Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Slapfish has finally opened another OC restaurant, and the lucky city is Laguna Beach. I'm excited because this cuts down on my drive time by at least twenty minutes to their original Huntington Beach spot. This means their chowder fries are closer, their crispy fish sandwiches are within reach, and if there's a good wind, I can almost smell their lobster rolls. Okay, maybe that one's a stretch, but you get the point. I'm pretty excited to have a closer Slapfish.
For those of you that are not familiar with Slapfish, they describe themselves as a modern seafood shack, one which prides itself on serving fresh seafood, from responsible and well managed sustainable suppliers. They reason that sustainable just tastes better, and after eating here, you can not argue that fact. Started as a food truck, Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude opened their first brick and mortar spot off of Beach Boulevard in 2012. Now they are aggressively planning to franchise. They have already opened a Slapfish in the Middle East, with 50 more planned over there. Along with those, they are also planning on opening more across Southern California, along with the rest of the US. Some local spots I have heard whispers about are Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Newport Beach, but for now we have Laguna Beach.
This location is just right across the street from Main Beach Laguna. Kind of in a funky food court, closest to the intersection of Broadway and PCH. They are neighbors with an Asian restaurant and a gas station, and right around the corner from Carmelita's. This Laguna location is a more stripped down version of their Huntington Beach restaurant. Yes, they still have a lot of your favorites; fish tacos, lobster rolls, and chowder fries are all still here, and they also have a step by step ordering process where you choose your dish, (sandwich form, fish and chips, or salad), then you pick the kind of fish you want, and then select whether you would like it grilled or crispy. The night we were here they were offering Hake, Mahi, or Shrimp for the build your own meal option. These are subject to change based on availability though.
This Slapfish restaurant is pretty small, with a good majority of the seating occupying the back wall, which features bar seating. There is however a very nice patio out front, which I can imagine will be the place to be for us quite a few times during this summer. I came to Slapfish real hungry, so I could not wait to start eating. Let's see how everything came out for us.
Something I have never had at Slapfish before, but have always wanted to try is their Lobster Dip N Chips ($4). This creamy dip definitely had the lobster vibe going for it. This dip was very rich, with little hunks of lobster running throughout it. I am also a fan of the chips served here. On this night they were very fresh, crispy, and seasoned with maybe a light chili powder? Whatever it was, we made quick work of this very good dip.
One of the times we visited the Huntington Beach Slapfish, Katie had the Major Crunchy Sandwich ($8), and I remember her giving me one bite, and me wanting a lot more. I made a vow that this would be the night that I had my own crispy fish sandwich. The fish they use here is Hake, a relative of the cod family, and pretty popular in Europe. This sandwich was as good as I remembered it. Crispy on the outside, and the hake inside was nice and tender. You have your choice of six sauces on this, but you need to have the Awesome Sauce with this sandwich. The sauce is creamy, with just a hint of smokiness. Really a well made sauce. The sandwich is then topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickled onions, and sandwiched between a very well made brioche bun that does an admirable job keeping everything together here. The meal is rounded out with some well seasoned potato chips. This sandwich was so rich, it even filled me up, which is pretty rare.
Okay Katie and I did not really differ too much with our orders on this night, guess it was bad planning on our part. Anyways, she had the Grilled Mahi Sandwich ($9). This sandwich, like mine came with a choice of sauce, and she went with the Jersey sauce, which is a creamy lemon herb. This sauce was not overpowering, but added just enough flavor to compliment the fish nicely. The sandwich was also topped with tomato, lettuce, and pickled onions, just like my sandwich. Katie really liked this sandwich, and was happy they had a grilled option, which cut down on the richness a bit.
Even though I came here very hungry, and only ordered a sandwich and the lobster dip, I left here full. Not overly stuffed, but very content. The sandwiches at Slapfish are deceptively filling, and will satisfy even large appetites. We did not get it on this visit, but do not miss the Chowder Fries, and now you can add a fried egg to it for even more decadence. Sounds like we will be making many more trips here during the summer, unless of course they want to open one closer to our house, like say, Mission Viejo. No pressure, just a thought.
We would like to thank everyone at Slapfish for the opportunity to come down and see their new place. We are very excited to see what the bright future holds for you guys. We would also like to thank Mona and Talia of Moxxe Public Relations for thinking of inviting us to another one of their great events. We had a great time, and will be back soon.
For more information about Slapfish, go to their website here: http://www.slapfishrestaurant.com/