The title to this post isn’t entirely true – I expected the food to be exceptional. What I hadn’t expected was the quiet shady refuge (except for the airplanes) behind the faded pink stucco house that is located in a crowded residential district in Inglewood. Thats right, 106 Seafood Underground is located in someone’s backyard.
Steve (my partner in crime on these expeditions) arrived at W. 106th street a little after noon. The first thing we noticed was that nearly every parking space on the street was occupied by, I’m guessing, the residents of the houses crowded on either side. Driving past 4302 we searched to the end of the block and across an intersection to a tight spot between two cars.
The walk back did not take long, and luckily we were not still in the middle of the brutal heat wave we experienced a week ago. The view of the house at the designated address did not convince us that we were at the correct location. But a young woman carrying a large plastic takeout bag looked at our puzzled faces and said, “You’re in the right place. Just head back.”
Reassured, we headed down the driveway to the back yard, turned the corner of the pink stucco house and instantly realized we had arrived.
The kitchen was constructed next to the original garage and was painted many bright colors. We could see and smell the food being prepared by the folks working inside. Obeying the sign that said please wait to be seated, we were quickly greeted by a friendly face and directed to a 4 person circular table towards the back of the seating area.
The seating area was an oasis of shade and breeze and the smells of food being prepared. This was on a Friday afternoon and there were plenty of tables to accommodate us. The waiter asked what we wanted to drink before disappearing. I think there were only two servers that day and they were kept busy. But, busy or not, she quickly returned with the two Modelo’s we ordered. We took advantage of her presence to question her about the online menu (because, in spite of the fact that I have lived in CA all my life, and love eating food from south of the border, my spanish is woefully inadequate).
There was also a daily menu chalked up on the chalkboard outside the kitchen, but we ordered off the online menu. I ordered the Pimienta (lemon pepper) shrimp dish, and Steve ordered the more spicy Salsa Macha shrimp dish. Next time we can try the daily menu.
After a comfortable wait (I was getting hungry) our food arrived, shrimp heads and all. After the first bite of shrimp I knew the trip here had been worth it. The portion was generous, and dredging the rice in the oily sauce from the shrimp was great. There were a few cucumber slices to soften the heavy shrimp and carbo load. Steve’s dish was spicier as advertised but he felt the heat was relatively mild.
I wish I could say that I discovered this place on my own, but I was following up on a great review that I had read in the LA Times. One of the recommended dishes I read about in the review, the BBQ grilled snook, I didn’t see any where on the menus. So on the way out I poked my head into the kitchen and asked the cook about the Snook (I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t ask him his name, but I believe that he was Sergio Peñuelas, the mastermind behind the restaurant). He motioned me to follow him outside to the back of the kitchen where a couple of charcoal grilles were located. There cooking on the grille was a fish soon to be someones lunch. I’ll have to have it next time.
Anyway, two thumbs up for 106 Seafood Underground.
So, that’s the first “Out to lunch” I’ve blogged in a long time. I’ve used the pandemic as an excuse to hide in a hole and not do anything.
Maybe it won’t be the last.
106 Seafood Underground
4302 W. 106th St., Inglewood, (310) 980-3893, instagram.com/checocheff
Open 11am to 6pm, Wednesday thru Sunday
Beer and street parking
So as usual, let’s not forget to defeat the orange monster this fall, keep the House and the Senate, hope for McConnell to retire, and generally all good things. and none of this is possible if you don’t vote. So get off your butt and vote. Thanks. and Luna thats you too.
Peace, Love, Hope.
I’ve felt like Jim & I are losing touch with you guys & here you are!! I enjoyed your review & love that you are going walkabout again!!
Jody, great to hear from you. Don’t worry, we’ll get together again someday. Miss you guys too. Say hi to Jim for me.