GENERAL COMMENT: We’re in a recession right? People are eating at home to save money, right? Well, you wouldn’t know it at the Enterprise Fish Co. in Santa Monica. Try and get a table on a Tuesday night, and watch the lobsters go by while you wait at the bar.

WHERE: 174 Kinney St., just off Ocean Avenue — (310) 392-8366.

WHEN: Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. —11 p.m.

BEST DISHES: They’re cooking fresh fish and brochettes over a real charcoal grill. But the lobster dinner at $30 is the only way to go.

BEST FEATURES: Pleasant surroundings, pleasant staff, and the lobsters are cooked to perfection.

WORST FEATURE: Forget the grilled artichokes and certainly forget the oysters Rockefeller, made with spinach leaf instead of creamed spinach.

WHAT TO DRINK: There’s a full bar and a reasonable wine list. A 14 ounce draught beer is $5.75. The New Zealand Sauvignon blanc that you want to drink with your lobster is about $32. A nice feature is the availability of half bottles of wine.

PRICES: Prices are reasonable in general, but the lobster dinner is a bargain. Three of us brought our own bottle (of sake), had two lobsters (clam chowder included) and a salad, and the total with tax and tip was $80 (we were not charged a corkage fee). And there was plenty of public parking across the street.

BOTTOM LINE: When you add up all the marbles, this is probably the best bet in Santa Monica for a reasonably priced, not too fancy place for a good seafood dinner.

Merv Hecht, the food and wine critic for the Santa Monica Daily Press, is a wine buyer and consultant to a number of national and international food and wine companies. He can be reached at

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