Classic Tables: Fisherman's Outlet

Celebrating downtown's 52 year-old seafood shack

Charbroiled or fried?

That's the choice that looms as you approach the counter at Fisherman's Outlet, open since 1961.

This nostalgic fish market is miles from the ocean, but its proximity to L.A.'s seafood-supply district has made it one of the city's most beloved lunch spots.

So although you can pick up fresh lobster, tilapia or swordfish by the pound, most customers prefer to order the jumbo-size seafood plates, cooked to order.

Popular choices: grilled salmon with mango salsa ($13), cajun-seasoned scallops with rice ($18), or gigantic prawns, split and grilled, slathered in garlic butter ($18).

Our favorite? The Fisherman's Sampler ($12), a mound of crunchy fried shrimp, strips of fried catfish, and juicy Maryland-style crab cakes served over fries and coleslaw.

Supplement oyster crackers and a cup of the Outlet's well-stocked clam chowder ($3)–red or white, naturally–on blustery days.

Finding a seat on the brick-lined patio is a bit easier now that Lent is over, but expect to bump elbows with a cross section of Downtown diners.

From Bunker Hill lawyers to Eastside truck drivers, someone is always happy to pass the tartar sauce.