16 Excellent Seafood Restaurants In LA
Despite being right next to an ocean, LA sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to amazing seafood. And sure, we might be somewhat lacking in old-timey restaurants covered in Moby Dick paintings and rusty ship buoys (sorry, Boston), but we can also lay claim to a wide range of restaurants doing unique and delicious things with fish, shellfish, and other forms of marine life. Whether you’re looking for spot prawns and white tablecloths, a fish you didn’t know existed, or a beachside lobster roll topped with caviar, there's a restaurant for you on this guide. And if what you really want is sushi, we have a guide for that, too (the same goes for mariscos).
Seafood meals are usually a dinner thing, but for the best seafood lunch in town, head to West Adams and stop in at Holbox. This order-at-the-counter spot is in the Mercado La Paloma, that severely overlooked food hall near USC. You’ll like pretty much anything on the menu—the lobster tacos and the ceviche tostadas are excellent—and you can be in and out in time to get back for your 1pm meeting.
Found Oyster combines two things we like very much: wine bars and clam shacks. While you eat tremendously fresh seafood at this walk-in-only East Hollywood spot, a surfer-chill server might recommend a glass of syrah to pair with your meal. Take the suggestion and continue working on your littlenecks and oysters on the half shell, steamers and fries, or lobster bisque roll. For a more luxurious experience, you can also spring for the uni or caviar service while seated underneath a disco ball. Our favorite dish here is the scallop tostada, which gets an electric jolt of flavor thanks to a dab of yuzu kosho.
Not only does Dudley Market serve some of our favorite seafood dishes in Los Angeles, this overachieving neighborhood spot also has a fantastic location one block off the Venice boardwalk— just far enough from the vaping rollerbladers and tourists commissioning airbrushed t-shirts. If eating silky crudos, fish tacos, or tom kha clams while gazing at the sunset isn’t on your Things I Enjoy In Life list, we have serious questions. Stick around after dark for vinyl DJs and tall glasses of whatever mineral-forward white the surfer sommelier is loving this month.
The menu at this upscale Mexican mariscos spot in Frogtown puts a clear spotlight on raw fish—there are separate sections for sashimi, ceviche, and tostadas—and while all of it is excellent (definitely get the spicy rojo aguachile), the dish you can’t leave without is the grilled whole fish. Served with rice, beans, escabeche, blue corn tortillas, three different salsas, and unlimited quesadillas (yes, really), it’s enough food for at least three hungry adults. We’d send you to Loreto just for that, but that’d be a shame—because then you’d miss out on the lobster and shrimp-topped esquites and carajillo-inspired chocolate cake.
Turns out “snook” isn’t just a 1920s slang term for a game of pool—it’s a type of fish, and it’s the specialty at Coni’Seafood in Inglewood, listed on the menu as pescado zarandeado. And while you should definitely be ordering this superb grilled fish, the other reasons to go out of your way to this Mexican seafood restaurant are the marlin tacos and really any of the things they do with shrimp. Plus, they have a big, bright interior and a BYO wine policy. Bring enough friends to share a whole fish.
Located in someone's literal backyard, 106 Seafood Underground is a cash-only restaurant specializing in all things mariscos. This Inglewood operation is run by the chef who co-founded Coni’Seafood and every dish here is slap-the-table good. From shrimp ceviche punched up with tart green apple to fish chicharrón so delicately battered we’re suspicious of sorcery, the citrus-slicked seafood here is unforgettable. The food comes out fast, so use the few minutes you have after ordering to take in the lush backyard landscaping as LAX-bound flights roar above.
At this innovative seafood spot on Main Street in Santa Monica, you’ll eat steamed clams drizzled with fruity olive oil, beautifully plated crudos, and oysters decorated with purple flowers. Crudo e Nudo is home to one of our favorite raw bars in town, and their thoughtful wine selections take the whole experience from great to glorious. The focus here is on sustainable seafood, which means everything from the oysters to the halibut is locally sourced. It’s perfect for a special occasion date night or when you’re looking for a splurge-worthy seafood meal on the Westside.
