Pub Grub: Fish & Chips
Confession: We watch a lot of Food TV at our house. Recently we caught an episode of Bobby Flay's charmingly egomaniacal Throwdown where he challenged Mat Arnfield of New York's A Salt and Battery to a fish & chips battle, and our tastebuds began to tingle. To add insult to injury, a couple of days later, food-cutie Tyler Florence was making his Ultimate fish & chips, which made us think that if we were going to get us some deep fried cod with a side of chips, we would either have to fly to New York to get a bite of Arnfield's winning duo, or make it ourselves. This is because we have no idea where to go in LA for great fish & chips.
But neither seemed like an option. A quick scour of the Chowhound boards on the subject revealed we weren't alone in our quest to find this fare in our fair city. Here's what came up: The Whale & Ale in San Pedro, Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, and The Olde Ship in Fullerton. Well, terrific--except that we wanted our fish & chips now, and nearby to us in Ye Olde San Fernando Valley--and portable; we confessed we watch a lot of Food TV, so it shouldn't be shocking to know we wanted to make it a trio: Fish & Chips & the First Annual Food Network Awards. Since we'd already opted to leave off the local H Salt branch (it seemed unseemly to the us and our fellow fish & chippers), we turned to the Robin Hood British Pub in Van Nuys. A quick phone call confirmed they could comply with our order. We walked into what is clearly a refuge for Valley Brits, and decided a return in-house visit would be absolutely necessary, to get in on the pint drinking and dart throwing action. Minutes later, the precious cargo was in our hands...and then our mouths.
An order of fish & chips from Robin Hood consists of two generous pieces of battered cod and a side of chips (fries, you heathens!). Our kind and friendly helper at the Pub was nice enough to pack us an enormous container of their tasty and tangy tartar sauce, and some packets of the necessary malt vinegar. The batter was light and not greasy (we think they used Rice Flour, like Bobby and Tyler, but we're merely speculating) and the fish perfectly cooked. The chips admittedly lost a little in the translation--or maybe in the transit--as they'd gone a wee bit cool and limp, and had a bit too much chew to them. Good soldiers that we are, we ate every single bite in those takeout boxes. The craving was satisfied--but perhaps the quest continues.
Robin Hood British Pub
13640 Burbank Boulevard, Van Nuys