Culver’s California Fish Grill will get you hooked

Photo by Bailey Cooper

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It’s usually a very good sign to see crowded restaurants, especially when it’s an off time to have lunch or dinner.  The fast pace of California Fish Grill was instantly obvious upon entering, even at 8:30 p.m. Watching the silver trays with plates of grilled fish and steaming fire roasted corn on the cob go past us was enough of a reason to stay and wait out the long line.

Crisp looking Parmesan string beans, clam chowder, and breaded shrimp were a few of the starters that sounded appealing. Fish and chips, Rainbow trout and Cajun seared Ahi sounded tempting, making it a fun chore to decide upon a meal. The buzz in the restaurant made us feel there must be something special going on.

We seated ourselves at the smooth, brown wooden tables and took in the wonderful smells and charm of the modern interior. Being able to help ourselves to a bar of fresh salsas, tartar sauces, lemon slices and cilantro added to our experience.

The beverage station offered a line of sodas claiming to have no corn syrups or artificial ingredients.

Wild-caught salmon was our choice accompanied by sides of either rice, beans, coleslaw, or grilled zucchini. Brown rice, sweet potato fries, brussels sprouts and more could be had for an additional charge, which was a bit disappointing.

Ahi Tuna, Giant shrimp, Catfish, and even Swordfish were among the grilled specialties. The sauce options included garlic butter, seasoned olive oil, Cajun style, or chimichurri sauce. We chose the olive oil for the salmon, and beans and white rice as sides.

There was only a short wait before we received our grilled salmon entrée, which was delicious because it was both flaky and flavorful and not at all dry.  Salmon can be hit-or-miss, however, this salmon was savory and cooked perfectly. The ample amount of white rice and pinto beans tasted freshly prepared and heat from the salsa took it up another notch.

The meal was made even more enjoyable by having read the reassuring statements behind the counter stating that the fish and seafood is sourced responsibly and much of it is wild-caught.

For a reasonably priced, gratifying meal, California Fish Grill was well worth our time. Next visit, I plan to sample the tacos which looked picture perfect and a brownie for dessert.

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