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Originally published Friday, June 1, 2012 at 5:32 AM

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Dining Deal

Order a cooked seafood meal or buy fresh fish to take home at Seattle Fish Company

Seattle Fish Company in West Seattle is a restaurant and fresh seafood store all in one.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle Fish Company

Seafood

4435 California Ave. S.W., Seattle

206-938-7576

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays

Etc: Visa and MasterCard accepted; no obstacles to access. Plenty of street parking. Beer and wine license pending.

Prices: $

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Tan Vinh says "West Seattle is flooded with fish-and-chip joints. " I've l... MORE
Let me add that I am aware of Spud and Sunfish on Alki. Is that the flood of joints? MORE

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The evil temptation of a seafood market like Seattle Fish Company is it doubles as an eatery. So you may come for a pound of wild king salmon to mark off your grocery list, but you also run into patrons eating pan-seared halibut and grilled salmon. And next thing you know, you're sitting next to them, munching on crabcakes.

West Seattle is flooded with fish-and-chip joints. But Seattle Fish Company's version is a bit more ambitious than that — more casual seafood diner than a deep-fry shack.

The menu: Salmon, crab and halibut and other seafood cooked in every conceivable way — grilled, pan seared, deep fried and steamed ($5.99-$17.99). Some served as sandwiches or with sides of fries, potatoes or greens. Recent soups of the day were clam chowder and cioppino ($7.99). Oysters on the half shell ($9.99 for half dozen) are available. But the specialties are the fish and chips (choice of cod, salmon and halibut for $5.99-$12.99) and crabcakes with sides of greens (2 cakes for $14.99). Halibut and salmon cakes are also available.

What to write home about: Crabcakes are the real deal, generous chunks and strands of meat, with little fillers, lightly battered, served on top a bed of greens.

Two good bites under $10: the fish and chips and the po boys. The former (two pieces for $8.99) comes with coleslaw, the cod fillets dense, not break-apart flaky. Some big chunks of deep-fried oysters in that po boy ($7.99), brimming with mayo. If not for the bread (too thick and crunchy), this would be one of the best po boys in the city. Sandwich comes with side of soup, salad or fries.

What to skip: The blackened salmon is a generous, steak-size portion, but too dry. The broth in the cioppino was too bland. What a shame, because there were nice chunks of white fish and scallops in that cioppino.

The setting: Your usual seafood market, with fresh salmon and crabs displayed behind the glass counter. The owners plopped down some booths, chairs and tables in the front, threw in some maritime décor of buoys and crab cages, and painted the walls ocean blue.

Summing up: An order of fish and chips, po boys and side of soup, salmon entree over greens, and crab and halibut cakes came to $48.35, enough for four. Portion size is generous, a good deal.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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