Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café Pairs a Fresh Catch and Fabulous Service
Written By: Leah Hoffhines Santa Monica Seafood LA
Photographed By: Dhrumil Desai
If a fresh catch is what you’re after, look no further. This seafood market and cafe has all you could ever hope for and more. As soon as you walk into Santa Monica Seafood you get hit with the sudden feeling of humbleness, authenticity, and…family? Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café in Santa Monica is not only a family owned business, but believes their customers are part of the family as well which is truly apparent in the interactions seen throughout the market. The connection between the employees and the customers is so warm and genuine they will leave you feeling more than cared for. Aside from the charming staff and the friendly strangers that frequent the place, Santa Monica Seafood is a time capsule that holds history in its making.
It all started in 1939 by the working hands of two fisherman, Jack and Frank DeLuca. The two brothers raised the business up from what started as buying and selling fish off the pier to the local trades. They gave it the name Santa Monica Seafood, and it has has remained a staple in Southern California. When Jack and Frank were retired, the business was sold to their nephew Anthony Cigliano, and his children, being sure to keep it in the family. This merge of business also reunited the families setting the stage for success and the staggering growth that followed.
“Our Santa Monica location is a reflection of over 75 years of the Cigliano family’s passion for top quality seafood,” explained Eric Costelloe, Director of Retail Operations. “Our retail store has grown over the years, we started on the pier in 1939, then moved to the location on Colorado in 1969, and finally to our current home on Wilshire in 2009. With the move to Wilshire we were able to expand our market with the addition of the Santa Monica Seafood Café, so now our customers can enjoy fantastic seafood items prepared in our kitchen.” Santa Monica Seafood is the first of its kind to create such a prominent name for itself; offering the largest selection of fresh and frozen seafood in the southwest.
Their good morals and ethics stand behind more than their high quality facility. As a third generation business, Santa Monica Seafood believes it’s important to give back and they go above and beyond to ensure they are doing just that. As creators of RSVP, Responsible Sourcing Vendor Partner program they take a percentage from each pound of fish purchased and use it towards funding local organizations dedicated to further improving the fishing industry. Eric further explained, “Our customers can feel good about purchasing fish from Santa Monica Seafood because a percentage goes to support programs that educate fisheries on better catch methods, remove derelict gear from the ocean floor, research and develop new aquaculture methods, provide economic support to small artisan fisherman and much more.”
Santa Monica Seafood will show you the meaning behind world class service as you sample their gourmet prepared meals straight from the kitchen. Eric recommends the family recipe Cioppino, a customer favorite, served with steamed Clams, Mussels, Shrimp and assorted seafood, cooked in a savory tomato sauce with fresh herbs. “We also offer an excellent selection of local artisan breads, coffees, specialty produce, sauces and seasonings; anything you might need to prepare a delicious seafood meal. Our seafood experts are some of the most knowledgeable in the industry, helping our customers make decisions on selections and preparation of their favorite dishes,” says Eric.
If it’s not the world class service or the fresh-as-it-gets seafood options, you can count on the connections you make to hook you, bringing you back again and again. Customers like Jeanie, won’t hesitate to strike up a conversation and make you feel welcome at her table. “It’s like a good “Cheers” bar. The food is good, the wine is good… I can come in and have a healthy meal and talk as much or as little as I want.” When asked how long Jeanie had been coming to Santa Monica Seafood she replied, “I can’t remember when I didn’t.” As goes for most customers, if you come in once, you are already part of the family.
Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café
1000 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
154 E 17th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Head to Santa Monica Seafood for a Fresh Catch