Stimulate your senses at LA’s latest seafood restaurant—this time, we're in Koreatown—with a sensory-overload dinner theatre: The kitchen sautées in the firing wok, skilled hands furiously shuck bivalves, barmen shake up cocktails, speakers blare 'Top 40' indie rock and dual flat screens show the game and the latest Bond film. Groups happily dig into plates to share—try the fried catfish filets ($8) that's lightly battered and fried and well-seasoned for a crispy bite that's slightly salty, tangy, spicy and completely addictive—and bivalves from the a raw bar. There's also an Asian-inspired array of crudo from salmon carpaccio with ponzu sauce and fish roe to—gasp—ankimo aka monkfish liver. Perhaps the mish-mash menu should have been an indicator to the less-than-perfect meal about to unfold.
The obligatory lobster roll ($8 for mini, $16 for regular) was served Connecticut-style (i.e. with drawn butter, served on the side here) with chewy, overcooked meat that was overly dressed with tarragon on a soggy toasted brioche bun. The uni pasta ($18) was a sloppy pile of too-soft noodles mixed with a heavy hand of cream. Steamed clams ($15) and congee ($12-$16) showed promise with an unusual twist of Eastern inflection—a scan of the room with families and groups of friends confirmed we were in Koreatown, after all—taro noodles and abalone for the clams, and the option to flavor with uni, clam or abalone for the rice porridge. Both, however, failed to deliver with sloppy cooking and unrefined flavors and slight of hand, resulting in a watered-down bowl with sub-par shellfish.
If, however, you and your dining mates don't mind the occasional wait (it's no reservations for parties less than six), service served with a smile and a shout (yes, it's very loud) and a group-friendly option that's a change from the usual Koreatown spots (menu hits or misses aside) then take a seat and enjoy the show.
What to eat: Start with oysters on the half shell—get 'em for $1 a piece at happy hour (daily 4-7pm)—and continue with finger foods to share like fried catfish and crispy garlic Brussels sprouts.
What to drink: Sure, there are champagne and barrel-aged cocktails and an old and new world selection of wine (funny enough for a seafood restaurant, heavy on Napa Cabs by the bottle). But what pairs best with seafood and a rowdy dinner crowd? We're sticking with $6 Sapporo.
Where to sit: Groups can spread out along communal hightop tables, while couples should opt for a spot in front of the raw bar for full action view of the live—pun intended—action. Plus, it'll be quiet enough, so you won't have to scream over the din of the dining room.
|Venue name:||EMC Seafood||Contact:|
3500 W 6th St
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu 4pm-midnight; Fri, Sat 4pm-2am|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3 / 5
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Guyzzzzz – be prepared to wait. And like for a long time. Esp if you’re coming for Happy Hour. It’s no joke. I think their happy hour is from about 4-7 so I’d recommend coming on the earlier part of that (if possible). They also have a later happy hour, but if I recall correctly the menu is much more limited and the prices on oysters aren’t exactly the same. The oysters are $1/pc during happy hour which is obviously why I ran over. Decent oysters for the price, but what had me drooling was the uni pasta. Oh man. Thing is made of dreams. I mean it’s also like $20 so it better be. Overall, if you’re looking for an oyster deal then you are scoring. If you’re here at 6:45p hoping to get in for HH – you’re not gonna be winning so much. Prices on the non-happy hour menu aren’t so friendly. Oyster prices vary, but if you average it out and try a mix of them all - you’ll be paying about $3.36 each. No thanks. Come for happy hour. Get oysters. GET UNI PASTA. Invite me. Thanks.