SlapFish Opens Second Location in Laguna Beach
Sustainable Seafood Restaurant, Slapfish, is on a major expansion
My longtime Tom’s Foodie Blog fans will remember that one of my very first blog posts was about a little known gourmet food truck called Slapfish, that specialized in fresh sustainable seafood. Since then, Owner Andrew Gruel has taken this aspiring food truck to multiple locations. The first brick and mortar was his shop in Huntington Beach, which opened in 2012. The newest location recently opened in Laguna Beach at 211 Broadway Street. The near future will bring Slapfish across Orange County by the end of 2014.
Laguna Beach Slapfish is a true beach seafood shack
Slapfish is still one of my all-time favorite orange county restaurants, Chef Andrew Gruel truly understands how to treat a piece of fish and transform it to a flavor bomb that still paying homage to the fish’s natural flavors.
Their third location in Laguna Beach location is a true seafood shack. Located just steps away from the beach, the third Slapfish location has a small footprint and focuses on the “Grab n’ Go” concept. The Laguna Beach Slapfish appeals to the beach crowd who wants to quickly grab some food and head out to the beach or relax on the patio after spending a day in the sun.
The menu at the Laguna location is distilled down to the basics, in true seafood shack style. You choose your fish and cooking style (crispy or grilled) and how you want it served, “slapwich”, taco, roll. The sustainable fish rotates as with the season and what is currently available. The day I visited the options were Hake, Mahi and Shrimp. Some of Slapfish’s best selling items are also available, including delicious lobster roll, chowder fries and fish and chips.
What We Ordered at the Laguna Slapfish
The original lobster roll is what helped make Slapfish famous. The lobster roll uses a buttery roll and is piled up with fresh lobster that is pops out of the roll. What I like is that every single bite of the lobster roll is bursting with lobster meat. The Slapfish lobster roll is in your face lobster from the first to last bite.
Although it is dressed with mayo and butter, the lobster takes center stage in this dish. Keep in mind that this is not a giant Subway 6 inch long roll, rather it is 4-5 inches. Don’t fret, the Lobster roll makes it up in girth. Don’t forget it is not the size of the ship, but rather the motion of the ocean and the Slapfish lobster roll give my mouth a small ship advisory. You sunk my battleship! I want more! This dish is Market Price, so check before you order. Note: you can also get your lobster roll (or any dish) protein style, served on lettuce.
Perhaps one of the better dishes to come off the food truck is their tacos. This is their shrimp taco modification with the shrimp, just as with the lobster it is overloaded with shrimp and fixins.
The shrimp is well seasoned and grilled and accompanied by cabbage and awesome sauce. The flavor of shrimp is the top flavor on this dish and is is supported by tortilla and accompaniments. One taco and the accompanying shrimp is enough to fill me up for lunch.
Crispy Mahi Slapwich
The slapwich option for the fish is equally as delicious, although if I get the sandwich format, crispy is MUST for me as the crispy deep fried exterior is a perfect match against the soft texture of the mahi.
The fried fish filet is served between a fluffy and buttery brioche, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and their “awesome sauce.” You can customize your sandwich with any type of sauce from their menu including:
Awesome Sauce - creamy smoked pepper
“Jersey” - creamy lemon herb
Rooster Cocktail - siracha spiked cocktail sauce
Tangy Grill Sauce - bbq
Tartar Sauce - classic housemade
Signature Salsa - tomato style
This dish is awesome for two reasons, first they hand cut their own French fries and second it is made with their uber delicious house made , from fresh shucked clams , chowder. By itself, their clam chowder is perhaps one of the best in Orange County. The chowder fries are topped with a healthy dose of bacon bits .
I personally like to customize this dish. First, ask for your bacon on the side, so that you can control your bacon to chowder ratio. Second, Add a fried egg on top J J. Lastly, ask them to drizzle some awesome sauce on top! The result is a little bit of bliss. The pictured version above is the standard version.
Laguna Beach Location (know before you go)
If you are a little confused where 211 Broadway Street is located, it can be a little trick if you do not know what you are looking for. First of all, it is not facing the street. It slightly tucked off broadway into a micro food court of two restaurants. Look for the Slapfish umbrellas.
Slapfish only uses sustainable seafood in their dishes and bends over backwards to ensure they are using sustainable seafood. Slapfish works closely with multiple organizations to ensure they are utilizing the most current data on over-fishing, harmful fishing practices and responsible fishfarming.
My Final Thoughts
Expect some really big things from Slapfish in 2014 and into 2015. The Laguna Beach is just the starting point for an aggressive expansion plan that already has a location in the Middle Eat. The Laguna Beach Slapfish is a welcome addition to South Orange County Residents who had a hard time making it to Huntington Beach, although if expansion plans go as planned, folks further hands might have their hands on a late night lobster roll in Mission Viejo or Irvine soon. Fingers Crossed.
Slapfish Address: 211 Broadway Street, Laguna Beach, Ca
Slapfish Laguna telephone: (949) 716-0464