>> 106 Seafood Underground | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 16 September 2019

106 Seafood Underground


On Instagram, the grand opening of 106 Seafood Underground was announced over a year ago in June of 2018. Shortly after the small hut was built to act as the kitchen and this Lennox backyard was opened to the public, people started trickling in. On reputation alone, the place was getting good crowds by the end of the month, with massive influxes coming after watching México in the World Cup and on weekends.

That reputation belongs to Sergio Peñuelas of course, the beloved chef formerly of Coni'Seafood and other restaurants, where crowds of happy customers followed him around the city. After a quick stint at a joint in Long Beach, Chef Peñuelas has returned to his home in Lennox to wow the area with his creations. With roaring planes on their descent to LAX constantly overhead, all of his most popular items are now here on West 106th Street, open from 11:00-19:00 daily except Tuesdays.

You will notice other tables carrying in their own tall boys, but if you came empty handed they can also be purchased. Comfortable under the shade of their trees and canopies, it really begs the question: Is there anything better than mariscos and beer in a Lennox backyard prepared by who is possibly Nayarit's most talented export?

Arriving completely stuffed from a backyard mariscos lunch in Watts, this first occasion was only able to take in the ceviche marinero ($20, above and below), which has always been delicious and mysterious on menus, referring only to a "black sauce" that provides the strongest visual intrigue. Along with the sauce, it is lemon that does the marinating for this ceviche, the shrimp are joined by cucumber, onion, and tomato before what seems to be an entire diced mango is dropped on top.

The sweet, sour, and slightly spicy bites are best loaded onto a salty chip for enjoyment in every part of the mouth. Chef Peñuelas also offers many of his classic and more unique takes on ceviche, including a green apple version that the server mentioned was very popular.

Other tables seemed to be enjoying the langostinos in high quantity, plates of giant prawns that were almost the size of lobster tails. He also does many different styles of shrimp dishes as seen below on the sandwich board, so many that the writing had to get smaller near the end.

Green apple ceviche.

The green apple ceviche ($20, above) is the perfect balance of fruit sweetness and citrus acidity, and pairs well with a sunny day, the crunch of their tortillas, and a few beers.

An order of marlin tacos ($10 for 3, below) comes with three crispy toasted flour tortillas wrapped around generous hunks of smoky meat, melted cheese, and avocado.

Marlin tacos.

Camarones en salsa longostinos.

More than any other order, plates of camarones en salsa longostinos (above) might be seen most frequently amongst Chef Sergio's guests. These massive shrimp are doused by his deep red-orange and frankly acid-heavy salsa. Use the rice to cut this down a bit and focus on the sharp, fresh, and spicy pepper used in there.

Hidden down there in the corner is the dish that possibly launched the chef's massive following in the first place: Pescado zarandeado, the split grilled (and "shaken") fish so popular in Nayarit but mastered by so few here in Los Angeles.

Camarones culichis ($20)

No matter what your order, you are in for a treat.

 Easy to get used to sunny afternoons at Sergio's.


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