Besha Rodell is back with a review for the Weekly this week, this time driving down to Long Beach to give her take on Cheko El Rey del Sarandeado. The restaurant is the home of chef Sergio Peñuelas, who previous was a cook at Coni'Seafood.
While the go-to restaurant for LAX bound travelers still offers Peñuelas's iconic dishes—the whole grilled snook dish called pescado zarandeado, cheesy marlin tacos, and camarones a la diabla—you now have to drive down to the LBC to get them from the man himself.
At Cheko El Rey del Sarandeado, B-Rod still recommends ordering that grilled snook with "sweet white flesh ready to be wrapped in warm tortillas and gobbled greedily." But other standout dishes also include the shrimp aguachiles, the langostinos that leave you "covered in sauce and seafood stink and happiness," and the tostaditas locas:
Vying for the title of new Peñuelas classic are the tostaditas locas. Like the party food of my dreams, the small, crisp, fried tortillas come topped with "marlin pâté," raw shrimp and octopus ceviche. The pâté, diplike in consistency, is smoky and deeply flavored — it's a wonderful base for the ultra-fresh shrimp and octopus. [LAW]
The critic sums the restaurant up as "a fun place to hang out. And for tostaditas locas or that glorious snook, I'll drive just about as far as I have to, from wherever I happen to be." Three stars.
EDIT: A previous version of this article stated that Sergio Peñuelas was "the man" behind Coni'Seafood.