TANIA: When Alex asked me if I wanted to join her for dinner at Ocean Market Grill in Long Beach, I said, “Hell yes!” even though it’s a bit of a trek for me. We used to be roommates, and now that she lives in San Diego, I gotta get my Alex time in any chance I get!
ALEX: I happened to be back at home for Thanksgiving and was so excited to have the opportunity to check out Ocean Market Grill. This style of a fish shop is one of my favorite things, and since I was an hour and a half closer to Tania than I usually am, I knew I needed her to join me!
It was a rainy evening, and after a quick hug in the parking-lot-turned-swimming-pool we hurried inside.
OCEAN MARKET GRILL
6332 East Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach, CA 90803
The interior is clean, minimalist, and casual, with nice lighting. They had the place decorated for Small Business Saturday as it happened to be the day after Black Friday.
The menu somehow managed to be both simple and expansive, with multiple options of fresh fish prepared with different cooking and presentation styles, seasonings, and sides. Not to mention all the appetizers and salads that are also available!
TANIA: To start with, Alex and I ordered the OMG fries, which are served with a topping of clam chowder and delicious bacon. Alex doesn’t eat bacon, so I was more than happy to take one for the team and finish every last bit! The fatty and crispy bacon bits added just the right amount of salt to go with the creamy chowder on top.
ALEX: As Tania very willingly ate all of the bacon off of these fries for me (what a great friend!) I started digging into the fries, and these did make me say OMG! I’m not typically a huge clam chowder fan, but I could not stop eating these. The fries held their crispiness well, and the addition of red potatoes made these unique and extra delicious!
TANIA: For my main dish, I was excited to see that Yellow Tail was an option, as that’s one of my favorite types of fish to eat. The Yellow Tail and Ahi are sushi-grade and come lightly seared. That sounded so good; I decided to try the tacos, one in each style.
I had the Yellow Tail lightly grilled with garlic butter in an OMG-style taco, served with cilantro aioli, romaine, and Watermelon Pico-de-gallo. This was my favorite taco of the two. It was light, fresh, and had a nice combination of bright flavors. The fish was also wonderfully flaky and tender.
For the Ahi taco, I had the fish blackened and served in a Cabo style taco prepared with Cabbage, Poblano Crema, Salsa, Pickled Onions, and a dusting of Cojita Cheese. This taco offered a much more intense and smoky Cajun flavor, which was good, but I thought it overpowered the flavor of the Ahi. Next time, I’ll pick a different fish such as Salmon or Rock-Cod to go with this style of taco.
For my side, I got brussels sprouts, and these were just delicious. I loved the crispy charred edges and with a zesty lemony flavor tossed in. The chips and salsa were also a nice side to go with my meal – I could tell the chips were made fresh.
ALEX: I attempted to regain at least some semblance of health after the OMG fries so I ordered the Paleo plate, and decided on my favorite fish mahi-mahi, blackened, to go along with the sweet baked yams and broccolini. The Mahi on this dish was prepared perfectly, and the seasoning had a little kick that added to the fish without overwhelming it. While these sides were both very simple, they were prepared so well, especially the yams, which I didn’t even need to dress up with any extras because they were delicious on their own!
TANIA: To finish off our meals, Alex and I decided to skip dessert and go healthy. We shared a CA Artichoke Salad which comes with half a grilled artichoke, mixed greens, tomatoes, charred corn, avocado, cojita cheese, radish, tortilla strips, cilantro, and tossed with a spicy ranch dressing. I thought the salad had a nice mix of flavors, and I liked the dressing in particular. And it came with a side of tasty, crunchy garlic bread – SCORE!
ALEX: It was so nice to see Tania and do what we do best (eat), and everything we tried was so fresh and prepared so well! I will be bringing my family back to this spot whenever I am in the area. Ocean Market Grill has something for everyone, from the healthiest in the bunch, to the one who wants to chow down on a seafood burrito!
TANIA: It’s always nice to share a meal with a friend, but even nicer when that meal is fresh, healthy, and doesn’t weigh you down. Ok… so we might have visited a candy shop across the street after our meal, but still.