Fantastic Fresh Fish in Oxnard, CA
We came across a real gem in Oxnard yesterday and I just had to share!
Fishermen’s Catch, Oxnard, California
1185 S. Victoria
Oxnard, CA 93035
My brother, Gary, who is visiting from San Diego, CA, had some recollection of going to a fish market in the Oxnard Harbor years ago, and thought it would be a fun family outing to take a drive and walk around the harbor, and just “find a place” to get fresh fish and chips.
Maybe not the best choice two days before Christmas, with a 50% chance of rain.
This was the car ride from hell.
In trying not to be my usual control-freak self, I didn’t check my toddler’s car seat (since I didn’t put her in myself), and the straps were totally twisted. This is probably why her head was bobbing up and down like a bobble-head doll in the bumper to bumper, stop-start, jerky drive! Holding her head upright while she napped did not help the tingling sensation I have had in my back for the last few weeks. (Though I did appreciate not having to listen to her whining the whole way there.)
So on one side I had the bobble-head-toddler, and on the other side an extremely grumpy husband. (I convinced him that we should schlepp out there, even though he insisted it would be cold and rainy and was a bad idea.)
He didn’t even have to say “I told you so,” as the GPS took us on a 45 minute detour off the freeway in the freezing rain—after the hour and a half of bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. Not fun.
The first place to come up in a Google search was Sea Fresh.
It looked pretty good, but not quite what my brother remembered. According to the owner, the fish market that my brother was thinking of was so dirty, that some folks he had directed there a few weeks ago returned to eat at his restaurant instead.
A couple of locals who were walking into Moqueca—the Brazilian restaurant (which they raved about) on top of Sea Fresh—gave us very vague directions to a “Fisherman’s Market.” After some research on my iPhone—with 1% of battery power totally stressing me out—we figured that they must have been talking about Fishermen’s Catch in Seabridge Marketplace, Channel Islands. We, of course, managed to get lost—mostly because the address on google is incorrect. (See below)
When we FINALLY pulled up—after being on the road for hours, everyone grumpy and irritable—I was really disappointed to find the final destination in a strip mall, next to a Coffee Bean.
Not exactly what I had imagined.
But as you walk in and see the huge tanks—one filled with gorgeous crabs and the other with beautiful lobsters—you realize that this is the real deal! This is “fresh fish” personified!
The locals were coming up to us with rave reviews about everything.
Nick, the owner, couldn’t have been nicer. I was undecided about what to order, and he had his line chef fry up a few pieces of calamari (caught by his cousin) for me to taste. Definitely the best calamari I have ever eaten!
I decided to try the lobster (in an effort to make a healthier choice), which was outstanding and reasonable; $24.95 for a 1 1/2 lb Maine lobster, which came with two sides. I, of course, had to tweak it as much as possible, and they brought me a large, fresh salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and very tasty, fresh, stir fry veggies.
I wasn’t sure what to say when my toddler, Aja, looked at my lunch and said, “mommy, that lobster looks like the lobsters we saw in the tank.” Hmmm.
The fish and chips (Nick recommended the cod) was outstanding. Crispy and fresh, and not at all greasy.
Excellent fries too.
My dad, Boetie, is visiting from South Africa, and his absolute fav is Clam Chowder. (He says that you can only get the canned version in South Africa—surprising when they are known for their wonderful, fresh seafood.)
So when we heard that they are famous for their clam chowder (and it doesn’t have bacon in it) I knew this was definitely meant-to-be!
Nick showed us pics of him and his family fishing, going back three generations. He and his son go fishing every morning, and their main business is selling their catch. They opened up the restaurant a few years ago and have now expanded to 60 seats because it is so popular.
I have to warn you that the address on Google is incorrect—it is NOT 3960 Tradewinds Drive!
Nick’s daughter, Robin, explained that the city changed their address to make it easier to find, and ironically everything got messed up and now it’s really impossible to find. But it is WELL worth the effort.
I was SO HAPPY that this story had a happy ending!
1. Trust my motherly instincts—even if people think I’m a control freak!
2. Plan ahead and print out directions in advance—even if people think I’m a control freak!