Best Seafood Restaurants in Los Angeles: Everywhere Worth Trying Now

From East Coast-inspired fare to Italian-inflected raw bars and more.

seafood platter

Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime

We can all agree that seafood in the summer just hits different. There’s nothing like oysters in one hand with a glass of rosé in another while taking in a beautiful ocean view on a hot summer day. As a coastal city, LA has no shortage of seafood spots, from fine-dining establishments with extravagant raw bars to seaside shacks serving up fresh oysters. The hardest part is narrowing down your options, but lucky for you, we’ve fished for the best seafood restaurants in the city, so whether you’re craving a lobster roll or a whole branzino, you’re sure to find it at one of these 18 seafood spots in LA:

Ceviche Project
Ceviche Project

Silver Lake
Blink and you might miss this tiny ceviche outpost from lawyer-turned-restaurateur Octavio Olivas who hails from Mexico City. But that also means that everyone in the small space is afforded a front row seat as Olivas chops up fresh seafood and garnishes it with everything from lime and cilantro to yuzu gelée, serrano oil, trout roe, seaweed, and borage flowers—with daily rotating specials. Stop by Wednesday through Saturday between 4–6 pm to enjoy their happy hour with discounts on wine and raw bar items. There are a few sidewalk tables for those who prefer an al fresco experience.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

fish sandwich
@littlefish_echopark

Echo Park
We might be stretching the definitions of restaurant with the inclusion of this pandemic pop-up that’s grown a loyal following for serving up a one-item menu that includes a perfectly fried Koji-cured striped bass with Grillo’s pickles, American cheese, and Kewpie mayo on a Martin’s potato roll, but we’re happy to report that as of September you can enjoy an elevated, four-course, family-style dinner hosted at the home of Little Fish founders Anna Sonenshein, Forrest Florsheim and Niki Vahle, who launched the pop-up when they were furloughed from their restaurant jobs last September. The first edition of Dinner at Home with Little Fish has sold out, but you can still grab their sando at Smorgasburg on Sundays, and stay tuned for more dinner dates to be announced soon.
How to book: For Smorgasburg, walk-up or order delivery via Grubhub. Check their Instagram for dinner date announcements.

Culver City
You no longer have to drive all the way to Ventura to get a taste of this local legend. The bivalve specialist debuted a small oyster bar within Culver City’s newish Citizen Public Market when it opened last November. The 20-year old stalwart sustainably farms their own oysters locally in Baja California to produce a top-notch product. Choose from locally grown kumamotos, Laguna Bay selects or the rotating guest oyster, and enjoy them raw or baked with dipping sauces like habanero butter or miso aioli. There’s also a seasonal ceviche, scallops, uni and clams for those looking to build a heftier meal. Wash it all down with any of their various natural wines or craft beers.
How to book: Walk-in

Photo by Ashley Randall Photography, courtesy of Crudo E Nudo

Santa Monica
This small Main Street eatery was born out of a pandemic pop-up concept that proved to be wildly successful. The handwritten raw bar menu rotates constantly, but expect to always see seafood from sustainable, local purveyors highlighted in dishes like Hook & Line Tuna Toast with tuna tartare, new onion confit, shrimp stock, and black sesame on a seeded Gjusta loaf. Opt for the daily crudo and leave the choices to chef Brian Bornemann (Michael’s, The Tasting Kitchen), who uses a Japanese method called ikejime that allows the fish to dry properly, for a memorable selection of that day’s best fish doused in olive oil. Pair your selection with a biodynamic wine from the list. During the day, co-owner Leena Culhane operates Lenny’s, a coffee shop behind the restaurant that serves small-batch, fair trade coffee plus a limited pastry menu courtesy of Culhane and Gjusta Bakery, with profits going to organizations dedicated to social justice, such as BLM, Raices, and CASA.
How to book: via Resy.

