The seafood artists at Hook'd on Fish stultify hunger with a menu of fried fish, wraps, and salads. Charbroiled halibut ($13.95) or Ahi tuna ($9.95) slips into either Kicken Cajun, garlic butter, or virgin Mediterranean sauce before pirouetting across palates like jewelry-box escapists. Pair a glass of wine or beer with shrimp and sea scallops ($9.95) fried in vegetable oil, or smooth out tongue bumps with 1 of 11 fresh wrap choices, such as the succulent swordfish ($13.95), draped with rice, cabbage, tomatoes, and onion, and drenched in a homemade cream sauce. Hook'd on Fish also amalgamates fresh salads ($7.95–$12.95) that come crowned with succulent seafood, such as grilled shrimp ($9.95) or grilled salmon ($10.95). Outdoor seating is available, enhancing the rugged adventurousness of swallowing rare Ahi tunas whole.
Villa Blanca's executive chef, Francis Dimitrius, mealmelds Mediterranean and Asian influences to create an imaginative menu that casts welcome rays of sunshine on the gloomy, fog-shrouded moors of Beverly Hills. Dinner lets you wake up your lazy, unemployed palate with appetizers such as baked king crab rolls ($12) and wild-mushroom and chorizo skewers ($14), while salad selections include the irresistible temptation that is Pandora's Salad ($12) and its blend of fresh peaches, buffalo mozzarella, mint, prosciutto, and chili honey vinaigrette. Pursuers of pasta perfection may opt for spaghetti Genovese ($16) or rock shrimp and candied ginger tagliarini ($19), while explorers of enchanting entrees will find Xanadu in the guise of braised Moroccan spiced chicken ($25), spring vegetable skewers ($16), or Kurobuta pork tenderloin ($26). Along the way, seek your sumptuous supper's soulmate amid Villa Blanca's extensive wine selection of Californian, Italian, French, and Argentinean labels, or make peace with your estranged sweet tooth over a Villa Blanca sundae ($8) off the decadent dessert directory.
The Grill on the Alley recaptures a bygone era; one of crisp white linens, impeccable service, and steaks as big as your head. Inspired by the steakhouses of San Francisco and New York, The Grill’s founders replicated the American tradition in L.A. The first location, which opened in Beverly Hills in 1984, still sits mere steps from Rodeo Drive (four Californian branches now exist, along with ones in Chicago, Dallas, and Aventura, Florida). Though its menu might match Rodeo in sophistication—order the 8-ounce filet mignon, ahi tuna, or a sip of spirits for proof—the staff works hard to maintain a distinctly welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere. And if a constant stream of good press is any indication, they succeed.
There are more than 70,000 songs on the karaoke machine at Michael's Bar & Grill, so it goes without saying that the restaurant embraces variety. A glance at the menu cements this fact: Cajun specialties share page space with pub appetizers, burgers, and an Italian addendum, full of hand-tossed pizzas and pasta dishes. It's an eclectic list with diverse ingredients—alligator and crawfish among them—but each option is served until midnight every day.
True Louisiana culinary classics include etouffee, blackened catfish, and jambalaya, as well as sweet, sugar-topped beignets. Southern influence is seen in the sandwich selection as well, where tuna melts can be had alongside po' boys. Luckily, nightly entertainment gives guests an excuse to sample the distinctive eats while filling their eyes and ears—there's stand-up comedy on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays, and karaoke on most other nights. The staff also makes a point to broadcast pro football games on their big-screen TVs, rather than just yelling the score every five minutes.
Whether they're seated in an oversized booth in the dining room or splitting a plate with nearby pelicans on the outdoor patio, Killer Cafe grants its diners picturesque views of the sparkling harbor. Eggs benedict and buttermilk pancakes are among the caf?'s morning fare. These dishes can be accompanied by fresh-squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, espresso drinks, and brunch cocktails. Later in the day, the menu is filled with loaded salads, and hearty burgers and sandwiches to indulge lunchtime appetites.
The Secret Family Recipe
It takes patience to properly prepare an order of the Michaels family's Killer shrimp. The secret spice blend must first simmer atop the restaurant's stove for 10 hours. Only then, when the sauce's piquant flavors are rich and intensely concentrated, do chefs place the shrimp directly in the sauce. Then, they add the crustaceans to specialty plates, such as omelets and breakfast burritos.
When Enterprise Fish Co. first opened in 1979, its founders set to work renovating the historic 1917 brick building to emulate a classic Pacific-coast seaside restaurant. Today, the original hardwood floors, trussed wood ceilings, and brick fa?ade remain, though an exhibition kitchen and faux bois?printed leather booths lend a modern air. Seafood such as oysters and salmon in a Coca-Cola glaze headline the menu, accompanied by fish tacos, fresh lobster tails, and mesquite-grilled prawns. In addition to its ample fish and shellfish dishes, Enterprise also whips up filet mignon, candied-apple pecan salads, and the Enterprise burger, which is topped with a fried egg, to serve in the dining room or out on the patio beside the fire pit. Old photographs of Venice Beach dot the dining-room walls, along with snapshots from other notable seaside spots, such as the Iowa coast.