Yellowfin Fish Grill - Irvine
There’s a fine line with fish and chips. Either they're great, or they're not. There are more of the not-so-great ones out there than anything else. They can be too oily, too dry, too mealy in the batter. One time, I went out of my way to an Irish pub that was supposedly famous for it. I left thinking I had better and kind of sorry I paid so much.
For me, good fish and chips tend to be stumbled into accidentally. I don't find good fish and chips; good fish and chips finds me. That's exactly what happened at Yellowfin Fish Grill in Irvine. The fish and chips there (which was actually served as part of a fried fish and shrimp combo with the fries as a side) was something I ordered because my lovely dining companion had already ordered something grilled. But my, am I glad she did, because if she hadn't, I wouldn't have discovered this. What a surprise! It was wondrous. White and flaky, moist where it counts and encased in a golden cocoon that seemed leavened by air.
I ate the thing like I'd never ate fried fish before. There was something about it, something buttery, and light, and all-around perfect. It reminded me of the trout they do at Thai Nakorn, all splayed out thin and fried greaseless. This was similar. And then there was that extra flavor in it that made it that much more irresistible. In reading the menu, I think they actually did put some of their garlic butter sauce on it...but then why was it still crispy? The shrimp was excellent too--tasting as though they were hand-breaded, not dropped into the oil carelessly from a pre-frozen package.
And oh, because they're relatively new (they took over Oceanic Fish Grill), they have these free, serve-yourself troughs of tortilla chips and salsa bar, which may be reason enough to try the place during this Lenten season.
Yellowfin Fish Grill
6404 Irvine Blvd
Irvine, CA 92620
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