By ANGELA DONG
If you’ve visited University Town Center recently, chances are you have heard of a new restaurant called SlapFish. The chain started as a Huntington-area food truck in 2012 under Chef Andrew Gruel; the Irvine location opened on July 28, 2015.
Described as a modern-day seafood shack, SlapFish features a minimalistic menu offering salads, fish tacos, lobster rolls, fries and regular fish as well as other signature dishes.
SlapFish’s most popular options include chowder fries (french fries topped with green onion, clam chowder and bacon) and the Ultimate Fish Taco (avocado puree, pickled onion, shredded cabbage and grilled or fried fish on a corn tortilla, served with pickles and lime). Unique to the University Town Center location is the Anteater Burger, a juicy cheeseburger with beef, butterfly shrimp and chili sauce.
When I visited SlapFish, I ordered the chowder fries and the Ultimate Fish Taco. The order took around 10 minutes to prepare and both items cost $6.50. While the price for the fries seemed a bit high, the relatively large portion sizes made it worth the money. All the food was served fresh, but most of it was covered in sauce, making takeout liable to sogginess. Although the items had heavy toppings that made them messy to eat, they both seamlessly blended several flavors that I wouldn’t have expected to work together, and I would definitely order both again.
SlapFish’s short distance from UHS makes it a popular lunch destination for students. Jennifer Yao (Jr.) said, “The portion sizes are fairly large and the artistic presentation of the food makes it look very appetizing. The fish is light and crispy, while the sauce adds flavor without being overwhelming.”
In terms of seating, a window bar and several tables are available, but the limited space makes large groups difficult to accommodate. Vegetarian and takeout options are both offered. The folk music and decorations create a sort of rustic ambience, and the restaurant is relatively uncrowded, making it the perfect place to visit for a quick meal.
4249 Campus Drive 148, Irvine, CA 92612
11AM – 11PM daily