For seafood, Blue Salt Fish Grill has the Redondo Beach waterfront covered – The Daily Breeze




Seared ahi (Photo by Merrill Shindler)

Seared ahi (Photo by Merrill Shindler)







BLUE SALT FISH GRILL

★★½

Address: 2515 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach (Also, 23215 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, 424-383-1769).

Information: 424-247-7414, www.bluesaltfishgrill.com.

Cuisine: Seafood.

When: Lunch and dinner, every day. 

Details: Beer and wine. No reservations.

Prices: About $15 per person. 

Cards: MC, V.

Most any night of the week, the Artesia Plaza on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach has one of the busiest parking lots in town. That’s because it’s blessed with an exceptionally lively assortment of fast-casual eateries, all of which are busy (almost) all of the time.

There’s Chicken Dijon, Al Hamra Halal, Menchies (for a little dessert), and the very colorful, very good Blue Salt Fish Grill, with an assortment of seafood that seems impossible. And yet, they manage to do it very well.

The menu here is long, almost encyclopedic. Not counting specials on the board behind the counter, the grilled fish run to salmon, red snapper, mahi mahi, yellowtail, catfish, ahi tuna, jumbo shrimp, tilapia, Fijian opah, halibut, opakapaka, barramundi, swordfish, Idaho trout and wahoo. There are steamed clams, crab cakes, fried calamari, salmon carpaccio and white fish ceviche. And there’s more, including more than a few non-seafood dishes.


This is a place that wants to cover the waterfront. And does.

Everyone knows the drill

As is pretty much the standard at fast-casual eateries, the drill at Blue Salt is that you order at the counter, take a number, and after a bit, the food arrives. Ordering can take a few, since there’s so much to process.

But as soon as you sit down, you’re presented with a basket of tortilla chips and what looks, at first, like salsa. But after a few tastes, you’ll realize it’s not salsa — it’s ceviche, a very nice gesture, and quite good too. (Who gives away free ceviche? This would be a very fine trend.)


You also have to pick up your drinks from one of those self-service fountains, and cups of sauces from a self-service condiment bar, both of which I’ve come to view as further defining qualities of the fast casual movement.

And the choice of condiments is, like the fish, more than you’d expect: avocado salsa, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, tomato and pepper salsa, wasabi aioli, remoulade, tartar sauce, curry yogurt sauce, sliced jalapenos and habanero onions. There are small plastic containers – help yourself.


While you wait for your entrée — assuming you’re not living on just apps, of which there are many — consider a cup of the clam chowder, thick and good, and very receptive to the addition of the many condiments. There’s a salad topped with salmon carpaccio, a grilled Mediterranean octopus salad, ceviche tostadas, peri-peri pepper prawns and more. This is pretty fancy stuff for a fast casual fish house. But then, Blue Salt is Blue Salt.

So many choices

Now, when it comes to the grilled fish — the heart of the menu — there’s more to do than just choose a filet. You also need to select a rub or a sauce from a selection of 13, including Cajun spice rub, Moroccan rub, Thai dipping sauce, smoky paprika and mustard butter and more.



Then, you need to select two sides from a list of (also) 13. I went with the cole slaw, nice and crunchy, and the strikingly good spiced vegetable couscous.

There are also a possible 22 salads, assuming you adding fish as a topping. (Chicken, too.) There are tacos, and taco plates. And there are “classics” — fish ’n’ chips, fried calamari, fried catfish and fries, fried shrimp and chips, and a deep-fried fisherman’s basket of fish, shrimp, calamari, crab cakes, scallops and hush puppies, for all of $12.95.


Unexpectedly (and this is a restaurant filled with unexpected twists and turns), there’s an espresso bar — cappuccino with your ahi tuna cooked rare only.

There are several cheesecakes for dessert. Which I’m sure are very good. But Menchies called out to me. Frozen yogurt seems just right after Blue Salt. They were made for each other.

Merrill Shindler is a Los Angeles-based freelance dining critic. Send him email at mreats@aol.com.

Blue Salt Fish Grill

Rating: 2.5 stars.

Address: 2515 Artesia Blvd., Redondo Beach (Also, 23215 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, 424-383-1769).


Information: 424-247-7414, www.bluesaltfishgrill.com.

Cuisine: Seafood.

When: Lunch and dinner, every day. 

Details: Beer and wine. No reservations.

Prices: About $15 per person. 

Cards: MC, V.


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