Having dined at Providence – perhaps L.A.’s ultimate seafood restaurant – we knew we’d be in for a great lunch from the moment we stepped into chef/owner Michael Cimarusti’s more casual West Hollywood eatery. Named after his parents, Connie & Ted’s serves simply prepared fish and shellfish “inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars and fish houses that dot the New England Seaboard and Western Coast.”
We decided to throw the kiddies a (fish)bone and come with for our 19-year dating anniversary outing. We were shown to a mid-high-top table across from the fishmonger/bar counter (there’s also a nice outdoor patio) and the fish-tivities began! Oysters were a must so I chose from a daily fresh selection ($3 per) served with horseradish and mignonette sauce; Troy experienced his very first raw oyster and gave a thumbs up after slurping it down! He and I then moved on to devour “Joanne’s Fish & Chips” — batter-dipped cod, tartar sauce and chips ($21). It was without a doubt one of the best batters I’ve ever had on a fish ‘n chip dish. Meanwhile, Xander was happy as a clam with his fried calamari app ($10).
The girls ordered a Fried Pacific Oyster sandwich with cole slaw and spicy mayo (Irene) and a Little Gem Lettuce salad prepared with cherry tomatoes, hard-cooked egg, bacon and blue cheese (Miss A).
We even caught a glimpse of Cimarusti himself as he ducked into a doorway off the bar (we proceeded to tell the kiddies how we actually chatted with him after our unforgettable Providence dinner). Over at the live lobster tank, one of the oyster bar chefs scooped out a large specimen and plunked him (her?) down on the stainless steel countertop so the kiddies could get a closer look. Troy and Xander were also entertained by a live sea urchin moving its menacing spines ever so slightly in the seafood case – a short time later to become someone’s delicacy.
A sizeable staff is at the top of its game here; for dessert, our server recommended the Blondie with vanilla ice cream and a salted caramel sauce that was the cherry on top of the entire Connie & Ted’s experience.