Healthy delights and naughty treats at California Fish Grill

(Photo by Brett Callwood)

By Brett Callwood

The ability to cook fish well isn’t a given – not even in better, higher priced restaurants. All too often, fish can be overcooked and tough, or worse, flavorless or over-seasoned. Thankfully, the people at the California Fish Grill know what they’re doing.

The joy of the place is the variety. You can get your fish grilled or, if you want to treat yourself, breaded and deep-fried. You can get a simple plate or bowl, or you can get fish tacos. They have salads and sandwiches, all with your fish of choice. And they have a wonderful variety of sides too. The only issue is deciding on one thing. Unless, like us, you went with a family member and therefore could try two things.

Still working to lose holiday pounds, we opted for a healthier meal minus carbs or fried stuff, but it was still absolutely delicious. 

We went with a grilled plate – the Salmon and Swai Combo. Online, they describe the Swai as a “farm-raised white fish [that] has moderately firm flakes with pink tones and has a mild clean flavor. It’s no surprise customers love it.”

That’s true – it really is no surprise because the fish is flaky and delicious. It’s light and soft, and extremely delicate. We opted to have a sweet chili glaze on both the swai and the salmon, and then wondered if that might be too harsh a topping for the delicate swai. In fact, the flavor of the fish is more robust than the texture, so it works beautifully.

The salmon, while blessed with sturdier flesh than the swai, is still light and flaky, especially when compared with a meaty fish such as tuna. Here, the salmon is just the right amount of oily, and the sweet chili pairs wonderfully well with the fish’s flavor. Both fish are a triumph.

On the side, we chose the riced cauliflower (purely for health reasons – nobody really prefers it to real rice), and diced zucchini with rosemary. What the veg does very well is absorb the oils from the fish, and some of the sweet chili, so the whole plate blends together magically.

Our son had the shrimp skewers plate, with white rice and kaleslaw. The latter, as one might expect, is a kale coleslaw which is creamy and tasty. The rice is light and fluffy, and the farm-raised shrimp (we chose to have them with garlic butter) are plump and juicy, and fullof flavor.

Apparently, the California Fish Grill can do no wrong.

California Fish Grill is located at 1425 Artesia Blvd., Gardena 90247. Call 310-225-2777.