First, I will tell you my mindset; I mean to have some fresh seafood when vacationing on the Gulf!! Joe's crab shack is a joke- corporate frozen foods- not an option. I want local & fresh.
The following day after our Nick's fiasco- The girlfriend & I went here on a Thursday for an early dinner. We sat outside to enjoy the spring weather. Depending on the weather, I recommend sitting outside... I like the breeze. Unlike Nick's, this seafood restaurant has NO fishy smell in the place itself. A definite clue to their kitchen hygiene and freshness of the fish.
You know a seafood place is top-notch if you do not smell fish when that's what the majority of whats coming out of the kitchen. My first instinct was- This place initially feels like a tourist trap joint, but the decor is just a bit too formal, and the staff is reserved. I had to gave this place a try on the recommendation of a few locals after I related my Nick's experience.
Our server was quick and polite. The GF orders the Seared Sesame Tuna, & I order the sauteed Speckled Trout since I saw fishermen catching them last night on one of the piers. I know the Trout is local and fresh. It arrived hot, and tasty, and was cooked perfectly. I really enjoyed the lemon butter sauce; it really made the "dish", elevating it beyond "a good piece of fish" with vegetables... it was a true dish.
Her Tuna was awesome. She was asked how she wanted the Tuna cooked (another sign of a good restaurant), so she went with the chef's recommendation- rare. Good choice. It was seared just right. Served encrusted with light and dark sesame seeds, sliced and fanned on the plate- nice and hot. The Teriyaki dipping sauce had just enough bite to bring out the hearty flavors of the fish; it compounds nicely with the sesame seeds. The Asian influence is complete with the seaweed (not too salty at all). The slaw was a bit runny for me, but the flavors were clear, yet subtle... just nice.
I was surprised at how much like rare beef the tuna really was. I personally never would have had the guts to order it (I don't like sushi), but I am sooo glad I tried this dish. I would order it again in a heartbeat, from this place. Now I fear if I ordered rare tuna from another place- I will just be let down. It made that much of an impression on me.
So this place gets an excellent rating, not just because of the perfectly cooked fish, (both local trout and the northern Tuna).... but also their service. The service was always present, but they neither came by too much nor ignored you.
See my review of Nick's on the other side of the island (Seawall Dr). You will pay more here, but Olympia is definitely worth the extra money. I am a totally picky foody, and this is probably in my top 5 places for a really nice meal.