When Don Disraeli and his wife, Randee, turned their attention to seafood retail in 1983, they considered more than their love of tasty fish. Drawing upon his PhD in Biology and her stint as a Scripps Institute of Oceanography researcher, the duo worked to ensure that each aspect of their business would be environmentally sustainable. Those standards are still upheld today, as Kanaloa Seafood remains one of the only North American and European seafood companies environmentally certified by the International Organization of Standardization.
Environmentally responsible fisheries supply the Disraelis with sushi-grade fish, which cutters clean and slice behind large viewing windows at Kanaloa Seafood’s Santa Barbara and Napa storefronts. The succulent cuts are then sustainably packaged inside recyclable corrugated boxes. Every Monday to Friday, guests can procure fish ranging from wild-caught black cod to Hawaiian ahi tuna. Patrons who are unsure of what to pick from the vast assortment will be greeted by a knowledgable staff member who will assist in picking out an ideal choice. Kanaloa Seafood also distributes a variety of marinades, rubs, oils, and sauces, as well as prepared dishes from the staff chef.
The massive amount of press heralding Nick's Cove's fresh seafood dishes almost overshadows its iconic history. The Tomales Bay eatery's lore intersects with Abraham Lincoln in that his chief of staff once owned the waterfront property before it became a refuge for area fishermen and farmers. As tourism to the region boomed, the site transformed into a popular spot for shrimp and crab cocktails. Today, the coastal property is an award-winning destination, replete with cabins for lodging and a farm-to-table restaurant where guests can sample the bounty hauled in from Tomales Bay.
Executive chef Austin Perkins and his kitchen crew braise California white bass, sear American wagyu flat-iron steak, devil duck eggs, and find a way to work Dungeness crab into anything from mac 'n' cheese and eggs benedict to the dinner bill's black jacket. They also boast a raw oyster bar and masterfully detailed wine list.
OpenTable reviewers named The Caprice a Diners' Choice for best ambience, food, service, and scenic view, among others. Zagat rated the food, decor, and service as "very good to excellent." Yelpers give the restaurant an average of four stars and OpenTable reviewers give it a 4.2-star average.
Teppanyaki chefs twirl their knives and ignite towers of flame while cooking meals tableside inside Hana Japan Steak & Seafood. They slice new york steaks, chicken, and salmon and toss scallops onto the grill alongside chopped veggies and mounds of rice, all without ruffling their tomato-red toques. Each hibachi dinner comes with a shrimp appetizer, a bowl of soup, and a salad with organic Hana dressing imported from the organic part of Japan.
The walls at Currylicious exude the same orange and yellow hues as saffron and turmeric, which flavor its traditional Indian dishes. Appetizers include hearty veggie samosas and the kachumar salad, an intermingling of fresh garden veggies, herbs, and lime juice. Entrees such as chicken shahi korma and lamb karahi cool down spice with infusions of yogurt sauce and side helpings of naan. During pleasant weather, diners can sit outside, where they take in Oakland’s scenic landscape, or season their meals with crushed sunshine.
With the right dishes, a tiny boardwalk fish stall can grow into a prestigious seafood restaurant. Just ask the Alioto family. In 1925, Sicilian immigrant Nunzio Alioto, Sr., took the reins of stall No. 8 on Fisherman's Wharf, feeding Italian laborers with hearty seafood cocktails served out of paper cups. Eight years later, when Nunzio passed away, his wife, Rose, took over, steadily expanding the operation to keep pace with Alioto's growing reputation, not to mention the influx of customers brought by the construction of the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges.
Today, the family still serves the traditional Sicilian recipes of Nunzio and Rose—but on the top floor of a three-story building, overlooking the spot where the modest fish stall began. The chefs work largely with fresh, local catches for the seafood-centric menu, preparing hauls of sea bass, swordfish, scallops, and of course, dungeness crab—a standout favorite among the critics that have sung Alioto's praises in the press. Though many cite the crab cioppino—a spicy tomato and shellfish stew—as their preferred dish, Frommer's lauds the dungeness crab, whether it's "cracked, caked, stuffed, or stewed." Sicilian classics such as the fried calamari are also a huge draw, not to mention the restaurant's third story ocean vistas, a vantage point City Genius hails as "one of the best views of the Bay."
With just one counter, six stools, five tables, and a performing crab, Frank and Marian Pompei opened Pompei's Grotto on Fisherman's Wharf in the winter of 1946. Natives of the seaport community of San Benedetto d'Ancona, in Italy, the Pompei's served a modest menu of sandwiches, spaghetti, cracked crab, and seafood cocktails. Similar items are still served today, but under Frank's daughter, Nancy, the menu has expanded to include even more seafood and Italian favorites.
Fried shrimp, scallops, and white cod comprise the Captain's Platter, and from-scratch meat sauce made with local ingredients flavors the lasagna's layers of pasta and cheese. A popular pairing at Pompei's, seafood and Italian flavors join forces in dishes such as linguini and whole clams in a garlic, butter, and white wine sauce, as well as shrimp scampi made with jumbo shrimp sauteed in white wine, butter, mushrooms, and scallions, with linguini and fresh vegetables. And like the evolving menu, Pompei's storefront has also grown since 1946, and now includes an outdoor patio where Fisherman's Wharf's salty air mingles with the aroma of the kitchen's cooked catches.