This is a very popular spot; lots of local and tourists alike, but everyone knows that Sea Fresh Ojai is the place to get the freshest seafood in Ojai.
For me it did not disappoint. Hands down the best sushi I have ever had. Each piece was, with the freshness of the sea, just like it had just been plucked from the ocean.
From what I could hear at other customers tables every knows the family that runs this restaurant, people talk about Mayra as if she were a member of their own family, that is the level of comfort you feel at Sea Fresh.
Here’s What I Tried:
Martini’s – Regular Traditional With Vodka and 2 Olives, Lori’s Lemon Drop, and Cosmopolitan. They were all served in a modern type of a martini glass. Mimi the fantastic bartender had some great stories to tell and the perfect ways to infuse her fun takes on these 3 cocktails. What a nice way to start my evening dining experience.
Unagi – Fresh Water Eel – The eel sauce has just the right amount of sweetened, and the piece itself was just huge, tender and fragrant, a lovely piece of sushi.
Giant Scallops, that are glistening and have such a delicate flavor of the ocean, a sure fire winner for me.
Hamachi – Yellow Tail, once again just so fresh, I just do not know how they are able to serve these huge pieces of fish and that they are so incredibly fresh.
Sea Fresh Roll with scallops, with hot and cold tuna, cucumber and sprouts, topped with avocado and salmon with spicy ponzu sauce.
So if you are new to this dining spot you would not know that the real star of this show is their sushi. I loved everything I tried, but when I come back I will order the bulk of my dinner on the sushi side of the menu, it is just the best sushi you will ever have.
Here’s What I Tried:
Oysters Rockefeller, spinach topped with béchamel sauce. Mayra the owner said I had to try these little darlings and boy was she right, such a nice creamy version of this awe inspired dish.
New England Clam Chowder, it has lots of potatoes and clams and it very rich and creamy, perfect chowder.
Steamed Clams, clam broth with drawn butter served with crusty bread they serve small clams with a nice clear broth, a very simple and light dish.
Sea Fresh Cioppino, hearty tomato fish stock, selection of shell fish and fish served with crusty bread. This is a very traditional staple amongst the San Francisco Italian restaurants in North Beach. This Cioppino was right up there with the best of them, a nice tomatoes infused soup with lots of fresh fish scallops, shrimps, and King Crab, just stupendous.
Ala Carte Alaskan King Crab legs and claws. These lovely crab legs are steamed and served with drawn butter. They come right out of their shell and are super sweet, just delicious.
Chocolate Brownie A la Mode, with vanilla ice cream. Super rich, super chocolate and super yum!
Chardonnay, Trefethen, Napa Valley. A nice oaked, buttery, creamy wine just was spectacular with the crab legs.
Chardonnay, Napa Cellars, Napa Valley. This wine is more of a blank canvas with what ever food item you are trying it will open up and be a good accompaniment, but of course any seafood item are the best with this wine.
They get their fish fresh everyday from their local fish market, delivered everyday except for Sundays. Sea Fresh will be in business 36 years in August. Mayra’s husband Bill Sutton is a commercial fisherman, and brother Gus Garcia is the other partner, and it is a tight knit Cuban family. Mayra has been told she should put some Cuban items on the menu, but she says no. It would be too much work to change stuff up now, and why change a good thing. She has 50 employees at this location and it is hard for her to keep up. They also have an Oxnard location, it is her son and daughter in-law that are her partners there, so she is one busy gal.
Some History: In 1985, Sea Fresh began serving up the freshest catch available from the Pacific Coast, and from around the world. Proud owners Bill & Mayra, along with Gus (Mayra’s brother), opened their first Sea Fresh in Ojai, California.
In 2012, a long awaited change occurred, a complete remodel of “the original” Ojai restaurant. The continued support and encouragement from the local community is truly what made the transformation possible.
But their story began long before that. Bill’s love for the ocean began at the ripe old age of four, when his dad took him on a fishing trip. As he got a little older, his mom would drop him off at the pier in Redondo Beach. Bill would bring his catch home, and with a little red wagon in tow, sold his catch to local neighbors. At 15 he started working on a sport boat called The Pursuit. The time spent on The Pursuit would satisfy his love for the ocean until he graduated high school. He was then able to fish commercially on a full time basis. In 1973 Bill & Mayra were married, and in 1977, built and launched The Aurelia, their 42 foot fishing boat.
Bill and Mayra have two kids, Chris and Janelle. As the children grew closer to school age, they decided to move the family out of the big city, in search of a small town to raise the family. So, in 1981, they moved to beautiful Ojai. Mayra’s parents and brother Gus soon followed.
Bill still fishes daily, weather permitting, and supplies the restaurants with the highest quality seafood caught locally. They believe that everyone will love fish if it’s truly fresh.
There Oxnard location is a bit more casual with counter ordering and outdoors seating. They had a horrible thing happen a while back when the restaurant burned down to the ground, so when they rebuilt they decided to do a different model of service that they felt was smarter for them given their circumstances.
What I can say about Sea Fresh Ojai is – try it, you too will be a big fan!!
Sea Fresh Ojai
533 E. Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023
“Our boat To You”
* Note – Some Content was taken off of their website.