>> My Fish Stop | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday 17 June 2022

My Fish Stop

The back door entrance from parking lot

(A second location has just opened in North Hollywood)

COVID-19 UPDATE: The restaurant is open for indoor dining. There are more tables in front than inside if you prefer to dine outside.

Since the last half of 2016, My Fish Stop has been a mainstay at the busy intersection of Burbank Blvd. and Kester Avenue, which has rows of shops and restaurants on three of its four corners. Most customers will enter the restaurant through the back door to the parking lot (above), but eventually make their way to the street at the front and one of a few shaded tables.

The fish in question at this stop, or more accurately the preparation style, is born in Mississippi. And for southerners of that state who have relocated west or any travelers that have taken the Blues Highway along the Mississippi River towards the delta in Louisiana, this fish stop is going to turn into their fish stop. In a state where most freshwater sources carry plenty of catfish, this is the name of the game here as well, bringing back memories of the greasy spoons in every small Mississippi town that serves fried fish meals.

Mural on interior wall

A large colorful wall along a high counter opposite the register shows an underwater world and sets the tone for the tastes that are about to be enjoyed. While there are tacos ("The Truth" tacos) and salads, what you are here for at least on the first visit is fillets of fish either flash fried or pan seared and full of southern flavor, sold as dinners with well-made sides.

While a local online publication might proclaim that the catfish is imported from Mississippi, the reality might be hinted by an employee: the nearby Restaurant Depot. Either way, that is not a knock because restaurants demand quality when they shop there, and the skill in the fry is quite high. Using a fork to break apart the fillet is as easy as using a hot knife through whipped cream.

"The Delta" combo: 2 fried catfish fillets and 2 sides

A little refrigerated case by the register shows off the "fresh catch" ready for the day, cuts of catfish next to red snapper and cod as well as whole shrimp ready to be cooked. And while all of these fish are eaten in Mississippi, it is the catfish that needs to be tried first. The Delta ($16.99, above) is a combo plate that is the perfect entry to My Fish Stop, with two beautifully fried fillets of catfish and the choice of two sides.

As mentioned, the catfish is soft and seems to break apart even before your fork is actually into the meat. A side of tartar sauce comes along with the fish, but you will probably find yourself wanting to enjoy the flavors of the fish and a spiced breading that creates the thin fried shell. While these are dipped into a deep fryer, it is almost as if a cast iron pan full of frying oil is used here just like in the south.

Lobster mac

The condiment that you will want, if any, is that runny cayenne pepper sauce that comes in packets here but would be in squeeze bottles at every diner along the Mississippi River. Each dish here has at least a little heat, including the vibrant collard greens which seem to have a whole grinder full of black pepper in a serving.

The lobster mac (above) should not be ordered for the crustacean, but is still a very worthy version of cheesy goodness and goes perfect with fish and a vegetable side. The fries look tasty, and paired with that cod probably go pretty far towards being the tastiest fish and chips in the city.

Gordy's 'nana pudding

The refrigerated case also has a stack of Gordy's nana pudding ($8.99, above), which uses the chef's nickname. Prices are going up for everything across the board, but there is a bit of sticker shock with this dessert since it only gives about five bites from the small and very shallow container. Thankfully those five bites are delicious.

It looks like the chef has bigger plans for his new location in North Hollywood, with Sunday brunches and other events held in a bit more formal setting. While a lot of the southern and soul food kitchens in Los Angeles are in South LA and the South Bay and Harbor areas, My Fish Stop looks to become the go to spot for people in the Valley.


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