June 11, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Fish Grill: Simply Delicious

In 2024, we have many types of kosher restaurants. There are plenty of the old classics around (Chinese, Israeli, Pizza, Bagels) to go with the new staples (steakhouse, smokehouse, burgers, dairy Italian) that make up most of our kosher landscape. Sometimes we even get interesting new entries that excite us (new ethnic cuisines, fusion restaurants, etc.).

But today’s restaurant isn’t any of those. It’s not a typical kosher restaurant type. It’s not new, it’s not complicated, and it’s not fancy.

The Fish Grill is exactly what it sounds like. They grill fish. Fine, that’s not the entire menu, but it is most of it. You know how some people say not to order fish in a meat restaurant because you never know if the kitchen knows what they are doing? Well, this is the place to order fish. They not only know what they’re doing, but they’ve been doing it for quite a while.

Mesquite grilled sea bass

The first location opened in 1986 in California and they have a well-maintained reputation as one of the best places to grab a bite if you’re in Los Angeles. After opening a restaurant in the Lakewood area in 2019, they decided to expand to Brooklyn, where they opened in a new location earlier this year.

When I was invited to check out the Brooklyn location, the first thing I noticed was how unpretentious yet clean and fresh everything was. Food came on paper plates, but this was no greasy spoon.

My most basic recommendation goes to the Mesquite Grilled Sea Bass. It was grilled to perfection with a house blend of seasonings (don’t try asking, they won’t tell you) and was one of the best pieces of fish that I’ve ever had. The flavor is different from your more common fish like the ahi tuna or the salmon, and the texture differs as well.

House-made chips with guacomole and
pico de gallo

Any type of grilled fish on the menu can be served on a plate with two sides (I’d recommend either the fries and salad or the chips with pico de gallo and guacamole), in tacos, on a sandwich, in a wrap, on top of a plate of pasta, or on top of a salad. I don’t really think you need my help when it comes to how you want to eat your fish; that probably depends most on your personal taste and your mood on the given day. Make your meal what you will.

If for some reason you find yourself at Fish Grill and don’t want to eat fish (maybe you got lost or have been kidnapped by people with great taste), order the Penne alla Vodka. It was super creamy and had a great consistency, which was impressive for a non-pasta restaurant. This is probably also a safe bet if you have brought along a toddler who has chosen this moment to decide that they are an anti-pescitarian.

Penne alla vodka

As great as the grilled options are, some of the non-grilled options are also of noteworthy quality. Fish and chips is classic and this version is everything you’d hope it would be. Two filets of pollock are fried and served over the house-made fries with some coleslaw, tartar sauce, and ketchup. Much like many things at Fish Grill, it’s simple, perfectly executed, and delicious.

Though you could choose to order grilled fish for your bowl instead, I’d recommend getting a poke bowl with the traditional raw fish. You can select your base of rice or lettuce (I generally go half and half), choose ahi tuna or salmon (again, I’d go 50/50), and then select from their plethora of toppings and sauces. When mixed together, my bowl was so good that I had to remind myself to leave room to try other food. As always, poke bowls are only good when the ingredients are fresh. If that’s anywhere, it’s here.

Fish and chips

My last recommendation is somewhat off the menu, but ask for the fish poppers. These bite size chunks of pollock are tossed in a sweet and spicy house sauce and served on top of white rice. Somehow the result is as tasty as the recipe seems effortless. The rice was light and the poppers were crunchy, the sauce was balanced, and I somehow didn’t miss the usual chicken involved.

The Fish Grill logo says “simply the freshest” and that can’t be understated. They only serve fish they got that day. That means that despite being a diary restaurant, they don’t open Saturday night. It also means running out of a type of fish sometimes. But it is a concept to which they are dedicated. They make whatever they can in house (including things that would be easy to buy, like the fries and the chips).

Poke bowl

So whether you’re in New York, New Jersey, or California, go try Fish Grill. Whatever you end up with will be fresh, tasty and you likely won’t find it anywhere else.

Fish poppers

 

Fish Grill Brooklyn

Nati Burnside is a freelance writer living in Fair Lawn and is a man of many interests. He can be reached at [email protected].

 

 

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