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Name a Better Duo Than Seafood and Pasta…

Written By: Ashlee Polarek
Photographed By: Stefanie Parkinson Best Seafood Pasta LA

With an emerging food scene, Santa Monica has become the place to eat, drink and satisfy those “I want something incredible” cravings. One of the restaurants leading the pack with its outstanding meals and dishes is Herringbone—a California coastal restaurant that should be at the top of everyone’s list.

Herringbone has a fresh and unique take on seafood. With dishes like ora king salmon, pan-roasted dry boat scallops and one truly amazing Oyster Hour—a happy hour that will knock your oyster-loving socks off—it may not be as easy as imagined to order just one thing on the menu.

One of the stars of Herringbone’s delicious menu is the seafood pasta. It combines everything fantastic about Herringbone: a fresh take on seafood mixed with cozy and familiar flavors. Crafting this seafood pasta takes a bit of time, but it’s a process filled with love and intention that is totally worth it. 

This seafood pasta is like nothing else, and Executive Chef Nicholas Cataldo describes it perfectly. “It’s combining a lot of different flavors and elements to create a warm and homey feel,” Chef Cataldo explains. “Most seafood pasta dishes are bland and boring. We put some luxury items, uni and lobster, to give it an elevated class level.” 

Chef Cataldo begins with a sofrito mixture that combines onion, bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, celery, lemon and salt to create a flavorful, sweet yet slightly acidic blend to add to the uni cream sauce. Next, he takes uni and adds it to ground turmeric, salt, white wine, shallots, red pepper, heavy cream, sour cream, olive oil and carrot to create a truly heavenly cream sauce. It’s one that reminds diners of pasta made by momma—except this one has turmeric, which adds a punch to the cozy cream sauce, elevating it to the next level.  

Enter the headliner of the dish: the seafood. Tossed with the uni cream sauce and the sofrito blend, rigatoni noodles meet wondrous and copious amounts of seafood. Lobster, shrimp, squid, bay scallops and mussels showcase the bountiful harvest found in the ocean and create a unique texture and flavor palate. A bright gremolata tops the dish, adding acidity and herbal flavors to cut through the heavy cream sauce. 

The texture is out of this world. “The muscles and scallops are soft, you get the chew from the lobster, the little bit of crunch from the breadcrumbs in the gremolata with the fresh parsley and you have the velvetiness from the sauce. So, you have all of these different experiences going on while you’re eating it. It’s a multisensory experience,” says Chef Cataldo.

Situated a half-mile away from the pier, Herringbone is close—but far enough removed to give diners an intimate and elevated experience. The inside of the restaurant is bright and relaxing; large windows flank one side of the building while an open kitchen, raw bar and bar and lounge cozy up in the other. An extraordinary living wall filled with a variety of lush plants draws the eye upwards toward the unique lighting fixtures hanging from the ceiling—rustic boats outfitted with vintage light bulbs. The whole space has a relaxed, modern-meets-rustic vibe that makes you want to sit and stay awhile. 

A chalkboard denoting the raw bar specials (like Oyster Hour) features stunning hand-drawn art. The outdoor patio is perfect for cool evenings and Sunday brunch. There’s no kitsch to this restaurant, just beautiful decor and amazing dishes. Best Seafood Pasta LA

The incredible and passionate staff make dining at Herringbone a dream, and the food is truly delicious. At Herringbone, seafood is really the star; it’s blended into dishes so perfectly that you’ll be begging for seconds. “People need to eat more fish. It’s an important resource that’s very often overlooked,” Chef Cataldo says. “There’s a million fish out there that all taste good. I think it’s important people experience it all.” Lucky for you, the seafood pasta at Herringbone is the perfect place to start. Seafood Pasta LA

Herringbone
1755 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401 Seafood Pasta LA
310.971.4460 Best Seafood Pasta LA