Eating at Providence is an event—you’ll be there for at least three hours experiencing one of their multi-course tasting menus. There’s a man who will prepare your salt-baked Santa Barbara spot prawns tableside, a cheese cart, and a packaged sweet brioche to take home for breakfast the next day. But Providence does event eating in a way that doesn’t feel pretentious, and does feel like it’s worth the money. The food itself is imaginative and delicious, and can involve everything from abalone and geoduck to more familiar things like rockfish. If you’re looking to throw down for an incredible seafood meal, look no further than Providence.
If you don’t live in the South Bay, you might think driving to Manhattan Beach for some raw scallops is crazy talk. It’s definitely not. A meal at Fishing With Dynamite makes you feel like you’re on vacation in Nantucket, especially if you can get out of work and be there for a Friday oyster-and-wine lunch. The Peruvian scallops are some of our favorite things to eat, and you should not miss the key lime pie.
If you’ve ever driven down Jefferson Blvd in West Adams during the day, you might’ve noticed a corner shop covered in aquamarine murals. That’s Mel’s, a walk-up window that’s been serving cornmeal-crusted fried fish since 1995. The entire restaurant is about the size of a dorm room, but the menu is surprisingly stacked with Cajun-style seafood plates and soul food sides. We like to keep it simple and order a pound of golden-brown fried red snapper, which comes with two sides for just under $15. Pair that with their housemade hush puppies and perfect potato salad, and be sure to get an extra side of their garlic-dill sauce for dipping.
Ceviche Project is all about the details. The inventive menu at this Silver Lake mariscos spot and raw bar is filled with both traditional touches (toasted corn kernels in the tai snapper ceviche) and nontraditional ones (tangy yuzu-habañero sorbet in the yellowfin ceviche). The room is intimate and there are a few small tables, but we strongly suggest sitting at the long marble counter where you can watch the owner-chef, in a slick white suit, use tweezers to delicately place seven individual pomegranate seeds on a scallop and uni shooter.
The seafood-focused sibling to Phnom Penh Noodle Shack, A&J is a tiny takeout stand in a Long Beach strip mall. While we like their straightforward crab legs, shrimp boils, and grilled oysters, the best dishes here have some Cambodian influence. For example: the salt & pepper shrimp tossed in fried garlic, jalapeños, and enough lime juice to make a margarita jealous. Our top pick is the crispy salmon, cut into tender fried chunks and served with mango salsa and sweet tamarind sauce. Keep in mind that seating here consists of stools on a wraparound patio facing a busy intersection, so most people take their food to-go.
It’s a scientific fact that food from the ocean tastes better if you eat it while looking at the ocean, and Malibu Seafood is one of our favorite places to do both. Owned and run by the fisherman who caught that piece of fish you’re about to put in your face, this little shack on PCH is here to provide you with all your beach-adjacent seafood needs. The menu is full of classics—squid and chips, steamed mussels, a peel-your-own shrimp plate—and the elevated patio is ideal for taking in the views. Even with the line that snakes through the parking lot on weekends, we can’t leave Malibu without stopping here.
If you’re a relocated East Coaster having steamer withdrawals, Connie & Ted’s is a good way to avoid spending too much money on a ticket to Rhode Island. This casual West Hollywood spot has mellowed from its Gwyneth-Paltrow-is-in-the-corner days a couple of years back, and has become a neighborhood hangout that works any day of the week. Almost everything on the menu is great, from those dipped-in-butter steamer clams to the enormous shellfish tower. And if you need a break from the sea creatures, the burger is definitely worth ordering.
Quality Seafood is a massive, two-story restaurant on the Redondo Pier filled with tanks of live shellfish, lobsters, crabs, and fish. This is the kind of build-your-own meal we fully endorse where you pick your seafood and decide whether you want it roasted, steamed, or fried. Between the tourists and the kill-or-be-killed seating situation, it is a process to eat here. But order the Dungeness crab (steamed), calamari (fried), or whole snapper (roasted) and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
Newport Seafood is an SGV classic. It’s an upscale restaurant, popular with families out for a nice (read: expensive) Sunday lunch. And when you’re out for a nice Sunday lunch here, you should be ordering the whole lobster. It’s covered in spring onions, chilis, and ginger, and the smallest one you’ll be offered will be at least four pounds, which means you should come with reinforcements or just arrive really hungry. Although the lobster is the clear signature, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of the menu—we love the salt and pepper squid and the clams in spicy hot sauce, in particular.