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Walking around El Segundo, I saw a sign that said El Segundo Fish Co was celebrating 15 years, so I stopped in to taste what has kept them in business for 15 years! I am so glad I did 🙂 The extensive menu has everything from seafood to fish, prepared in all the ways you could probably imagine. It reminds me a bit of the Reel Inn along the Malibu coast, casual, local, and friendly.

They had wild sea bass from New Zealand, so I ordered it blackened with a side salad and black beans. The salad was nearly a meal by itself! I didn’t care for the balsamic dressing, so I just used salt and pepper on it. I understood why so many people were taking their orders to go once I got to the bottom of my salad, I was nearly full 🙂

The side of black beans was so good, I could have also made a meal of of them! Whoever cooked them, knows exactly how to season and simmer these legumes to perfection. After one bite of the fish, I knew I would be coming back. It was moist, perfectly seasoned, and just cooked through. It was also a huge filet, and I took my time eating one small bite at a time until I finished the entire thing (I hear that is also how you eat an elephant)! I didn’t use or care for the buttery sauce on the side, so I was very glad I had ordered it blackened. There are also plenty of table condiments so you may custom season your meal.

I came back to try the shrimp, with a side of asparagus and rice, totaling $21, which was a bargain considering the amount of shrimp, but although I loved the asparagus, I found the shrimp over cooked, and the rice had a butter like flavor that I did not enjoy.

I tried a glass of Pinot Grigio, and was pleasantly surprised by the generous serving for $6, even more of a bargain on Sundays when all wines by the glass are half off (I prefer the Sauvignon Blanc after tasting both).

Since I love fried calamari $10.95, I had to try theirs, and it did not disappoint, with crispy batter and tender squid, this was delicious with just lemon and salt, although they offer a trio of sauces if you prefer. Even the appetizer portion is easily enough for two or more, so share it.

I had to order my favorite side of asparagus for $2.50 to round out my meal before braving the long 3 block walk home 🙂

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Sausal means Willow in old Spanish (before this area became part of the US, this was Alta California, as opposed to Baja California which is still part of Mexico). The old styles of ranch cooking over flames and wood are now used with fresh local ingredients to create the cuisine that epitomizes the best blending of the old and new world sensibilities.

Since The Yelp Elite event, Experience El Segundo, I’ve been wanting to come back and enjoy the small town hospitality and flavors. As fate would have it, I am moving here! I will now be a local in a town that is literally midway between my South Bay friends and my Valley friends! While I was sitting in both Sausal the the local cafe, Blue Butterfly, the people who walked in were ALL greeted by name (none of them were named Norm)! I am very much looking forward to becoming part of this community 🙂

Happy Hour at Sausal is EVERYDAY from 3-6pm and their margarita was one of the tastiest and strongest I’ve ever imbibed for only $6. It was brilliant to serve it with a half salt rim because drinking from the midway point gave me just enough salt!

One of the Happy Hour Specials was the batter fried shrimp taco for $4 that was piled high with crunchy slaw. I had to cut it in half to get a bite into my mouth!

Since I had not eaten lunch, I ordered the chorizo quesadilla for $7, that was big enough to share.

Did I mention, I had not eaten lunch? I also ordered the short rib empanada, perhaps my favorite $4 happy hour bite, filled with tender tasty beef, and surrounded by a perfect crunchy pastry.

My first Happy Hour experience was so good, I had to repeat it a week later, with a beef mole tostada, loaded with so much tender, delectable chunks of shredded beef that every mouthful made me smile:) Even more amazing than the flavor was the quality and quantity of the serving at Happy Hour of only $4.

I could have easily stopped eating after the beef tostada, but I wanted just one more bite, so I chose the wild caught crispy ling cod fish taco off the regular menu for $6.50. Served on a blue corn tortilla, with charred tomato crema, and lots of grape tomatoes, this may be one of be best fish tacos I’ve ever eaten!

For vegetarians or vegans they offer a cauliflower taco $6

The margarita was so strong, that I stopped by Blue Butterfly for an Americano before driving away. I think I’ve found two places where I will become one of the regulars they know by name:)

Paul Martin’s is about halfway between the South Bay and Los Angeles, so it was my last meal stop before returning home from my 3 day Beach Odyssey. It’s also very close to the airport (LAX), so it would be a great place to stop for a meal during a layover. I met my friend Shelly here and since she was pregnant with her second child, this was both a belated birthday and a prechild celebration.

Shelly had a cranberry and soda with lemon and said she was glad to get a different taste than her usual order of an Arnold Palmer (half iced tea and half lemonade). Shelly’s drink order made me want to try a Bistro “Champagne” lemonade made with house infused meyer lemon vodka, lemon juice and a touch of fresh basil topped with Piper Sonoma bubbles for $9. It was a refreshing balanced drink which had a nice minty taste (from the basil). Perfect for a hot day.

Shelly chose the soup and salad combo for $13 with the roasted tomato soup, cream finished with fresh basil pesto. It was so good, she literally pulled it away from the busboy who wanted to take it away with only a few spoonfuls left!

She also ordered a Caesar salad with chicken addition ($3). It had so much chicken compared to the romaine that it was more of a chicken breast with salad addition.

I chose the grilled prawn salad, with butter lettuce, pt. reyes blue cheese, candied walnuts, apples, maple vinaigrette for $16. This was a great combination, although I would have substituted goat cheese or feta for the blue cheese. The salad ingredients would have better suited red meat or even poultry, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The prawns were perfectly grilled and the dressing coated without overwhelming the salad.

It was great to see my friend and have a good meal. The only sad part was leaving the beach and saying goodbye to my friend, but that just means it’s time to plan another trip and another visit!
Paul Martin's American Grill on Urbanspoon

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