Via Rodeo-a Story Book Street

McCormick & Schmick's – A Pacific Seafood Grill



McCormick & Schmick's – A Pacific Seafood Grill, is situated on our most picturesque storybook street of Walt Disney imagineering, where one almost expects a marching band to come through while fireworks explode. It's the Via Rodeo section, sort of a satellite of Beverly Hills but separated at the ribs. There's a fascinating people‑watching outdoor area for dining and sipping wine or cappuccino, especially popular for rubber-necking. One night while dining, star-watching included Keiver Sutherland, Elgin Baylor, and Mike Tyson. This area has an inside‑outside mahogany bar boasting over 30 varieties of scotch and a magnificent wine list.

There are two Happy Hours, the first is from 4:00pm-6:00pm, and again at 9:30pm-11:00pm. While McCormick & Schmick's has been recognized for its culinary excellence as the “best seafood restaurant” in cities across the country, the restaurant also has become equally famous for its $1.95 bar food menu. Guests can take in the lively atmosphere of the bar whether enjoying McCormick & Schmick's legendary seafood or simply a burger and beer.

Drinks are made from scratch using fresh-squeezed juices, with attention given to the quality of every drink served. You won’t find any blenders at a McCormick & Schmick’s bar.

Their bar program has been praised by diners and critics across the country, especially in Los Angeles; “#1 Happy Hour in Southern California” – KCAL 9 TV, 2005; “Best Happy Hour” – Brentwood Magazine, 2005; “Best Happy Hour” – Los Angeles Downtown News, 2004;

Also in “The Top 5 Happy Hour” – Los Angeles Magazine, 2004.

Upon entering the restaurant, the first thing noticeable is the large stainless open‑kitchen with about six of the busiest chefs in town. The dining room is decked out in crisply linened tables and booths, surrounded in richly paneled mahogany walls, and tall draped windows under stained glass ceilings with amber‑lighted chandeliers; reminiscent of New York or San Francisco of the "twenties." Diners love the spacious dark wooded booths with personalized lamps, flowers, mirrors, and photo gallery. With tongue-in-cheek humor, I thought if the opening was draped, they could charge a room tax! There’s also elegant dining on the second floor, great for special events, or business meetings.

And hats-off to Chef Iino on his organic products, with the best fish, shellfish, meat and game that the Pacific Coast has to offer; featuring organic arugula from Kenter Canyon Farms, and hydroponics lettuce that is still growing when delivered to the restaurant.

Some appetizers are Dungeness crab cakes, Hawaiian Ahi Tuna; Ahi Tuna Tartar, served raw with Dijon mustard, and capers, also Pancetta wrapped prawns; along with several variations of Oysters. In addition, the popular Seafood Platters come in three sizes.

As a fish‑house, the management employs fishermen who specialize in hook and line techniques for special handling, and their seafood is delivered within 48 hours of a catch. The oysters are taken from beds throughout the Northwest, and received at the restaurant the same day.

We had several dinners at this memorable restaurant, and the menu is changeable, however, my favorite starter is Dungeness Crab, Mango & Avocado, in a Tower with an Orange Vinaigrette, don't miss it. We also enjoyed starters of Hawaiian Ahi Tuna, sesame crusted, seared rare with cucumber and Wakame Salad. Our most recent entrees were Porterhouse Steak; also Alaskan Wild King Salmon, pan roasted with Northwest Berry Sauce.

On other occasions, we enjoyed appetizers of Crabcakes and Bay Shrimp Louis salad. At another time the salad had candied walnuts and Blue Cheese. Our previous entrees were Bristol Bay Alaskan King Salmon, roasted on Cedar Plank, and almond crusted Lake Superior Whitefish. If you're not dieting, try the Seafood-corn chowder soup with scallops, clams and Bay Shrimp. However, there's a variety of fish, seafood, duck, chicken, shark, lobster and their excellent steaks. And items come from Alaska, Hawaii, Baja, Newport, British Columbia, and Mexico. The McCormick & Schmick's restaurants are the only ones in the U.S. serving Bristol Wild Salmon, a highly flavorful fresh fish, flown in daily and served on the same day because of an exclusive agreement with Bristol Wild Salmon, (a community held non-profit group).

The Bay is located in the wilderness of Western Alaska just above the Panhandle of the Aleutian Islands; largest wild sockeye salmon fishery in the world. This particular Salmon has been certified as wild, all-natural, and the "best environmental choice" by the Marine Stewardship Council. Most of our country's salmon is purchased from Chile, Canada and Norway, but dining on Bristol Bay fish supports an American fishery.

So, take a fish‑lover who will swim upstream with someone of your charm and good‑looks. Appetizers, $5.90-$14.50, Raw Bar, soups & salads; $11.75-$17.75, Sandwiches, $8.95-$19.90, (for open face steak and Brie on onion roll with garlic fries) Stews & Entrée's $20-$35.95(for lobster, scallops and Whitefish. Luncheon entrees, mostly under $20, including Jambalaya. 

Open from 11:00am 7-days. 206 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills;

(310)859-0434. Two hours complimentary Valet up to 6:00pm, then $5 for evening with validation; also Street Pkg; major credit cards accepted; catering. Downtown LA, (213)629-1929; El Segundo, (310)416-1123; Irvine, (949)756-0505; Pasadena, (626)405-0064.