The other day, a colleague of mine suggested that I consider restaurants at different price points; otherwise, I might lose touch with reality and inevitably – my readers. Of course, being the savvy and versatile writer that I am (also I am a keen listener too while we are on the topic of my great qualities), I decided to take his opinion to heart. So here I am, without further ado, writing about a relatively new seafood bar in West LA.
Tangoroa Fish Market and Raw Bar is a New Zealand style restaurant that opened less than two months ago. I was drawn by the desire to eat live uni prepared on the spot, so I was quite disappointed to learn that the restaurant did not have any in stock that hopeful night. I guess this is another reason for me to come back someday. It wasn’t too busy when we went; the waitress was attentive enough without overstepping any boundaries into the overbearing category. However, the service was standard at best and wasn’t anything spectacular. Don’t get me wrong – the service met my expectation; it just didn’t exceed my expectation.
The seafood was fresh and while some dishes were simply superb, other dishes were just okay. None of the dishes were bad, but let’s just say that although all the dishes were solid, some weren’t very memorable.
1. OYSTER SAMPLER [$17] – The oysters were succulent and fresh. We ordered three types of oysters: kumamotos, winter point oysters, and can’t-remember-for-the-life-of-me-the-last-oyster. The kumamotos were sweet and creamy, whereas, the winter point was not too briny with a hint of sweetness. The last one was way to briny for me, so perhaps why I chose to selectively remove it from my memory.
2. LIGHTLY STEAMED NEW ZEALAND MUSSELS [$9] – The steamed mussels were very delicious and flavorful thanks to the chorizo sauce. I kept having to ask for more bread to dip the sauce in. I wish we were provided more than 2-3 pieces of bread in advance to inhale the sauce, which was honestly the best part of the dish.
3. FISH AND CHIPS [$18] – The fish and chips were perfectly cooked, very crispy. It was good but not mind blowing. However, I would definitely get it again since the New Zealand Tai Snapper was prepared on point. Probably one of the better fish and chips I’ve had.
4. KING CRAB [$18] – Next to the calamari, this was probably my least favorite of the night. The dip was way too buttery and the king crab was not at all spectacular. If I had to do it over again, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this dish. It was fresh, but that was the only good thing really about the king crab.
5. CALAMARI [$14] – This was my least favorite dish of the night. It tasted like how calamari should, but there wasn’t any wow factor. I could have gotten this dish anywhere else.
Overall, Tangoroa Fish Market and Raw Bar has gotten off to a good start. I would definitely go here again, especially since I really want to try the live uni and risotto next time. Unfortunately, both dishes were unavailable when I went. Some of the dishes I tried was good but not very innovative or special to the restaurant. I could’ve gone to another seafood restaurant and gotten something of the same quality. However, the New Zealand mussels were very tasty and different. I would definitely go here again for the consistency and freshness in the seafood.