Friday, July 1, 2011

Where To Eat: Fantastic Fried Fish @ Family Fish Market #2

Before I rant and rave about how splendid Family Fish Market #2’s lunch and dinner specials are, I’m going to take a moment to “keep it real.” I’ll be candid. The focus here is on the food, not on this tiny Inglewood store’s physical appearance. Clean and tidy, yes, but there’s nothing glamorous in any sense of the word about the space. Just a handful of plain folding chairs, a display case of raw fish and a lonely gumball machine await you, along with the owners, who always appear calmly ready to take your order.

So I’m just saying – when you pull into the 1300 Centinela Shopping complex and enter this one-room market, don’t expect bells and whistles to go off upon your arrival. Sorry, no shooting stars and cannons this time. It’s just a straight-forward kind of spot for really good fried fish at really low price points.

Now let’s dive into the good stuff. The lunch and dinner specials come with soooo much food for soooo little money. A whopping $5.45 for the lunch special gets you three pieces of fried fish, two sides and bread. The $6.99 dinner special (pictured to the right) buys you four to five pieces of fried fish, two sides and bread. They'll fries any type of fish your heart desires – red snapper, tilapia, catfish, filet of sole – nine different types of fish in total. Personally, my favorite is the catfish, but I do believe when it comes to fish, everyone has his or her own specific preference, so I say go with whatever you already know that you like (and if you’ve never had fried fish before, then go with the catfish for your first time). As for the sides, you can choose from French fries (my favorite), potato salad (my other favorite), macaroni salad, cole slaw, or hush puppies.

Let’s go deeper and get into the great stuff. The fish is tasty! Whether fried regularly or hard, it’s always fresh and tender. Its batter, a lovely golden brown, is richly flavorful and speckled with numerous spices. I’m not sure that I’m ready to say that Family Fish Market #2 is the best in Los Angeles because I know that would be larger-than-life shoes to fill, but I will say that out of dozens of fish markets I’ve tested out throughout the decades, this place is certainly up there.

So whenever I’m in the mood to pig out on fantastic fried fish that doesn’t sacrifice quality for low prices, I head to Family’s Fish Market #2. I’ll see you in the waiting room there soon!

Miss Wilson’s Tips:
- I highly recommend calling in advance to place an order so that you won’t be waiting for several minutes, bored out of your mind. But if you do get stuck there, you can find some interesting readings on local neighborhood activities and a few products for sale (pictured to the left).
- The process: call in, pick it up and enjoy in the comforts of your own home!
- Unfortunately, it’s not open on Sundays.
- There’s also the original location, Family Fish Market, in Carson (310.515.5352). I haven’t checked that one out just yet.



For more information:
Family Fish Market #2
1300 Centinela Ave., #102
Inglewood, CA 90302
310.680.4944/310.680.4994