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Friday, February 8, 2013

Fish Camp - Huntington Beach

Fish Camp
16600 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach (Sunset Beach), CA 92649

I was recently invited down to try the new menu at Fish Camp in Huntington Beach. Fish Camp is a fast-casual dining concept from the owners of the King's Fish House chain. All of the suppliers are the same, so you basically get the same food as you would get at King's, but at a slightly lower price point because they have eliminated the traditional wait-staff. They also offer only a limited selection of beer, wine and a few cocktails instead of a full bar.

As you enter the restaurant, there is a small fish market where you can buy fresh fish by the pound. One difference between King's Fish House and Fish Camp is that Fish Camp mongers all of their fish in the restaurant every day.

We started out the meal with a few appetizers. JL ordered a cup of the Clam Chowder ($2.95 cup, $5.25 bowl, $7.75 sourdough bowl) and an order of the Crab Cakes ($7.95). I started out my meal with the Baja Shrimp Cocktail ($5.75). We split an order of the Ahi Tuna Poke ($8.75) as well. Lastly, we also both had a Cajun Bloody Mary ($5.75) that we both thought was awesome. It was made with Absolut Peppar vodka to give it an extra kick.

JL really enjoyed his clam chowder. He said that it was really creamy and had a stronger seafood flavor than most clam chowders. He thought that the crab cakes were pretty good, but a little dry.

My Baja Shrimp Cocktail kind of reminded me of shrimp on top of a cold gazpacho soup. The cocktail consisted of a cup of a chunky, cold tomato sauce with avocado mixed in. The shrimp were sliced in half lengthwise and placed on top of the sauce. It was served with crispy tortilla chips. This dish would be the perfect, refreshing start to a warm, balmy summer evening spent relaxing on their patio in the cool ocean breeze.

The Ahi Tuna Poke has peanuts in it. I also felt it was slightly underseasoned. The dish wasn't bad, but I feel it could be improved.
For my main course, I ordered the King Crab Legs (market price, $33.50/1-lb. on 2/7/13). The dinner plates come with your choice of two sides. I chose brown rice and cheesy grits. JL ordered the Sea Scallop plate ($16.75) with french fries and cheesy grits. I really enjoyed my king crab legs. The legs had been partially split open with a knife and the crab was easy to remove from the shell. The crab was cooked perfectly. The cheesy grits were very good. JL and I both agreed that it was a very good, however slightly unusual side dish. The brown rice was just plain, steamed rice. I was hoping for it to be slightly seasoned.

JL enjoyed his scallops. He said that they were smaller than a lot of scallops that he has gotten at other restaurants, but that they were packed full of flavor. He described them as dense in a good way and very tasty.

To finish off our meal, I decided to try a piece of their Chocolate Cake ($4.55).

JL got a piece of their Key Lime Pie ($4.45). The key lime pie is made in-house. JL thought that it was very good and has a nice tang to it. The chocolate cake is made by an outside bakery. The cake was served cold and was dense and fudgy, the way I like it.

Overall, I think that Fish Camp is a very good option if you are looking for a fast-casual seafood experience. The seafood is all of very high quality and it is prepared well. One of the managers was telling me that the company is looking to open a new Fish Camp location by the end of the year and they hope it to be in South Orange County. In the near future, they will be focusing on opening more Fish Camp locations than King's Fish Houses. I hope they open one near me soon!

Fish Camp on Urbanspoon


ChristianZ said...

Might be trying it. Fairly close to where I live now.

chris said...

so fresh!!