STRFSH, the fast-casual fish sandwich shop from Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, opens today in Santa Monica’s Gallery Food Hall. Located on Third Street Promenade on the second level of the food hall, it’s a fresh take on an age-old idea: the fish sandwich.
Inspired by the Voltaggio brothers’ youth, the sparse menu features just two main fish: swordfish and salmon griddled on a flattop and topped with a variety of seasonings, “smears”, and toppings. The model is similar to the Blaze Pizza chain, where diners can choose any number of additions like cajun remoulade, yuzu kosho mayo, or dynamite sauce plus three toppings like kimchi, pickles, pico de gallo, cheddar or pepper jack cheese. Prices remain the same despite extras, a boon for any flavor maximalist.
There’s also Michael’s or Bryan’s favorites, specially made combos, or the minimalist STRFSH, with salt, tartar sauce and lettuce. Pick either a sesame seed potato roll or fried gluten-free tostada. Sandwiches are decent side, about the palm of one’s hand, or about the size of a standard burger patty. They’re nicely crisped but not overcooked or fishy. Fries are hearty and well-fried, and they suggest sprinkling Old Bay seasoning and malt vinegar for an extra kick.
Priced at $11 or $12, it’s not a bad Santa Monica lunch option, though with $3 fries and a drink prices can get close to $20 for a meal per person including tax and optional gratuity. To drink, kombucha on tap and one of those endless-combination Coke machines with a touchscreen. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this week, and open until 10 p.m. or so starting next week.
STRFSH. 1315 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica, CA.