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“Freshly expensive!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santa Monica Seafood

Santa Monica Seafood
154 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3709
949-574-0274
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Ranked #9 of 417 restaurants in Costa Mesa
Cuisines: Seafood
Good for: Local cuisine, Outdoor seating
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Outdoor seating
Western Hemisphere
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Freshly expensive!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Fresh seafood, expensive prices. For a true seafood lover there are many choices to be had, but be aware that the price of admission is about 40% higher on average. I was surprised (to put it mildly) to see this medium size shrimp price priced at almost $25 a pound. Perhaps these variety of shrimp are from another planet, because they looked cooked, and frankly, no discerning qualities to separate them from the most mundane offerings valued at conventional prices of around $10. Chilean Sea Bass looked spectacularly white and shiny, and priced at a little under $30 was no different than most places. So were the Halibut Fillets, and sushi grade Tuna.
The fact remains that they had some beautiful seafood across the board and well worth visiting if in the area, if only to take a look but chances are the irresistible temptation will get the best of those who love seafood. They have all kinds of little things besides the great display of fresh seafood and mostly, following the grand tradition of Santa Monica Seafood prices, are all slightly higher priced than most other places. Still, for being the one place where you are assured the freshest catch is a fine price to pay for quality. For those with no material concerns this place will please to no end. For the rest of the population perhaps a monthly visit is recommended. We spent over $60 without blinking an eye and did not have a lot of seafood to show for, but we did go for an expensive never before tried fish (0pah?) and Pacific Snapper, one pound of the first or a little over and half a pound of the snapper. Add a few other goodies and it is well worth mentioning that they have pieces of various cuts of fish, the pieces that are left over after their fine trimming job that sell for about $7 a pound, and which makes the most delicious of seafood chowders, or anything the creative cook deems appropriate for the occasion. Overall a very fresh spot for seafood, Freshly expensive and merited a solid 4 Stars! Tasty for sure!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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48 reviews from our community

91% Recommend
    30
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Falls Church, Virginia
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Awesome fish market and restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Super fresh fish, excellent wine! Fresh oysters, very good ceviche. Service could have been a little better but overall excellent.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Fresh Seafood in Costa Mesa”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

Stopped in for lunch and had a fantastic meal. Lunch special of the day was a shrimp skewer (12 good sized shrimps) served with rice pilaf and a corn based salad with lime juice and fresh greens... very tasty. Although the menu may be a bit pricy for lunch, this lunch special was spot on... a good deal for $15. Even the iced tea was very clean tasting and well presented in a nicely shaped glass with clear ice cubes. It was almost 2:00 PM when I was finishing up, just in time for their weekday Happy Hour. Besides drink specials, their happy hour oysters (normally $2.50 - $3.25) are all $2. I had 3 Kumamotos along with a Misty Point and they were outstanding, presented in a chilled bowl with lemons and dipping sauces. Before leaving I stopped at their wonderful fresh seafood counter and purchaased Red Snapper filets (fantastic, had it for dinner last night) and albacore tuna (tonight's meal). They also have a very nice deli section with wines, cheeses, packaged salads, frozen seafoods, etc. Overall, a wonderful seafood experience.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Irvine, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Cioppino”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

Everytime we go to Santa Monica Seafood in Costa Mesa, one of us has to get the Cioppino. It is so good. There are other things on the menu that are great also. But if I remember right, the last time we went, we both had the Cioppino so we wouldn't have to share.
The past couple of times we have gone, we have had to ask for our bread, so don't forget to ask if you don't get it. It soaks up all the sauce so you don't miss any of it!

  • Visited June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Alberta, Canada
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great food in a busy but pleasant environment”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

We came across this restaurant at noon but it was packed so when we asked about a good time to come for dinner on Saturday evening (they don't take reservations) we were told to come at 5. We did. It wasn't yet crowded. We got great service and great food. We shared a Tuna Tartare appetizer that was fantastic. The snapper and swordfish were equally good and the shared Chocolate cake was a tasty end to a great meal.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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