Venturing out to Fat Face Fenner’s always lays in the back of our minds on a cold winter’s day, but we had not eaten there for a while. When we finally ate at this family favorite, we found that our cozy shack had changed.
“Go Red Sox!” I thought as I walked up the stairs of the Bostonian restaurant. Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots signs were strung all over, and the contrast of that and fishing hooks and nets everywhere made me feel like I was in Cape Cod. It was welcoming!
We sat down and looked at the menu, but without hesitation every one of us looked at the “Chowdah” section. That was why we came here, for some good ol’ West Coast Chowder. My dad and I tried Lobster Chowder, my mom ordered Smoked Salmon Chowder, and classic Tabs received New England Clam Chowder.
I must say that the restaurant’s service was friendly, and the best you could ask for. Every dish or drink came very quickly, and our waiter was attentive and greatly appreciated.
“Yum!” I declared as a sizzling bowl of peach-colored lobster soup was placed in front of me. I inhaled a smell of savory richness… And dug in.
Man, this soup was like Pacuigo’s Pepe Nero (black pepper) Gelato; three bites and it was fantastic, and then suddenly you didn’t want any more. My dad had to start treating me like a two-year-old; “Sorry, just 5 more bites Meg!” and by the end it was too rich and WAY TOO SALTY!!!!!! I wish I could get the Lobster “Chowdah” less salty.
Tabs’ clam chowder was creamy, but thin, and the bacon bits were not as crisp and melt-in-your-mouth as they could have been. It was mediocre soup, and it was too filling; next time she would get a cup instead of a bowl.
Mom’s soup was a tan bisque filled with chunks of salmon. The broth was extremely smoky, a flavor that my mom enjoyed, I did not feel strongly about, and my dad disliked. Go figure. Overall, we could not agree on this dish.
We didn’t understand. Soup here used to be like a hidden treasure, in a small hole above Froyo Lite, but now…
“For whatever it’s worth, we’ve been coming here for a long time and we have noticed a change in your recipes. We actually liked the old ones a whole lot better,” my dad told our waiter, as politely as he could.
The poor guy looked totally ready for this response, and told us, “What happened was that our chef actually left us, about three years ago, and since the recipes belonged to him, we lost everything. We even tried buying them off him, and he refused. We just can’t make it the same,” he admitted.
“Okay. Thank you!”
So overall, change can be for the worst, but hopefully something good will come out of it. Someday, I will try to blog about Fat Face Fenner’s Fishook — a good sushi restaurant downstairs that we have enjoyed.
(I just realized that I have never blogged about a sushi restaurant. How is that even possible?!?)
Fat Face Fenner’s Fishack
53 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Tel: (310) 379-5550