Catch

 Hotel Casa Del Mar • 1910 Ocean Way Santa Monica, CA 90405 • (310) 581-7714http://www.bytheblueseasantamonica.com/restaurants-catch.html

Screen Shot 2015-05-02 at 10.10.59 AM

Catch is quite the…well, catch. Easily the best restaurant of the Pico-Ocean Hotel Trifecta (Casa Del Mar, Shutters & The Viceroy). One, Coast and Whist simply don’t hold a candle.

For lunch I strongly suggest the lobster BLT. Now obviously it’s pretty hard to screw up lobster and bacon on a bun, but there are nuances that differentiate goodness from greatness. The lobster is moist and tender. The bacon crisp. And the avocado creamy. All met with the sweet airiness of the brioche and you’ve got the makings for a super sammy. Creamy and crunchy. Savory and sweet.

For dinner you will be surprised to hear that the sushi is pretty on point. Granted in LA you can almost get great sushi at a gas station, so perhaps it’s not that surprising. The rest of the menu isn’t half bad either, offering up things from land and sea like a delicious grilled octopus and a watermelon, feta salad that’s more refreshing than meeting a waiter in LA who isn’t also an actor.

3 teeth

A Fish Called Avalon

700 Ocean Dr. Miami Beach, FL 33139 • (305) 532-1727 afishcalledavalon.com

Honey.large

After hearing such swooning reviews both online and from our concierge, I was so hopeful for a less touristy seafood alternative to Joe’s Stone Crab. Well, those hopes were quickly dashed as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of the abyss. Lit up like a mini Vegas, Ocean Avenue is a hedonistic block party filled with patrons of ill repute, pumping techno music out of every orifice.

Fortunately Avalon itself is the classiest establishment on the strip, but to be fair that’s not saying a whole lot. Not that I should be picking on the setting, because truth be told that was the least of my issues. And boy do I have issues- with the snail-like service alone.

But had the food actually have been worth it I would’ve happily endured the aforementioned. Sadly, none of it was. Well, the octopus withstanding. It was actually pretty solid. Beyond that, however, I’ve had better seafood in many a land-locked state. MUCH better. And this is WITH ordering the local catch and specialty of the house, the macadamia crusted flounder with spinach risotto. It’s not bad. But “not bad” isn’t exactly what one would call effusive praise.

That said, the shrimp scampi was bad. Lacking any sort of impression on the palate. Not with garlic or spice. And while I appreciate the attempt to put a twist on the classic by adding avocado, the shrimp were as indecipherably bland as the “saffron” rice next to them. I use quotes because there was no trace of said saffron to be found anywhere. Not in taste, nor color.

Finally came the Key lime pie and yet another indigenous disappointment. Again second-rate, and I’m sorry, but when a national chain like California Pizza Kitchen bests you at a dessert for which you are supposed to have home field advantage, I think it’s time to question keeping it on your dessert menu.

If you have reservations here, cancel them. Go to Makoto in Bal Harbor, or Juvia on Lincoln. Both of them are better than A Fish Called Skip It!

2 teeth