Found Oyster Bar
Photo courtesy of Found Oyster Bar

East Hollywood
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior of this 26-seat hole in the wall that’s adjacent to a convenience store—it’s what’s inside that counts. The cozy bar (and raised outdoor deck) is a love letter to East Coast seafood shacks and traditional seaside bites, but most people come here for one thing and that’s the oysters. They’re straight from general manager Joe Laraja’s family oyster farm in Massachusetts, but the (short) menu also pays homage to seasonal West Coast produce in items like the scallop tostada, wedge salad, and bar steak. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, they also have some of the finest Ossetra caviar on the menu. A full list of seafood-appropriate wines, ranging from sparkling to skin contact and chilled red are also available.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

Manhattan Beach
After his initial success with M.B. Post, chef David LeFevre opened up his 32-seat oyster bar and seafood restaurant just a few doors down. Fishing with Dynamite is more casual than its South Bay sister restaurants that also includes The Arthur J, but the food served in this small, light-filled space is nothing less than fantastic. Raw dishes are the main attraction so expect oyster platters, Peruvian scallops, shrimp cocktail, and hamachi sashimi, but you won’t find a lobster roll here—blue crab and shrimp rolls are a modern take on the traditional seafood sandwich.
How to book: via OpenTable.

Malibu
The pop-up-turned brick-and-mortar restaurant tucked away in Malibu Village is a California take on classic New England seafood. They’re known for their lobster rolls, Pacific Gold oysters, snapper ceviche served with fried plantains, and live sea urchin if you’re feeling extra adventurous. The laid-back, nautical-themed restaurant pays homage to its coastal surroundings and draws a crowd on the weekends so head there early and expect to wait in line. If the drive to Malibu is too far, check them out Downtown at the Smorgasburg food market every Sunday.
How to book: Walk-ins only or order online.

lobster
AN | Crustacean Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills
This iconic, family-run, fine-dining restaurant has been drawing power lunch crowds for nearly 50 yearsit’s practically a Beverly Hills institution. As the name implies, Crustacean offers loads of crustacean dishes such as crab puffs, shrimp and lobster dumplings, garlic-roasted Dungeness crab, and other innovative Vietnamese dishes. Definitely try the fan favorite which are the signature garlic noodles with your choice of tiger prawns or Maine lobster.
How to book: On their website

Santa Monica
If you’re thinking this is a seafood market, you’re right, but it’s also a full-service cafe and market serving some of the freshest seafood in town. In fact, Santa Monica Seafood supplies seafood for a lot of local restaurants. At the cafe, grab a seat at the bar and throw back a few oysters, then order the cioppino—an Italian-American seafood soup that’s popular in the Bay Area, but Santa Monica Seafood serves one of the best you’ll find in LA. They’ve also got a nice selection of mostly California wines to pair your fish with and remind you what a perfect summer meal tastes like. Make sure to stop by the seafood case on your way out to pick up fresh fish for the week and try your hand at making ceviche at home.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Malibu
The Reel Inn is the kind of rugged fish shack off of PCH that you crave after a sweltering hot day on the beach. The menu is a seafood lover’s dream that includes (almost) every fish under the sea, with most items under $22. Choose your fish from a laundry list that includes halibut, seabass, ahi tuna, trout, mahi-mahi, and the list goes on and on. Then choose how you want the fish prepared (grilled, sauteed, or Cajun-style) along with your choice of two sides. Portions are pretty generous and can easily be split between two people, depending on how big your appetite is, or you can keep it all to yourself (we won’t judge). You can also buy fresh fish by the pound to grill at home.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome.

Silver Lake
L&E Oyster Bar is a cozy neighborhood hideaway that’s perfect for after work hours or a casual date. Sit at the bar, throw back a dozen chilled oysters, and then wash it all down with a cold, crisp beer or glass of Chardonnay. If you come here for nothing else but the oysters, you won’t be disappointed. Choose from oysters on the half shell or a fried oyster sandwich, but the menu also has other seafood-centric bar food like shrimp cocktail, smoked fish dip, a classic Louie salad, a lobster roll, crab cakes, and fish and chips. Like many of the other spots on this list, L&E gets fresh oysters shipped to them daily and their menu changes depending on what’s available.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

trout almondie
Photo by Erica Gould, courtesy of Son of a Gun

West Hollywood
This hip hideaway has outlasted a number of its culinary neighbors on West 3rd Street and that’s because it’s a high-quality seafood spot that turns out consistently good food. Shared plates include classics like lobster rolls, Kennebec fries, a smoked mahi dip, and peel-and-eat shrimp, plus comfort-driven dishes like a Nashville hot fried chicken and baby back ribs. Among larger plates are the linguine and clams and a big eye tuna in a leche de tigre marinade that’s so good you’ll want to drink it from a glass. And if you’re still not convinced you should check this place out, Joint Venture Restaurant Group, which is behind this seafood-centric eatery, is well-known for some of the city’s most iconic eateries like Jon & Vinny’s, Petit Trois, and the now-closed Animal so they know a thing or two about good food.
How to book: via Resy.

