In the Santa Clarita area, you generally have three choices for seafood: Sushi, fish tacos or Red Lobster. So I got really excited when I heard about Fish Tail Grill off Newhall Ranch Road.
The little restaurant, located in between a Chipotle and Vino 100, is designed like a sushi restaurant, with a small counter/bar where patrons can eat while watching the chefs cook. But instead of creating sushi, they make different types of fish, usually served in a sandwich, in a ricebowl or on a plate. The style is decidedly Asian fusion with a plate dinners served similarly to the way they do in Hawaii.
The first time I ate at Fish Tail, my usual eating companion—aka the husband—ordered a large sweet potato fries to start. They were piping hot, crisp and freaking delicious. The husband ordered a simple grilled salmon sandwich, which unfortunately, I never got a chance to sample because he ate it too fast. He assured me, however, that the sandwich was one of the best ones he’d ever tasted. The cole slaw served on the side was a simple one, not dripping with dressing, which is the way I like it.
Now my mahi mahi plate started off well with the simple salad, steamed rice and a side of grilled veggies. Then I bit into the fish. It was bone dry. What a disappointment. At this point, the restaurant was starting to close, so I ate the fish, which was still tasty but overcooked.
Usually at this point, I tend to write off a restaurant, but something made me want to try it again. I just liked the idea of having another seafood option in Valencia and so just wanted this one to succeed. So the following week, we headed back to the restaurant and got the same exact order. Except this time, I got the mahi mahi tacos. They were grilled perfectly. Now I want to go back and try their other items on the menu like mussels or another type of fish like haibut.
Either that or at least get one bite of the hubby’s salmon sandwich. But must be quick about that one.
- What they’re known for: Mahi mahi fish tacos, fish and chips, ahi tuna poke bowl and their sweet potato fries.
- The beer and wine choices are nothing spectacular, but buy a bottle of wine from Vino 100 and there’s no corkage fee.
- The atmosphere is casual, the prices are moderate (entrees are like $8-16) and the service has been pleasant and efficient.
- I don’t know why it’s called Fish Tail “market” and grill. There really isn’t space for a market in the small storefront. Nor did I see a fridge case with fish in it.
- Hours: 11 am-9 pm daily. Happy hour: Sunday through thursday, 2:30-5 pm.
- Rating *** (3 out of 5 stars)
Fish Tail Seafood Market and Grill
28104 Newhall Ranch Road, Santa Clarita, Calif.