45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4) -- and probably beyond, at this rate -- we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
A. Scattergood pescado zarandeado at Coni'Seafood
45: The Pescado Zarandeado at Coni'Seafood.
The pescado zarandeado at Coni'Seafood in Inglewood has long been the stuff of near-legend in this town. It's been blogged and written about for years, before chef Sergio Peñuelas decamped from the Mariscos Chente in Mar Vista to his current location of Coni'Seafood in Inglewood -- which still has the name Mariscos Chente on the restaurant receipts. For the uninitiated, the dish is popularly called snook, which has a glorious Dr. Seuss ring to it that very much suits what shows up on your table, sometimes a good half-hour after you order it, depending on the crowd.
Much as it sounds like one, a snook isn't a cartoon fish, but a mild white coastal fish also called a robalo; it's also oddly popular with the US Navy, which named three submarines after the fish, including two called the USS Snook. (Wouldn't you?) At Coni'Seafood the fish is served butterflied and seasoned (salt, a "house sauce") and grilled over a hot fire until the still-intact fins and tail are quite nicely blackened and the fish itself is fragrant and flaky and utterly tender, then presented on a metal half-sheet pan, as if it were a batch of cookies just pulled from the oven.
There are slices of raw red onions and cucumbers thrown causally over the top. A bowlful of mysteriously seasoned cooked onions and a stack of warm tortillas are set down nearby. You pull apart the bits of fish, watching for the many bones, add some onion or the terrific kelly green jalapeño sauce that came with your chips, and roll it all up in a tortilla. Sure, you can order the smoked marlin tacos or the tacos al gobernador or one of the many excellent camarones dishes -- but probably save that for another time. Depending on the weight of your snook (you can order different sizes), you won't need anything else.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles
99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1
98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil
97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.
96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche
95: Duck Shawarma at Momed
94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa
93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen
92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord
91: Baco Mercat's Bazole
90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame
89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence
88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market
87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane
86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post
84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun
83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co
82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus
81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza
80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant
79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan
78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat
77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho
76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure
75: Porcetto at Sotto
74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense
73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses
72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms
71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away
69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
67: Son of a Gun's Uni and Burrata
66: Pastrami Reuben at Art's Delicatessen
65: Beef Koobideh at Kabab Mahaleh
64: The Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
63: Slippery Shrimp at Yang Chow
62: Whole Channel Island Red Sea Urchin at Water Grill
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge
60: Huckleberry's Green Eggs & Ham
59: Pickled Watermelon Salad at L&E Oyster Bar
58: Spaghettini with Abalone, Pickled Cod Roe and Truffles at n/naka
57: Brown Brown Bread Ice Cream at Scoops Westside
56: Smothered Chicken at R and R Soul Food
55: Duck Fried Rice at Jar
54: Taco Sampler at Guisados
53: The Sycamore Kitchen's Double BLT-A Sandwich
52: House Wonton Soup at China Café
51: Almond Croissant at Proof Bakery
50: The Southern Fry at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
49: The Dodger Dog at Dodger Stadium
48: Papaya Salad at Krua Siri
47: Lucky Baldwins' Traditional Full English Breakfast
46: Edomae Tendon Bowl at Hannosuke
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