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3 Southern California restaurants that serve delicious crudo

Hamachi crudo at Girl & The Goat is dressed with browned goat butter and goat crema, then topped with pickled green apple and crispy enoki mushrooms. Photo by Vanessa Stump

Cool-you-down summer foods usually bring to mind sweet treats like icebox pies and scoops of gelato, but for a savory splurge when the temperatures rise, nothing beats a refreshing crudo.

Meaning “raw” in both Spanish and Italian, crudo most often describes a dish of uncooked fish that’s sliced or diced and dressed with go-tos like olive oil and citrus juice. But it can also incorporate any mixture of complementary ingredients a chef may dream up. Here are 3 restaurants in Southern California to order cooling and creative crudos.

Girl & The Goat

555-3 Mateo Street, Los Angeles. (213) 799-4628.

Girl & The Goat Hamachi Crudo

Photo by Vanessa Stump

Top Chef alum Stephanie Izard’s Girl & The Goat is housed in a bright, plant-dotted space in downtown Los Angeles’ burgeoning Arts District. The menu is all about seasonal dishes highlighting bold global flavors, and Izard’s rotating raw-fish offering is no exception.

Recently, when she wanted to feature her signature goat in her crudo of hamachi, Izard whipped up a browned goat butter and a goat crema to add nutty notes and richness. The dish gets finished with a fermented tofu-tamari drizzle, plus a trio of diced pickled green apple, fried tempura bits, and crispy enoki mushrooms.

Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey

1556 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. (760) 537-1022.

Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey Crudo

Photo by Yasu Higuchi

Turkish-born chef-owner Engin Onural sources seafood from around the world at Sandfish, an artfully designed sushi restaurant and whiskey bar, bringing in Spanish octopus for his braised and grilled hot-octopus dish, and octopus from Japan for this carpaccio, which falls into the crudo category, since all carpaccios are technically considered crudo.

The kitchen slices the meat so paper thin that it becomes translucent, and then tops it with an oil-infused citrusy ponzu, sliced green onions, sesame seeds, and microgreens.


2725 State Street, Carlsbad. (760) 637-5121.

Campfire Crudo

Photo by Devin Castañeda

You can credit the 2016 opening of this wood-fired eatery with putting North County San Diego’s food scene on the map. Since then, Campfire’s chef Eric Bost has been doling out a mix of smoked, grilled, blackened, and coal-roasted plates from his glass-enclosed kitchen that’s centered around a live fire, but he also wows with cold dishes, including his seasonal crudos.

Often highlighting a firm fish like amberjack, the crudos juxtapose local ingredients via whimsical combinations that have included fermented pineapple, shiso leaf, and serrano; and hearts of palm, soured green tomato, and avocado.

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