Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seafood SUPER Market

Captain Kidd's, 209 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach 310-372-7703

Captain Kidd's is not a dress-up place. The entrance has long glass counters on the left with either seafood on ice or steam tables with soups plus a fry kitchen across the aisle. The dining rooms have stout tables and benches. There's a patio outside with umbrellas. Big parking lot, too. This is the place where the yacht staff comes to pick up dinner while the owners lounge on deck, swilling champagne.

You can order a sandwich (choice of fish) or a dinner. While they cook it, you pick out the sides you want with it - salad (choice of four dressings,) potato or macaroni salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, French fries, rice pilaf, hush puppies and more.

"Exotic" fish are listed separately -- Fiji albacore tuna or wahoo; New Zealand Orange Roughy, Oregon Sole. Some of the not-so-exotic are: San Diego Tlapia*, Idaho trout or Morro Bay shark.

Platters include shrimp, squid, clams, oysters, scallops -- and chicken strips. Becuse they've got all the ingredients on hand (47 kinds of fish!) they also make cioppino (small, medium, large and a take-home quart) and paella. They'll cheerfully steam littleneck clams or New Zealand mussels. There are seven different meals for children.

I walked along a cold counter and admired the lobsters on offer. They were Maine, local spiny and Australian. The Australian tails are dense with meat -- our American lobsters looked.. well, skimpy.

I was surprised to find a wine list with 17 wines plus three house wines (all Crystal Lake.) Prices are really reasonable -- three of the wines are $19/bottle, but the rest are priced down to $16/bottle. A glass of the bottled wines runs from $4.25 for 9 ounces to $7 for 12 ounces.

Some names amused me -- Menage a Trois White, anyone? It's a blend of Chardonnay moscatro and chenin blanc. Perhaps you'd prefer a Smoking Loon Chardonnay? I was delighted to see two old friends - Liebframilch (Dillman) and Gewurtztraminer (Angeline.)

Proof there are bargains here? Their shrimp cocktail is five huge shrimp, positively glistening with freshness, a chunk of lemon and a cup of sauce for $6.50. Restaurant shrimp cocktails start at $12 and go up. 'Nuff said ...

* It's tlapia, not tilapia. The "i" was added only because American's can't pronounce "tlapia."

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