The Best Seafood in Los Angeles

Lobster claw at Fishing with Dynamite | Photo by Bill Esparza

Catch a wave, Los Angeles - we are seeing the city transform into a seafood paradise with the fresh addition of new American and globally influenced seafood raw bars and hot bars. Thanks to our many international communities, we’ve got even more of the ocean to explore. Here are some cool spots for the best seafood in Los Angeles.

Fish at Providence | Photo by Bill Esparza


Chef Michael Cimarusti consistently maintains the top restaurant position in Los Angeles through his tireless efforts in the kitchen, using the finest local and national seafood products, while making sustainability sexy and delicious. Cimarusti defies LA’s gravitational pull towards casual dining with polished service, and a modern technique that earned Providence two Michelin stars the last time the elite French guide book came to town, in 2009. Whether you're stopping by for a few bites, or going all in for the $175 chef’s tasting menu, the Santa Barbara sea urchin scrambled in champagne buerre blanc, and salt roasted live spot prawns of the same provenance, will make you believe in fine dining once again.

Hamachi collar at Son of a Gun | Photo by Bill Esparza

Son of a Gun Restaurant

It's been more than two years since chefs Vinny Datolo and Jon Shook opened Son of a Gun on 3rd Street. Their kitschy urban ode to Florida seafood shacks finds a perfect balance between relaxed and professional service, while serving up steelhead roe sweetened by maple cream, and a classic linguini and clams that is perfumed with oceanic flavors to die for. The menu ranges from a habit-forming old school fish dip, to a beautifully plated hamachi collar accented by greens and edible flowers. This is not your dad’s fish shack, but he might like this even better.

New Bedfor scallop at Connie and Ted's | Photo by Bill Esparza

Connie and Ted's

Chef Michael Cimarusti is an exception to the rule, and so his recently opened casual seafood spot is an instant success. Connie and Ted's is located where the beloved WeHo institution, the Silver Spoon, once stood, but set aside nostalgia and bring on the lobster rolls. It’s not quite as affordable as you would hope, but the live New Bedford scallop at $23 a pop is worth every mouthwatering bite, and the Rhode Island clear “chowda” is a balanced sip of clam that goes with anything you order. It’s a contemporary fish house that, judging by the crowds, seems to have landed right in LA’s current seafood sweet spot.

Lobster claw at Fishing with Dynamite | Photo by Bill Esparza

Fishing With Dynamite

Chef David Lefevre first wowed Los Angeles at Water Grill before taking Manhattan Beach by storm with MB Post. At Fishing with Dynamite, he’s ushered in another fresh idea in Manhattan Beach - great seafood by the beach! The chef is known for global flavors, on display in dishes such as a nice Mediterranean-inspired grilled octopus. There are also American classics, like the Maryland Blue Crab Cakes with just the right amount of tang. Lefevre still makes a sublime seafood platter - get the Dungeness crab, some oyster and the Prince Edward Island mussels, or gather five or six friends for the over-the-top Mothershucker, which is a feast fit for Neptune himself.

L & E Oysters | Photo by Bill Esparza

L & E Oyster Bar

Chef Spencer Bezaire offers a clever seasonal seafood menu at L & E Oyster Bar. But the man also holds the title of Oyster Director, and if you don’t start your evening off with the daily dozen ($28), clearly you’ve little respect for such an esteemed office. Regulars become experts in brine - Kusshi from British Columbia, Beausoleil from New Brunswick, or mild East Beach Blondes from the shores of Rhode Island. Get a glass of picpoul de pinet from the Languedoc, or a Portuguese vinho verde and slowly work the round of oysters, which is served with a trio of classic sauces. If casual American seafood is your thing - and really, it’s everybody’s thing these days - then this is the place to be.

Jae Bu Do

This popular Koreatown seafood barbeque is a place to get down and dirty with repeat pours of Korean beers on the cheap. Jae Bu Do feels like a weekend trip to Jebudo Island where a platter full of clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp, abalone, and mussels fall onto the table's grill while you scramble to gobble them up as they pop open with your white heat-proof gloved hand - Michael Jackson would’ve love this place. For under $30 you can easily feed three to four people. There are other special items like crab, eel, and hagfish if you're still hungry, but you won't be.

Chirashi at Kiriko Sushi | Photo by Bill Esparza

Kiriko Sushi

Sushi master Ken Namba won’t give you dirty looks or send you packing if you start blending your wasabi and soy sauce together. Here you get a smile, a greeting, and predictable décor. Start with a sashimi plate or raw and marinated fish that’s beautiful, fresh, and deftly cut, then order some sushi - Namba is also known to make Peruvian ceviches and Baja-influenced cuisine. There’s nothing here that you can’t find anywhere else in Los Angeles - toro, mackerel, salmon, eel, and creamy sea urchin - everything is just done with care and excellence. The prices are more reasonable than other restaurants with comparably exceptional sushi, so this is the place to cry omakase (leave it to the chef), and let Mr. Namba do his thing.