Scott’s Seafood

This is not so much a review as an update.Last year I wrote a simply sashimi-grade review of Scott’s Seafood. Well, that was a year ago and it appears that Catch of the day things have gone downhill. The Eats family has ventured to Scott’s twice in the last two weeks and both times been treated to weak service, ill-prepared foods and Golden State Warriors losses. (Maybe Scott’s didn’t have anything to do with the Warriors losses, but they could have at least tried to box out on Carlos Boozer.) I’m hoping that this downward trend does not spill over to the Oakland and Folsom locations, but the Loehmann’s Plaza restaurant is definitely in a freefall.

Two strikes, Scott. One more, and you’re dead to me.

Fish & Chips, Fins Style

I took it upon myself to revamp my search for the finest fish & chips in the land with a trip to my local Fins fish market on Fair Oaks Blvd. My previous visit to Fins had been delightful. I had, therefore, been looking forward to this meal for quite a while based on nothing more than a hunch that Fins would do something wonderful with the traditional fish & chips plate. Unfortunately, my hunch turned out to be more of a misplaced wish than an intuitive guess and my visions of otherworldly fishy and chippy experiences fell apart more quickly than a flaky piece of halibut.
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Family style eats at Giusti’s Place

Giusti's Place
Casual family dining
at Giusti’s Place

My sister was married last weekend in the romantic Sacramento river delta. As part of the weekend festivities a big group of us headed over to Giusti’s Place, a family-run restaurant on the river in Walnut Grove that has been serving casual family-style Italian since 1910, making it the oldest bar and restaurant on the delta. Giusti’s is located in a rickety, cobbled together building propped up on a riverbank, and the atmosphere inside is of your typical bar and grill. The bar’s notable feature is that the ceiling is covered with hats (and apparently the inside is covered with cool dudes).

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Fins

Ok, admittedly “Fins” sounds like the name of some aquatic strip bar, but it’s truly a gem in the the Sacramento foodscape. (Did I just coin a phrase?) Fins has been around for years, with one location in Fair Oaks; however, not too many people were willing to hoof it out to the exburbs to buy fresh fish. ( I checked Google and it looks like “foodscape” has already been used. As well as “exburbs.” Dammit!) So Fins owners, Ed and Darcy Jayousi, decided to expand, opening two new locations that would increase their “fishpire” across the wide Sacramento “foodaspora.” (I’m really trying here.)
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Something’s Fishy Here

Somewhere between the mega-chains and the mom ‘n pops lies a gray area of eateries. They have multiple locations and standardized menus, but they lack the corporate consistency and allow for variations between outlets. They are…duh,duh,duh…the regional chains!

That’s right, I’m talking about Piatti, Bandera, California Cafe and, my personal favorite, Scott’s Seafood. (Sorry, did I just blow your mind? You didn’t know that Bandera was part of the “Los Altos Grille” chain? Well wake up and smell the jalapeno cornbread sucker!)
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Fish & Chips, IHOP Style

Yes, you read that right. Not only does IHOP serve fish & chips, but your intrepid diner actually ate them. I’m going to be brutally honest here: They were pretty damn good! Now, it was midnight and I had already had a few pints, but overall I really enjoyed them. The batter was a bit generic, but the fries were good and the fish was excellent. I wouldn’t tell you to go out of your way for a plate, but if you’re there and breakfast foods don’t sound appealing, go for the F&C. Oh yeah, special shout out to our server, Sherman, who handled a table of ten with 6 separate checks with good cheer and fantastic service. Give that man a raise IHOP Corporate!

IHOP (Watt & El Camino, various locations)
Food*** Service **** Ambience**

Fish & Chips- Foxy & Goosey

Next stop on the battered and fried tour, Fox & Goose. I’ve always heard that the Goose’s food is great, and they constantly win awards for their brunch, so I’ve been looking forward to this one. To tell you the truth, I was a bit disappointed, not as disappointed as I was to learn that Jaime Lee Curtis was born with a penis, but disappointed none the less.

The meal started out well with the authentic pub tradition of ordering food at the bar along with a pint of John Courage. The first bite was like biting into a soggy towel; the flavor was fine but the fish was, there’ no other word for it, mushy. It kind of squirted out between cracks in the puffy, tempura-like breading. The tartar sauce, seemingly a mix of 111 parts mayo 1 part relish, was dangerously warm and starting to separate. The chips were overly crispy and a little light on flavor. Overall, I was bummed. The textures were off-putting and the risky tartar sauce was disconcerting, even for a mayonnaise hound like me. I love F&G for their good prices, great service and wide selection of British brews, but fish & chips is not something I’d recommend there.

Fox & Goose
10th & R, Downtown Sacramento
Food** Ambience**** Service****

Fish & Chips-Streets of London

OK, so I’m not exactly a “regular” at Streets of London, but I do go there about once a week, especially for the Sunday Night Pub Quiz. I’ve never been a huge fan of the food, but would be remiss if I didn’t at least give their Fish & Chips a try on my latest food hunt for the best Fish & Chips in Sacramento.

Well, I’ll have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The fish was excellent, very flaky and tasty, breaded just right and fried to perfection. The tartar sauce was good by me, being a mix of mayonnaise mixed with mayonnaise mixed with stone ground mustard mixed with more mayonnaise. The chips, however, were a disappointment, a bit soggy, a bit burnt, a bit unappealing. Oh yeah, and did I mention that we also destroyed Edie Lambert and her trivia group there last week. Looks like I’m branching out from trouncing sports personalities to just demeaning local media personalities. Paul & Jen, want to get back in the spotlight? BRING IT ON!

Streets of London, 18th & J Sacramento
Food*** Ambience**** Service***

Fish and Chips, Rubicon Style

Per a suggestion from Stickie, I dropped by Rubicon Brewery yesterday to try their fish and chips. I’ve never been a huge fan of Rubicon’s beer, finding their brews to all slant towards the bitter side, and not just regular beer bitter but the kind of bitter you get when your girlfriend breaks up with you right before prom night and instead goes with the rich captain of the curling team and they spend the whole night kissing each other, with tongue, in the center of the dance floor while you’re left standing there with a $50 corsage that is dying right in your hand, dying like a small bird dropped from its nest and left to die on the pine straw coated floor, or be eaten by ravenous foxes, crunching the little bird’s bones in their mouths like birdie flavored pretzels. That kind of bitter. Anyway, about their fish and chips:

Not good. I was served fish “sticks” and waffle fries with my bitter, angst-ridden beer and was not happy. The batter was heavy and was more bread crumby than corn mealy. The fries were chewy and undercooked and the children behind me were as annoying as children in a bar could be. So, in conclusion, Stickie, thank you for the recommendation, I’m sorry I didn’t realize that your only other exposure to fish and chips had been at Adalberto’s. I don’t think I’d recommend Rubicon to anyone…ok, maybe I’d tell that whore from the prom to go, but that would be about it.

Rubicon Brewing Company
Capitol Ave at 20th St, Sacramento
Food * Beer * Service **