I’ve written reams about eating seafood in the desert, especially about Estiatorio Milos and rm Seafood. But those restaurants are more for those on an expense account, or a select group of tourists not on a budget. We do have lower priced places to eat seafood, though. Japanese places such as Kyara and Goyemon spring to mind, and there is also Naked Fish. But where is a reasonably priced place for Western style fish dishes?
Well, there is one, anyway. That would be King’s Fish House at the District, Henderson. It’s not great, and it’s not perfect. But it is where I often go when I’m in the mood for fish such as sand dabs, swordfish or wild salmon, and the prices are around half of those on the Strip.
The restaurant is composed of two dining rooms, one more classic with leather booths, the other housing a bar, and decorated with memorabilia from earlier times. There is an outdoor patio when the weather invites, and the waitresses are seasoned and hardly the glam types you find in casino restaurants. During a recent dinner here, my waitress was even handling a cocktail shaker behind the bar.
The menu is comprehensive, lots of appetizers, soups, salads and various menu headings in terms of how you want your fish cooked. The restaurant is part of a small group from Southern California owned by the King Bros. I used to eat in their restaurant Pine Avenue Fish House in Long Beach, and their steak house 555 East (which I called “the best restaurant in Long Beach” in the L.A. Times.) So I know them well.
The other night, my wife had a yen for cioppino, the San Francisco tomato based seafood stew, and this is the only place I know to get it. The dish takes at least twenty minutes, so don’t order it if you are in a hurry. And this is a red wine based version that comes grandly in a covered Le Creuset Dutch oven, loaded with fresh crab, fish, shrimp and various mollusks, plus tomatoes, onions, peppers and lots of rich broth.
Nonetheless, it didn’t impress my wife, who was hoping for a dish like she saw in San Francisco. She put lots of Tabasco in it, anyway, and dunked pieces of garlic bread that comes with it repeatedly into the sauce.
Meanwhile, I had wild Coho salmon, what they are serving right now roasted on a cedar plank, and was mildly disappointed. They don’t serve it on the plank in Henderson, even though they do it in every other King Bros. restaurant. Apparently, the health code won’t permit the planks to be brought to the table in Henderson.
This piece of fish, at $25, didn’t satisfy my appetite, although the side dishes, excellent grilled corn kernels scraped off a cob, and garlic sautéed spinach, did help. And there is always great sourdough bread here, one thing they do import from San Francisco.
Speaking of San Francisco, I do love sand dabs, like a delicate sole, and you can get it anywhere up there, in particular, at Tadich Grill, a restaurant that opened just before the Civil War, or on Fisherman’s Wharf. Here, they are pan fried with a parmesan crust, and topped with lemon butter and capers. I find the dish completely delicious.
You can also get sushi here, and lots of good starters, in particular, oak grilled artichoke with pesto mayonnaise, N’awlins style BBQ’d shrimp, a white bean and smoked salmon chowder I often order, and first rate crab cakes.
For dessert, at least in the summer, there is even strawberry shortcake.
The menu changes daily here, according to what is fresh, and in season.
King’s Fish House, at the District in Henderson. 835-8900. Lunch and dinner daily.
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