For the most part, piers tend to be the provenance of tourist traps, but in Redondo Beach, rest assured that Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant delivers the oceanic goods. Sure, the dining room looks dated, but this Korean-run seafood spot features pristine shellfish.
It’s a good thing Pacific Fish Center sources good seafood since decor is an afterthought. Staffers cover wood tables with white butcher paper. Paper plates and disposable chopsticks further contribute to easy clean-up. Unflattering fluorescent lights encourage quick meals. This is not an environment designed for lingering. At peak times, don’t be surprised if you wait longer for a table than you’re seated in Pacific Fish Center.
Pacific Fish Center sells more pedestrian options like fish & chips, fried clam strips and N.E. clam chowder, but it’s better to keep prep to a minimum. Refer to a faded wall-mounted menu announcing Dungeness crab, lobster, oysters, abalone, clams, and spot prawns, some of which are seasonal finds. Dismantling crustaceans can get messy, but it’s worth the effort.
Place your order at the counter. Pay and take a number. A woman announces in English and Korean when the seafood’s ready and hands customers wooden mallets and bibs.
Baby octopus is tender, but bland, with flavor coming from jalapeños and gochujang.
Live Dungeness Crab is the main attraction at Pacific Fish Center, and the oceanic beast features sweet meat, and alternately briny and creamy innards that pair well with rice.
Live Shrimp are available either as sashimi or steamed. Silky sashimi arrives on shredded cabbage with wasabi, and if you’re wise, deep fried heads.
To tantalize pier goers, Pacific Fish Center features seafood tanks out front.
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