Slapfish showcases sustainable seafood at University Center in Irvine, California

On July 28, 2015, Chef Andrew Gruel made his sustainable seafood mark with the opening of the fifth location of Slapfish after beginning his journey back in 2011 with a food truck. The success of bringing sustainable, quality seafood to the masses is a fine business example to show to budding college students of the UC Irvine Campus right across the street. To quote Marty McFly from Back to the Future, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.” This location is also making use of reclaimed materials and strives to earn the 3-Star Certification from the Green Restaurant Association just like its sister locations.

It’s time to slap you silly with some amazing seafood!

Ultimate Fish Taco is your choice of grilled or fried fish topped with cabbage, avocado puree, and pickled onion on a corn tortilla. The grilled fish was succulent and had an almost blackened seasoning to it, but was not overbearing. The fry batter was tempura-style with light and crispy outside. The fish was tender and succulent on the inside. Eat bite was a delicate balance of savory, creamy, sour, and salty along with crunchy and soft textures. Rating: 4.5/5

Organic Salad is your choice of seasonal fish with spinach, arugula, cabbage, carrot, tomato, cucumber, and drizzled with tomato vinaigrette. It was like a low-carb version of fish and chips. The grilled fish was succulent just like inside the taco with the blackened flavor. The salad itself had a lot of character from the crunchy texture of the cabbage and carrots and the refreshing and cooling flavor of the cucumber. It could use a little more vinaigrette so ask from some on the side. Rating: 4/5

Shrimp Roll is your choice of grilled or fried shrimp topped with your choice of tartar, fresh salsa, awesome sauce (creamy chile sauce), or jersey sauce (creamy lemon herb). The shrimp was perfectly grilled with a good snap to them. The awesome sauce was creamy and spicy and works well with the grilled shrimp. The jersey sauce might be a good choice as well. Rating: 4.3/5

Hot Pop Fish Bites are fried fish tossed in a sweet & sour glaze and served with a side of jersey sauce. The glaze gave these fish bites an Asian flavor with a ying-yang playfulness of sweet and spicy. This would be awesome over rice (possibly make into a bowl option). Rating: 5/5

The Anteater is a premium Angus beef patty topped with fried sweet shrimp, chunky lobster sauce, and served on a brioche bun. Bring on the napkins because this puppy is messy! The fried shrimp would be better with either a tempura batter or maybe grilled instead of the panko coating. The panko made it heavy and awkward to bite. The burger itself was very juicy, tender, and flavorful. Rating: 2.8/5

Chilled Pickles are a perfect side to your meal. I’m not a pickle person but still loved these! They had just the right amount of sourness and saltiness with a crunchy texture. Rating: 4/5

Fish & Chips (single or double fillet) is your choice of grilled or fried whitefish served with tartar sauce and natural cut fries. Now, these are really good fish and chips. The batter was light and crispy. The fillets were huge! The fries were fantastic! They were crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Rating: 4.5/5

Chowder Fries are natural cut fries smothered in creamy clam chowder and bacon. Ask for a fried egg topper for a real foodie experience. This was my favorite dish on the menu. The chowder was thick and creamy and acts like a gravy of sorts. The bacon added the salty and smoky element. The egg yolk added a velvety layer. This spells food coma, in a good way. Rating: 4.8/5

Lobster Roll is lobster tossed in hot butter with a dash of lemon mayo. It was served in an authentic lobster roll and piled high over the top with a healthy serving of lobster meat. The succulent flavor of the lobster will transport you to the East Coast. All you need is a gentle sea breeze. You can also get it protein-style as well replacing the roll with a lettuce wrap. Rating: 4.5/5

Even though it is across the street from UC Irvine, doesn’t make it just for college students. Let this modern seafood shack show you the fresh flavor palate of our oceans.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Décor: 4 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
4249 Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 92612, United States
Hours: Daily from 11am to 11pm
Parking: Free 2 hour parking in marked spaces

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