The Seafood Grill
October 30, 2007
100 South Harbor Blvd., Suite D
Fullerton, Ca 92832
It is real close to the intersection of Harbor and Commonwealth, southeast corner of that intersection and a few doors down south, next to Knowlwood Restaurant.
Hours: Mon to Sat 11 am to 9 pm
Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.
Phone 714 446 0700
Lunch specials are $6 to $7.
The menu is broken down into sections as follows:
At least 12 appetizers ranging in price from $5 to $19.95, soups (only a couple), 6 salads, fish and chips, halibut fish and chips (market price), 6 tacos, 7 sandwiches, 3 pastas, 7 grill items, 6 entries, 4 steaks one with shrimp at a price range of $14.95 to $19.95, chef specials (4 items two at $13.95 and two at $14.95), child’s menu (3 items at $4.95), and finally beer and wine offerings in addition to iced tea and soft drinks.
This is not a large dining area but a very nice fast food look to it inside. There is a patio that has heat when needed. The tables and chairs are all wood and most but not all had curved tabletop edges. A knife and fork are rolled in a paper napkin. At night they put candles on the table and the lighting is brought down. Three ceiling fans keep the air moving inside. The kitchen is right behind the main ordering counter and a rather loud fan seemed to interfere with common conversations just a bit. I experienced at least three conversations that were not heard correctly. The women’s restroom is along one wall of the dining room, quite unacceptable. The men’s restroom was completely handicapped accessible.
When I arrived I was looking the place over and when I got close to the main ordering counter a man who said he was the chef asked to help me. I asked him what his best menu item was. He said all the items were good (wrong answer). I would not stand for that answer. He told me the halibut was fresh and would go out of season shortly. He said it was fresh. I asked if it was fresh or fresh frozen. He said it was really fresh. If he really was the chef, I would go with his recommendation. What arrived at my table was fish and chips. I was surprised, really disappointed that this guy could not show his cooking skills. The fish really did taste fresh but the dish was not remarkable in any way. The chips were ok and the coleslaw was average.
The iced tea came in a fast food cup with lid. The flavor was really odd: did not care for it. I asked about the flavor and a women next to my table remarked she did not like the flavor. They were not charged for their iced tea, very nice. I was charged for mine.
The meal came to $8.95for the fish and chips and coleslaw and $1.95 for the rather disappointing iced tea. With tax the total bill was $11.74.
The chef was all over the place taking care of everything going on in the dinning area, which I thought was a bit odd. He seemed really concerned that everyone approved of his or her experience. The waitress was very efficient too.
As the night progressed, they allowed me to type this review on my laptop, as most of the tables were empty. They could not see what I was writing as I had my back to the wall.
I noticed that the “chef” spent more time in the dinning room when patrons were in attendance than the kitchen. Looking at the stove area I could see two Hispanic looking gentlemen that were obviously preparing the meals.
This establishment is a bit strange to me. I have been told that it has a reputation for good fish. The strangeness comes about in my mind in that it is somewhere between fast food and the next step up to finer dinning. It has traits of both types of establishments. The candles on the table, muted lighting, non fast food menu, comfortable chairs and tables impressed me as being a lot more in tune with attracting a more mature client base. The soda machine in the dinning room, ordering at the counter (in some cases), noisy kitchen, paper napkins with no spoons included in the silverware package, and fast food drinking cups created a sort of inability for me to categorize this restaurant as anything other than fast food. I would have to guess that the clientèle coming to this place expect no more than a nice fast food experience. It is in the down town area and close to a bus type depot area and train station. I am thinking of commuters coming in for a fast meal. The parking at night is a chore at times, which might dissuade some large families with children, as the parking areas are quite dark. The problem for me is this. I noted that the night “crowd” seemed to be mature couples.
After leaving this restaurant I walked across a small inlet parking lot behind this restaurant toward the train station. I noticed a restaurant to my left that I had not seen before. I checked it out. It was called Commonwealth Lounge and Grill. I got to talk to a woman who was at the outside reception desk. She told me that the reason that downtown Fullerton had so many bars was because this is a college town. There are five colleges in Fullerton. Her restaurant is very up scale, with dress code. She told me that some of the more fancy restaurants in the downtown area started out with dress codes but removed them to allow the college students in as patrons. She said that Commonwealth was targeting the middle-aged person and the owners were not going to let their dress code slide. Now this restaurant is within a hundred feet of the Seafood Grill. The Seafood Grill, in the evenings, just might be sliding toward the more affluent customers coming into the city for a nice dinning experience. The customer base probably does change when the sun goes down with the working adult population looking for anything but fast food.
Summary: This restaurant is acceptable but not remarkable in any way. I did have fresh fish but a restaurant needs to offer me more than what I can fix at home. I would not bring a date to this place but a wife, maybe. I, quite frankly, would go to the Market Broiler or have salmon at the Claim Jumper.
Side story: A few weeks earlier my son and I were at the Starbucks at Harbor and Chapman. A women walked up to me to ask if I knew of a good seafood restaurant. I had to tell her that most of the establishments in town were bars with kitchens. Then I did remember of a fish place that was close to Commonwealth and Harbor, just a few blocks south of where we were at that time. I sent her down to the Seafood Grill (at the time I could not remember the name). It was nice to point a person to this place, better to have at least one seafood restaurant in a town than none.