HALIBUT
Photo courtesy of Water Grill

Santa Monica
Water Grill is a classic seafood restaurant befittingly located along Ocean Boulevard. The expansive menu accommodates even the pickiest of eaters, so whether you like your fish in a salad, sandwich, sushi roll, raw, or grilled whole, they’ve got it all here. Check out the “First of Season” section on the menu which highlights freshly caught fish in season. Right now, they’ve reeled in Wild Alaskan Halibut straight from the Pacific Ocean and turned it into bold dishes like ​​marinated halibut collar, halibut cheeks, and pan-seared halibut.
How to book: via OpenTable.

West Hollywood
When you think of shopping malls you might think of greasy food courts and fast-casual chains, but Angler is unlike anything you’d expect at a big urban mall like The Beverly Center. The SF transplant from Michelin-starred chef Joshua Skenes, prides itself on a menu that is centered around two things: what’s at sea that day (i.e. the menu changes often) and wood-fire cooking. A selection of fish and meat are cooked over an open fire, or you can take your pick of oysters, clams, and other raw plates. You can also order shellfish like whole lobster or crab by the pound from aquarium tanks where the little guys are literally still swimming.
How to book: via Resy.

Catch restaurant
Photo courtesy of Catch Restaurants

West Hollywood
The West Coast outpost of this high-end seafood chain from NYC always seems to draw a line on Melrose Avenue no matter what day it is. Catch is notorious for serving up a scene alongside elevated seafood dishes, including their signature truffle sashimi, lobster mac and cheese, crispy shrimp coated in a spicy mayo sauce, and herb-roasted branzino. Reserve a table on the string-lit outdoor patio for dreamy sunset views against one of the city’s trendiest blocks. The terrace restaurant also has cocktail and wine menus, making it easy to lose time in this idyllic space.
How to book: via OpenTable

West Hollywood
This laid-back West Hollywood spot is the perfect place to visit when you’re craving carb-heavy seafood like fish and chips, crab cakes, and New England-style chowda’. It’s New England comfort food with a California twist, served in an airy space featuring an open kitchen and lots of al fresco dining that faces Santa Monica Boulevard. LA traffic views might not replace the coast of Maine, but the food is pretty darn close to traditional East Coast fare.
How to book: via OpenTable.

Ocean Prime
Ocean Prime

Beverly Hills
The upscale chain located in the heart of Beverly Hills is best known for their eye-catching shellfish towers, sushi, and other seafood delights like crab cakes and crab legs. The modern restaurant and lounge offers a wide selection of seafood options, but if you’re in the mood for surf and turf they also serve prime meats that pair with a long list of sauces they refer to as “accessories.” No requests are too big here. Ocean Prime prides itself on saying “yes” to any and all customer requests so if you don’t see something on the menu to your liking, chances are they can make it happen. There is also a “secret” menu which includes dishes like a bone-in Australian Wagyu Ribeye for a whopping $250. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio or check out the vibrant bar scene that gets pretty busy on weekdays.
How to book: via OpenTable.

West Hollywood
One might presume that the name of this restaurant refers to cod fish, but it actually stands for “catch of the day” which is synonymous with fresh. Here, the eclectic seafood menu is influenced by several regions in Asia, so you’ll see steamed dumplings, crispy walnut shrimp, and tempura sea bass beites alongside an extensive list of sushi rolls, sashimi, and a hodgepodge of other Asian-inspired dishes like pad thai noodles, Mongolian style beef, and tuna poke.
How to book: via OpenTable

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Leila Najafi is a contributor for Thrillist. 

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