Last weekend, when I was home, my mom and I spent the whole day together. We went for a walk, we went shopping, we even went to see a chick flick. When the movie let out around 9 PM, we decided we were hungry and wanted to keep the bonding time going, topping our day off by stopping for a bite to eat.
My mom suggested we go to a new place on Pacific Ave. She’s been there three times this past month, she said. That’s unusual for my mom unless she really likes the place, and I’m always up for trying somewhere new, so I had no protest.
We pulled up outside of Goodfish Grill. Not wanting to be those people who come in ten minutes before the restaurant closes only to sit down and have a five-course, two-hour dinner, we checked the hours at the door and noticed the restaurant was open till 11 PM.
This was a good thing considering the good-vibe atmosphere surrounding the place and the walkup bar facing Pacific Ave., which grabbed my attention before we even walked in the door. There was no window, no glass covering—just a bar to the left side of the restaurant where one could come in off the street if he or she wanted for a casual drink.
Wanting to sit at a table and save the bar experience for another time, my mom and I walked in the door. I immediately took to the inside of the restaurant. It was quaint and charming, with warm brick walls and dimmed lighting. Not too big, the place reminded me of a little nook you would stumble across in New York City—a hole in the wall that you don’t really know about, but you go in anyway because you know those restaurants turn out to be the best restaurants. And when you leave, you’re more than satisfied. The experience and the food leave you amazed as you walk out the door. That’s how I’d describe Goodfish. It’s small, but welcoming and relaxing, and it serves for an intimate eating experience.
We were the only ones in the restaurant, but the waitress didn’t seem to mind. She greeted us as if we were sat at prime-time dinner hours, before explaining their specialty drink menu and some choice appetizers they had on their menu. My mom already knew what appetizer she wanted, having gone before.
We ordered “The Painkiller” for a drink, sort of like a pina colada, but with a touch of flair. Our appetizer, the lobster popcorn, came out five minutes later. Now I don’t like seafood. I don’t care what kind it is, where it comes from, how it’s cooked, what it’s breaded in, what sauce comes with it. But I do try everything once, and with my mom’s urging, I popped one in my mouth. Then I popped another one in my mouth, and then another, and then another…enough said.
Being the only ones in the place, we decided to order sandwiches for our entrees, and by the time the lobster popcorn digested and our entrees came out, we were starved. I ordered the grilled veggie panini, with asparagus, roasted red peppers, squash and zucchini dipped in a chipotle vinaigrette on bread, and my mom ordered a fried shrimp po boy. We both cleared our plates, leaving maybe only a single fry left.
We sat for a little while longer after our waitress took our plates, but she urged us to take our time. We finished our drinks and chatted and caught up, and it was nice. We weren’t rushed; we had great service, matched with great food and great drinks. It was a satisfying experience, and we both left happily and contently.
When we finally both walked to the car and got inside, I turned to my mom and told her she always knew how to pick quality places. I’d definitely go there again, maybe three times in a month.