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22nd Street Landing

by Ron Hodges

Special to Travel Watch, September

If you’re a history buff, you might not make it past the back page of the wine list at 22nd St. Landing in San Pedro.

That’s where you’ll be fascinated to read the story of how Portuguese sailor Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo explored the nearby shallow waters in 1542… and why the bay was once called "Bahia de los Fumes…" and how in 1602 Sebastian Vizcaino renamed it "San Pedro" in honor of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishing… and about the founding of the Point Fermin Lighthouse following The Great Snowstorm of 1865… and about the removal of Deadman’s Island and the eventual development of San Pedro as a World Port.

But as far as I’m concerned, "history" is what I had for breakfast today. Live for the moment — experience is everything, I always say.

That’s why the first thing I did at 22nd St. Landing was dive headfirst into a platter of Fanny Bay oysters, an act not unlike diving into the ocean itself. Instantly, I was immersed in the bracing, briny salt taste of the sea, for me the most potent appetite stimulant in the world.

It was the perfect start to a most memorable dinner at 22nd St. Landing, a seafood grill and bar with a panoramic view of the new Cabrillo Marina located in L.A.’s outer harbor.

Looking out the restaurant’s huge windows, you’ll be riveted by the comings and goings of one of Southern California’s largest sportfishing fleets, as well as weatherbeaten commercial fishermen, lanky scuba divers returning from Catalina and thrill-seekers checking out the shark cages.

After appetizers, soup or salad, you should have your momentum going just in time for the main course — and that means choosing from a dozen fish "so fresh, they talk back to the Chef!" And a master broiler he is, using a blend of apple and citrus wood to infuse every filet with an amazing, subtle smokey flavor.

Extra-hungry diners might want to select from The Fisherman’s Platter that includes shrimp, scallops and fresh swordfish brochette or Live Maine Lobster, while ‘landlubbers’ have a number of steak, chicken and fish combinations to choose from, such as the traditional Surf & Turf, featuring teriyaki beef and swordfish.

I had the fresh Alaskan Salmon, a true revelation when compared with the drab, boring salmon so often served in many seafood restaurants these days. This is salmon that makes you remember what real fish tastes like — moist, tender, melting in your mouth, almost without having to chew it. The more I ate, the hungrier I became.

Savvy veteran restaurateur Dick Mannila (who developed the famed Rusty Scupper chain, among others) really knew what he was doing when he selected this site for what he calls "a super-fresh fish house modeled after the Tadich Grill in San Francisco."

Though it’s been open since 1989, 22nd St. Landing feels as if it has been there forever, with dark green leather booths and wood paneling that creates an ambience of quality and tradition.

22nd St. Landing
141 West 22nd Street
Cabrillo Landing, San Pedro

Phone: 310-548-4400

Ron Hodges
Restaurant Row Magazine
Editor, Co-Publisher
P.O. Box 13109
Long Beach, CA 90803

Phone: 562-438-6565
Email: mediapro@deltanet.com

This Article Copyright 2002 Restaurant Row, Ron Hodges. All Rights Reserved World Wide. Used with permission.

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