Cioppino from The Fish Market, CA
When in California, eat Californian food, right? One local dish that I haven't eaten in a very long time is cioppino, a seafood stew from Italian immigrants in San Francisco. And while I knew that suburban outlets of The Fish Market weren't going to be like local joints up in SF, time was a bit too tight today for a run into the city. Besides, I'd always had a bit of a soft spot in my heart for these guys, and hoped that they could at least do the dish partial justice.
Unfortunately, their cioppino turned out to be the low point in the meal, as the slightly mushy quality of the seafood left a bit to be desired. The taste of the broth was still savory with all of the mussels, fish, squid, clams, shrimp, and dungeness crab contributing to it, but I was hoping for something a bit more refreshing.
Fortunately, the very light juice from a starter of steamed littleneck clams worked out well, and I also successfully scored an artichoke this time. Having an Anchor Steam and sourdough bread (one of the few forms of bread that this non-bread eater enjoys) on the side further helped to console my desire for local food. But next time, I'll probably stick to those skewered shrimp instead of the cioppino.