Culinary travel in the West

Top 10 seafood restaurants

Here's where to find the best fresh fish, just a hop from the ocean's waves

Fish restaurant
Photo: Rob D. Brodman

1. PA'IA, HI

Mama's Fish House
Sure, Mama's is a bit more expensive than your average fish joint. But its Maui oceanside setting bordered by swaying palms puts it in the million-dollar-view category, making dinner seem like a bargain. The fish is wild, mostly local, and fresh, prepared in contemporary Polynesian style. Don't miss the Pua Me Hua Hana special: a platter of mahimahi sautéed in coconut milk, kalua pig, grilled banana, Molokai purple sweet potatoes, poi, tropical fruit, and fresh coconut. All that, and you don't have to sit through a bad luau. INFO: $$$$; 799 Poho Pl.; 808/579-8488. -Amy Traverso


Crazy Norwegian's Fish and Chips
Port Orford is the westernmost town on the Oregon Coast and is a bit of a trek from most places. But if the views along U.S. 101 aren't enough for you, the lightly battered, perfectly fried fish and rich housemade clam chowder at Crazy Norwegian's make the trip worthwhile. There is often a line at the wood-sided A-frame restaurant, but it moves quickly and you can use the time to decide which cookie, dessert bar, or local berry pie to order. INFO: $; 259 Sixth St.; 541/332-8601. -Molly Watson


When the fog pulls back, everyone shows up here. They grab mason jars of draft beer and head out to the picnic tables alongside a harbor bobbing with day boats to wait for the fish and chips. The moist, scalding Alaskan halibut encased in crisped batter dosed with Anchor Steam will erase anyone's bad Van de Kamps memories. The Saigon sandwich dolls up a Vietnamese street-food classic with grilled local salmon, and a big ol' pile of Tuscan white bean and tuna salad is filling and fresh. True, you'll spend twice what you might expect, but then again, you'll be happy you did. INFO: $$$, cash only; 350 Harbor Dr.; 415/331-3474. -Lisa Trottier



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