(See All Aboard the USS Iowa to find out what else you can do before or after visiting this delicious destination.)
So, you’ve visited the Battleship Iowa Museum, and after an immersive, tiring tour of climbing, walking, exploring, and learning, it’s time to leave and find something to eat (and preferably nearby). San Pedro is a fairly small place, and this is quite possibly the city’s greatest advantage, because after what feels like all day on a battleship, the greatest food is only 5 minutes away!
Pappy’s Seafood, located just a couple of blocks from USS Iowa, is something to look forward to in the second half of a day-long trip to San Pedro. Incredibly, this new restaurant will bring you back to San Pedro repeatedly with their elevated seafood experience. Below are some of Pappy’s dishes and drinks that not only look familiar, but are also bound to be unlike any seafood you’ve ever had. Forget everything you know about these ocean signatures and classics, as Pappy’s has carved a lane for itself in the seafood dining world.
Though Pappy’s Seafood is only nearing half a year since opening, it’s hard to believe that it hasn’t been in San Pedro for over a decade. Pappy’s blends into its street of lined boutiques and restaurants well, yet is defined by its fresh paint, window-lined walls, and corner foundation. The “open-air” style restaurant houses comfortable window-side tables and chairs, toasty lantern-lit booths, and a premium seated bar, with a friendly hostess, waitresses and waiters, and a bartender all ready to welcome you.
Nautical colors and décor do well at defining the restaurant and preparing you for the experience in store. Clean white walls, and navy-blue paint don’t make Pappy’s feel empty and bare, but rather close and intimate, as you have your own space not too near to any other diners. And though the restaurant has no views of the ocean, and certainly feels as if you’ve anchored in a seaside cabin.
Smooth Sailing & A Trio of Plunges
Pappy’s features an extended menu of spirits, wines, beers, and cocktails, so it was only appropriate to begin with a classic Rose wine: smooth and sweet, with the perfect contrasting tartness in the aftertaste.
Some of their specialty nonalcoholic drinks are Hibiscus Arnold Palmer, Watermelon Mint Limeade, and Passion Fruit Tea. Each of these notable drinks are house-made and brewed on location, and are the perfect matches to the seafood dishes Pappy’s has to offer.
Hibiscus Arnold Palmer: A classic deep red appearance of hibiscus tea, but infused with the sweet and tart flavors of an Arnold Palmer (sweet and lemonade).
Watermelon Mint Limeade: This summery concoction could refresh the thirstiest of sailors. Not only did it taste extremely fresh with its mint flavor, but the sweet familiarity of watermelon coupled with the hint of lime could make the drink a Pappy’s favorite, and the ultimate summer drink.
Passion Fruit Tea: It can be said that this powerful trio of colorful drinks are easily enjoyed by even the most sophisticated tea lovers. However, the Passion Fruit Tea, possesses the earthiest and sharpest taste of all three. This brewed beverage is well balanced with the contrastingly sweet passion fruit.
Mac and Cheese w/ Lobster: At first glance, Pappy’s mac and cheese (lobster optional) appears to be your everyday cheesy baked pasta. Don’t be fooled — this appetizer is anything but ordinary. Pappy’s mac and cheese uses shell pasta, but is not thick and extra cheesy like the macaroni and cheese many of us have come to love. In fact, this rendition of macaroni and cheese carefully considers its seafood ally, and contains just enough cheese to share the spotlight with chunky pieces of lobster. This golden chest of pasta is topped off with a toasty breadcrumb crust, reminiscent of sweet cornbread.
Crab Cakes: There are crab cakes. Then there are Pappy’s crab cakes. As if they had just brought back a catch, Pappy’s manages to pack a powerful punch of freshness and flavor. Consequently, with a sprinkle of greens, cherry tomatoes, a dash of sea salt, and a drizzle of house tartar, the flavor of the crab cakes is amplified even more.
Clam Chowder Soup: This New England style clam chowder is actually not like eating a soup at all. In fact, Pappy’s clam chowder could be related to a baked dish in terms of texture and taste: layers of flavor, thicker than usual, and a wholesome, hearty treat. Available in two sizes, Pappy’s clam chowder can be a complete entrée when served in the bread bowl, or as a side dish in a bowl or cup.
The Main Course
Blackened Shrimp Fish Plate: Pappy’s offers a variety of fish plates, consisting of sea bass, Ahi, shrimp, salmon, or Mahi Mahi, cooked in 3 styles: garlic herb butter, chimichurri, and blackened seasoning. All fish plates are served with salad, and rice or potatoes. Reminiscent of a traditional Louisiana meal, the blackened shrimp was spicy and flavorful with its Cajun tones, and roasted red potatoes. The salad, a light vinaigrette dressing compounded with citrus notes was the perfect contrast to bring the otherwise heavy meal together.
Lobster Roll w/ Pappy Fries: This could undoubtedly be one of the best lobster rolls in Southern California. Their house-made tartar paired with the warm, buttery French roll made it an absolute delicacy. Pappy’s has mastered this simple sandwich of moist Maine lobster in between with dill weed, tartar, and purple onions. The bonus fries offered with the lobster roll top the dish off with a trio of sauces: house-made ketchup, garlic aioli, and chipotle mayo. This is somewhat of a treat, as Pappy’s doesn’t give guests just one sauce, but let’s them face the impossibility of choosing a sole favorite!
A Sweet Ending
Chocolate Chip Cookie: The final and perfect way to end a meal at Pappy’s is to indulge in one of their pillow-soft, chunky chocolate chip cookies.
301 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731
11:30 am – 9:30 pm, daily.
Contributing Writer: Anthony C. Stafford