As far as LA institutions go, Fisherman’s Outlet is kind of covert. Even a lot of native Angelenos I know have never heard of it. I blame the location for that because without a referral, how anxious would you be to hit up a seafood restaurant on Central and 3rd with “outlet” in its name?
Still, it’s been around since the 1960s, attracting a broad sample of Los Angeles. Or like the website says, its where “powerbrokers sit elbow to elbow with the heart and soul of the working community”—the kind of place you’d expect to see on an episode of Southland or some movie about LA cops. Last time I was there, the outdoor table to my left was occupied by three Russian guys in track suits and to my right, a group of Filipino nurses.
Open from 10 to 3:30 everyday but Sunday, it’s a great lunch spot. You order at a crowded counter where guys stand at cash registers and there’s a lot of yelling. It’s fun. You can choose from anything from charbroiled giant scallops and whole catfish to deep fried tilapia and crab cakes. We got grilled giant shrimp and mahi mahi.
A side is also part of the deal, either french fries, rice pilaf or salad (don’t do it, it’s sad). Choice of sauce, which comes in a little plastic cup, includes garlic butter, Cajun or Teriyaki. I like the the spicy, tomato bisque-like Cajun so much that I wish they sold it as a soup. Since they don’t, the Seafood Red Chowder is a decent replacement.
The shrimp was juicy and succulent and the mahi mahi was moist and flavorful, but we still pined after plates of orange-gold fried shrimp. Maybe I’ll get that next time, or the shrimp cocktail, which some say is the best in town.
I’ll let you know if that’s true when I find out.
529 South Central Avenue