at the Four Seasons
Chef Ashley James is a Birmingham native, so he knows a thing or two about traditional fish and chips, which is more or less what he delivers, albeit in a fun and modern presentation. He serves two pieces of cod and an architectural stack of fat chips atop a photocopy of the Times of London. He even adds the requisite mushy peas, here a gorgeous green puree.
* Fish and chips, $22. 300 S. Doheny Drive, L.A., (310) 273-2222.
Angelenos with fond memories of the fish and chips from Bit O'Scotland need not despair. John O'Groats, which was started by the former owner of B.O.S., uses the same recipe. The full order includes three good-sized pieces of haddock, a heap of medium-cut fries, a side salad and some of those rich buttermilk biscuits the cozy diner has become famous for.
* Fish and chips, $13.25. 10516 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A., (310) 204-0692.
Ford's Filling Station
Chef Ben Ford's interpretation of fish and chips includes a couple of pieces of Atlantic cod in a batter made with rice flour, so it's light and lacy like tempura. These are tucked into a paper-lined metal bowl along with a big fried shrimp, wedges of oven-baked potato, fried asparagus and pickled vegetables like carrots and fennel. "Oooeee sauce," a kicked-up aioli, stands in for tartar.
* Fish and chips, $19. 9531 Culver Blvd., Culver City, (310) 202-1470.
Fish and chips tastes better when served by someone with a British Isles accent. And the odds are very good that will happen at this pub. The fish is a massive piece of moist cod in a super-crunchy, porous batter suggestive of a sea sponge; the fries are neither thick nor thin. Properly overlooked peas accompany.
* Fish and chips, $10.25. 13640 Burbank Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 994-6045.
Tam O'Shanter Inn
It's halibut that gets the beer-
batter treatment at this 85-year-old L.A. landmark, housed in a quaint Tudor cottage. The dinner plate delivers four pieces of fish, skinny fries and a side of the signature peanut coleslaw.
* Fish and chips, $19. 2980 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 664-0228.
-- Leslee Komaiko