Tag Archive | seafood

Lure Fish House in Westlake, CA

We had a very lovely 25th Anniversary vacation over the July 4th holiday. One of the restaurants we went to deserves a review.

Lure Fish House was a pleasant surprise. Being from Boston always keeps me on the look out for good, fresh seafood. In 20 years the only good seafood that comes close to Boston seafood is in San Fransisco. Unfortunately we don’t get that far up north very often, so to find good seafood in the Los Angeles area was exciting.

Owner David Cortina has more than 20 years experience in the restaurant business, and spent months bringing the Old California Mining Co. to its vision and how the food is presented. He now has 3 Lure Fish houses just a few miles from each other in Ventura county.

We visited the Westlake restaurant. We had a 30 minute wait at around 6:30pm. The restaurant is located near several large hotels, and was quite busy. The noise level was moderate considering there were many large parties. The lighting was dim, but we enjoyed the roomie, large booths. Service was great!

Lure Fish House offers between 6 and 8 fresh fish per night. This is one of the things I thought particularly unique about Lures. Most restaurants offer no more than 3 fresh fish if you’re lucky. Lure offers several appetizers, and quite a few salads. They also specialize in fresh oysters, and offer several varieties of fresh oysters at a very large oyster bar.

The menu offers fried and charbroiled seafood as well as fresh Maine lobster in several weights. I ordered the 1.5 lb. lobster that came prepared with the tail grilled, and the claws shelled, but slightly cracked for easy de-shelling. The lobster head was included for presentation, and the price was right, only $32. It was cooked and prepared just right. It was delicious!

During our trip we had bowls of chowder at several different restaurants. Everyone thinks they are the chowder “king”. In my opinion chowder should be made with a bit of sautéed onion and celery, clam juice, tender clams, cream and very little flour. Thick chowder with potatoes is not appetizing to me. It’s called clam chowder for a reason. Lure clam chowder, was clam chowda!! It was prepared with very little flour and no potatoes. It even had a slight “kick” to it from just the right amount of pepper seasoning.

You must visit Lure Fish House next time you’re in Ventura county! All I can say is “move over Legal Seafood!”




Cioppino Seafood Stew

This recipe was developed in the 1800’s by fisherman based on an Italian soup. After a long workday, the scraps of the “catch of the day” were thrown in a communal pot for supper.

I grew up in Boston, and I love seafood! This dish is cooked from deep within my soul, meant to warm you throughout on a cold March day!



1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter
1 rib celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cans crushed tomatoes (28-oz)
2 cups clam juice or fish stock
2 cups white wine
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Dungeness crab (claws only)
3-4 small lobster tails
1 lb. medium prawns, peeled and de-veined
1 lb. mussels
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped


In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley. Simmer on low, uncovered, for one hour. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets to thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.

Add the shrimp, and lobster tails and simmer covered another five minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat, and stir in the Italian parsley.
Ladle the Cioppino into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine. Can also be served over Fettuccine