Frugal Find of the Week: Crenshaw Fish Market

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It’s doubtful there is a meal more universally enjoyed by the ethnic mélange that makes up South Los Angeles than fried fish (even when it’s not Lent). “You Buy, We Fry” is the common refrain among the numerous fish markets scattered along the southern stretch of Crenshaw Blvd, even as the names cycle: Kim’s Fish Market, Mel’s, Etna’s, Rick’s, Collin’s, etc. Locals will likely point you to one place in particular though, Crenshaw Fish Market, first opened in 1953. Most of the well-worn interior is dedicated to a frosty glass case filled with around 15 varieties of fresh fish, seafood, and if your happen in on the right day, monstrous pairs of frog legs. Technically, the fish is bought fresh and fried for free on request, though we doubt many turn down a coating in the pepper-flecked cornmeal batter. Filets of red snapper or catfish arrive jagged and crisp outside and give way to the flaky layers of fish beneath. Tail-on shrimp, especially the jumbo variety, are impeccably fried. Both are served with a helping of the addictive garlicky homemade tartar sauce. The sauce doubles as a spread on the fried oyster sandwich, which pairs tangy bread-and-butter pickles with a handful of briny, lightly fried oysters. Jalapeno-spiked hush puppies are twenty cents each. Cups of sweet, crunchy coleslaw are a dollar. Really, what more could you ask for?
3407 Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90016
(323) 734-6191