Pacific Ocean Influences: The Top Seafood Restaurants in Los Angeles

When it comes to great seafood restaurants, Los Angeles leads the way. With its miles of beaches and views of the ocean from every inland high-rise building, it's no wonder that Angelenos love their crustaceans, molluscs, fish and roe – and are willing to travel to find the best. Ironically, much of the seafood served up here is imported from places like Alaska, Maine, and beyond (think New Zealand), for while there's a lot of water in plain sight, not that much is pulled from our local (often polluted) waters. But the quality found in the local eateries is top notch, particularly in the high-end restaurants like Catch LA, the recent outstanding addition to the top seafood scene, or Chef Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Beverly Hills. And there's nothing like sitting down at the Santa Monica Seafood Cafe, a part of the renowned Santa Monica Seafood Market, which has been supplying fresh seafood to restaurants and consumers since 1939. That's also a place to learn about responsibly sourced seafood and sustainability, for they work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium using their Seafood Watch system to indicate the fish and crustaceans that are the best choices, caught or farmed with the least amount of impact on the environment. Happily, many of L.A.'s top restaurants buy their fish here, and are conscious of choosing the best alternatives for their diners.

Bouchon - Beverly Hills
Photo courtesy of Deborah Jones/Bouchon Beverly HIlls

Top tocque Thomas Keller made his name with the French Laundry in the Napa Valley, but here in L.A., you can sample his fine dining at Bouchon Beverly Hills. It's a classic French bistro, with a lively ambiance, an extensive wine list (with only...  Read More

With its roots firmly entrenched in New England, Connie and Ted's is as close to a true blue East Coast crab shack as you can find in California. Their menu is simple, extensive, and straight forward, offering all the dishes of the sea, starting...  Read More

Nobu Malibu
Photo courtesy of Nobu Malibu photo by Henry Hargreaves

Los Angeles is where it all began for Nobu Matsuhisa, the acknowledged king of Japanese cuisine, who now has high-end eateries all over the world. His first restaurant, Matsuhisa, is a tiny place on La Cienega Boulevard; Nobu Los Angeles is...  Read More

SALT Restaurant & Bar at the Marina del Rey Hotel
Photo courtesy of SALT Restaurant & Bar at the Marina del Rey Hotel

SALT Restaurant & Bar at the Marina Del Rey Hotel combines excellent seafood with an actual view of the boats that go out and catch it, located as it is right on the channel in L.A.'s most famous marina. Chef Mark Murray Gold's seasonal menu...  Read More

Manhattan Beach
Fishing with Dynamite
Photo courtesy of Fishing with Dynamite

You'll find some of Southern California's best seafood at Fishing with Dynamite, Chef David LeFevre's tiny jewelbox eatery in Manhattan Beach. With seating for only 35 guests, getting a table can be tough; but the food is definitely worth the...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Crustacean Restaurant

Chef Helene An's huge Dungeness crab roasted in secret spices may just be the best single seafood dish in Los Angeles. That secret recipe is so closely guarded that she's even got a secret kitchen-within-the-kitchen where she prepares that...  Read More

Santa Monica Seafood Cafe

This renowned seafood market and restaurant, a local landmark since 1939, has earned a well-deserved reputation as "the cathedral of seafood." A family-owned business with a history dating back to nineteenth-century Italy, Santa Monica Seafood...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Osawa Restuarant/acuna-hansen

Osawa is Pasadena's exemplary Japanese eatery, helmed by famed Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe, is a true delight. Tachibe helmed the illustrious Chaya group of restaurants in L.A. for over 30 years, finally moving on to open his family-centric...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Bottlefish

Bottlefish is the latest restaurant invention from Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, the founders of CPK. But Bottlefish is in a whole different league, a sophisticated place perched on the second floor of the Brentwood Gardens in the heart of...  Read More

Photo courtesy of CATCH LA

CATCH LA is the newest outpost of the popular EMM Group seafood restaurant chain that began in New York and has now expanded to Los Angeles (actually West Hollywood), Dubai and Playa del Carmen, Mexico. CATCH LA combines a super-sexy scene –...  Read More


Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny