either Hawaii or Costa Rica. A firm, flaky, snow-white filet is grilled and served with roasted garlic broccolini, red bell pepper and vibrant tomato basil vinaigrette. Micro arugula is the finishing touch. Visit the market to purchase the finest and freshest seafood ingredients, ensuring your homemade seafood creations reach the same level of excellence as those served at this iconic establishment.
Blue Plate Oysterette
Blue Plate Oysterette, a spinoff of the original Blue Plate Taco, located across from Santa Monica’s picturesque Palisades Park, offering amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Blue Plate Oysterette has some of the freshest seafood in town. The restaurant’s patio has a tile mural depicting a mermaid serenading with a violin, adding to the coastal ambiance. Their menu has some delicious entrees, including Maine lobster rolls, brimming with succulent meat from the claws, tail, and everything in between, perfectly complemented by a measured touch of mayo and garnished with fresh chives. Another must-try shellfish is their Dungeness crab which is lovingly tossed with butter and served on a soft, toasted hoagie roll, creating a mouthwatering experience that captures the essence of coastal cuisine.
The Santa Monica outpost of the vaunted downtown restaurant from King’s Seafood Company rests across from Palisades Park, and if you scan the horizon, the Pacific Ocean. Studying Water Grill’s wall-mounted ship diagrams won’t lead you to buried treasure, but the menu will lead you to the Ross Sea. That chilly body of water near Antarctica is where the restaurant sources their high-quality Chilean sea bass. A rich, flaky, crisp-coated filet is pan-seared in brown butter and served over butternut squash puree with seared butternut squash gnocchi and sage brown butter.
Crudo e Nudo
Crudo e Nudo, founded by Chef Brian Bornemann emerged from the challenges of 2020 in Santa Monica. This restaurant was created over the passion for surfing, sustainability and simple honest food. The restaurant sources local, sustainable fish. Crudo e Nudo prioritizes minimal waste and aims for zero plastics. The restaurant promises a unique and responsible culinary experience. The menu will showcase coastal takes on raw bar classics, rotating plates reflecting Southern California’s micro-seasons, and a tantalizing tasting menu. Crudo e Nudo looks forward to providing a welcoming and caring dining experience for its patrons.
Lobster and Beer
Lobster and Beer in Santa Monica stands as a culinary gem, offering a fusion of oceanic flavors and craft brews. With its location near the Santa Monica Pier, this Santa Monica seafood restaurant captures the essence of seaside dining with a modern twist. The menu offers a diverse range of lobster options, designed to please even the most selective seafood lovers. From incredibly fresh lobster rolls to delicious lobster bisque, every dish on the menu demonstrates the restaurant’s dedication to providing high-quality food with excellent flavor. To enhance the overall dining experience, there is a wide selection of expertly chosen craft beers available. Guests can enjoy their meals in a relaxed atmosphere, inspired by the coastal surroundings, while taking in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
Visit Santa Monica
Santa Monica is a must-visit destination for seafood enthusiasts. Whether you are craving a casual seafood shack along the beach or an upscale dining experience with an amazing view of the Pacific, Santa Monica offers a diverse selection of seafood options. Alongside the Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café, you can purchase fresh seafood at McCall’s Meat & Fish Co. to recreate dishes at home. Visit Santa Monica to find out why it has some of the best seafood on the West Coast and start planning your stay in Santa Monica today.