Saturday , January 20 2018

Pomona Fish Market Review by Pomona Resident John Clifford

*photos by Pomona resident John Clifford Follow Pomona resident John Clifford as he eats at and reviews local restaurants.  Follow John Clifford on his unique Pomona culinary journey.

John Clifford

by Pomona Resident John Clifford President, Pomona Public Library Foundation | Member Save Our Pomona Public Library | Director, Historical Society of the Pomona Valley | Member, Pomona Christmas Parade Committee | Historic Consultant--Mayfair Hotel | Instructor--Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)

Pomona Fish Market -- 295 South Park Ave Pomona, CA 91766 My Meal Cost: $19.79 for two. Health Rating A. Yelp 4 stars

I was at the Cheers event at Fairplex a week ago and several people asked me how this blog was going. I mentioned that I had last reported on Chino's Riverside Grill but then realized that I haven't been here in a while and need to get back to POMONA! Especially since we took a few days and went up to the central coast area and visited wineries and had also some great meals at restaurants and really needed to get back to writing about home.
So I coaxed the Lovely Mrs. C to accompany me for a "blog lunch." We discussed several places that I have been wanting to visit or re-visit and write about and finally landed on Pomona Fish Market as a destination.
Pomona Fish Market is located in the downtown area on Park between Second and Third Streets. It's an unassuming building but with a great iconic neon sign making it almost impossible to miss.
One of the things that I love about Pomona is our diversity and for a Friday lunch at Pomona Fish Market it was fully on display. African-American, Hispanic, and Asian customers (as well as our pasty white faces) were in and out in a constant stream during our visit. The place is a fresh fish market where you can purchase fish from the deli case or order cooked fish at the counter.
There are a few tables in the cramp space as well as a couple of picnic benches just outside. We decided on this particular day that it was too sunny, with not enough shade, outside so we chose a table inside.
We opted for the lunch special which included 4 pieces of fish, with a choice of Cod, Red Snapper, Tilapia, Swai, Buffalo, Cat Fish, or Sand Dabs (Dabs are only 3 and $2 extra on this special). It also includes 3 fried shrimp, 3 hush puppies, a generous serving of French Fries and a canned or bottled beverage. They also have salads or you can get individual servings of shrimp or other seafood items including oysters.
The fish is coated in corn meal and deep fried to a light golden brown, making the crust crunchy but the fish inside is moist and tender. Mrs. C had the Cod and I opted for the Red Snapper. Both were excellent. The shrimp were fairly small shrimp (although they do offer jumbo prawns separately) but a nice addition to the fish. The hush puppies were fried corn meal with little bits of Jalapeno, onion and probably something else that I missed. The little golf-ball sized balls were a little more done than the fish batter but were still crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside with a nice corn and pepper flavor (very mild although I ended up with two of Mrs. C's). Fries were OK. The plate also came with a spicy vinegary hot sauce and a thin, runny, tartar sauce. I would have liked more of a shrimp cocktail sauce for the shrimp, but the tartar sauce, while not the usual texture, was actually quite good.
Again, while we we ate there was a steady stream of customers both to dine-in and for takeout. A great addition to places to pick up something for those days we don't want to cook. Very different from Mr. Fish on Garey reviewed as part of my Eating Garey Avenue. Not really better or worse, but decidedly different.

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