My pal Sab and I wanted to meet for dinner after work one night in downtown Mountain View, but we weren’t exactly in the mood for anything Asian. And if you’re familiar with Castro Street in Mountain View, you know that leaves you with considerably less options.
I’d passed by The Cantankerous Fish several times, but never felt compelled to try it. This seemed like as good a time as any. We weren’t expecting much.
We realized that the owners of the joint also own Scott’s Seafood in Palo Alto, which does a decent job with their food. But the decor of this place is much more sophisticated. And they even have live music on Friday and Saturday nights. If the weather ever gets warm enough (!), there’s even patio seating.
So we both started with the Beet Salad, which had both red and gold beets around the plate with a sprinkling of blue cheese, baby spinach, and an orange vinaigrette. I loved it, though Sab thought the blue cheese was a bit overpowering.
I ordered the Seafood Jambalaya for my entree. Though it was a moderate sized portion of food, it filled me up quickly. There was no shortage of shrimp, scallops, fish, and sausage. It was smoky, spicy, and very tasty. I was impressed!
Sab’s sea bass was a nice portion as well. Sea bass is hard to mess up since it’s got such a wonderful texture and is full of buttery flavor. The sauce was strong but worked well with the sweet fish. It probably should have spent just a minute less in the pan, but other than that, it was another strong dish.
We ended with the Chocolate Souffle cake served with raspberry sorbet. It was probably the weakest dish of the night. The oozing chocolate fudge spilling out of the cake was fine, but the cake itself had spent too much time baking and was a bit dry and flavorless.
All in all it was a very enjoyable experience. The decor and atmosphere were nice, though the service could’ve been a bit more personable. That and the dessert would probably be my only complaint. But the savory dishes were a surprise and are worth a repeat visit.
The Cantankerous Fish – 420 Castro St. – Mountain View – 650.966.8124
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