Craig LaBan’s Ultimate Dining 2018 Seafood

trip savvy seafood

If Dmitri’s defined simple seafood pleasures, mighty Little Fish has always captured more sophisticated culinary aims, launching over its 21 years and two locations the careers of chef-owners like Ian Moroney (Pumpkin), Michael Stollenwerk (Two Fish) and Chad Jenkins. Alex Yoon, 27, an alum of Le Bec-Fin 2.0 and Serpico, is the latest young star to bring an ocean of ambition to these 24 seats, and is turning out memorable modern plates built on sustainable seafood — with a few winks to his Korean heritage — that amounted to my best meal here yet, earning it that third bell.

Manila clams and chile-spiced sausage was twinged with kimchi funk. Sweet summer corn popped against raw scallops and jalapeño oil. Aromatic X.O. sauce added fermented intrigue to mild-mannered fluke. A brick of bluefin tuna was kissed with hot binchotan coals, drizzled with sweet-and-spicy horseradish sauce then showered with fresh-grated horseradish snow. Unless you come for the coveted five-course bargain Sunday tastings for $48, Little Fish is far from cheap, with entrees in the high $30s. But the portions are large, the quality top-notch. And the talent level here is worth catching.