Codmother Fish & Chips in San Francisco

San Francisco is a city for food, with fantastic restaurants and street vendors on virtually every corner. One recent spot that has been able to carve itself a small little slice of that pie though is the fantastic permanent food truck known as Codmother. When I first heard about it, I was a little weary that a new spot could make an actual play for the seafood/fish and chips market this close to Fishermans Wharf. After trying it though I can easily say it was much better than it has any right to be and it will likely be a staple on my visits to SF for years to come. Here is all the information.

Details

  • $10 – $12
  • Not much parking, take public transportation
  • Location: 496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Getting There

Codmother is only a few blocks from the main eateries of Fishermans Wharf, in a small converted corner with a few different food trucks. I recommend taking public transportation and walking as parking is expensive here.

The restaurant is a blink and you will miss it food truck with a small wooden fence around it and some benches under umbrellas. It has been packed both times I have gone though, and I have to imagine that on the weekends it can be a pretty long wait.

A wait is OK with me though when the food is this good. I went with a kids order of the fish and chips this time since I had just eaten some clam chowder at Boudin and it was just the right amount of food for a snack.

The thing that sets this spot apart is the absolutely perfect fried fish batter. It’s not greasy, and it is full of flavor. It has just a light salting to fully bring the savoriness out. It’s not a healthy batter, but for a fried type of fish and chips like this, I can’t think of any better. The French fries are great too, but honestly it wouldn’t even matter with fish this good.

They have a homemade sauce that they serve with it, and I found myself using that more than even the tartar sauce. It has a nice tangy taste that I enjoyed with the fries.

Codmother was voted number 83 on Yelp Top 100 last year, so it seems like it is starting to get the recognition it deserves, and if you are visiting Fishermans Wharf, considering walking a few blocks up to try this special place. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Follow the trails

Several markers and signs from organizations including the BLM and Oregon California Trail Association point out wagon ruts, historic sites, ...
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King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant in Torrance

I am sure you have probably had the fantastic Kings Hawaiian rolls from the store, but did you know that the bakery is based in Torrance and that there are two restaurants where you can have some fantastic food made with the rolls, including French toast. If not then you must go, here is all the info.

Details

  • Cost: $8 – $12 for breakfast
  • Location: 2808 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

Getting There

From the 405 Freeway North, you will get off on Crenshaw Blvd and take it south to Sepulveda Blvd. From there you will turn left, and the restaurant will be up ahead on the left. There is a large parking lot directly behind it.

The Restaurant

King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant is like any traditional diner with a counter and tables to sit at.

They have a large bakery where you can get everything from cakes to donuts, and you can also pick up the famous bread as well.

In the middle of the restaurant, there is a large pineapple; I am guessing since the company is Hawaiian, and there are fun old photos on the walls.

The Food

The menu was pretty extensive, but I wanted to stick with the famous French toast, which I heard was amazing before I came.

I ordered the “Big Island” which is a combo of French toast, eggs and a choice of meat. I went with Portuguese sausage since I had never had it before and it was a great choice. The sausage is cut like a kielbasa and has a nice spice to it which makes it come alive with flavor. The stand out here is the french toast though. The French toast is massive, and it has an excellent natively sweet taste in the bread, almost like a cinnamon roll. The bread is moist and practically melts in your mouth with like a gooey consistency. It sounds weird, but it’s fantastic. It is different than any French toast I have had before, and it is something I will no doubt come back to order again.

Spam musubi, AKA spam sushi, has fried spam inside of rice and seaweed paper. We only ordered it because there was a picture on our table and hadn’t had anything like it before. It came served like a traditional sushi roll, cut into eight slices and then served with teriyaki. I wouldn’t say I liked it, but it was much better than I anticipated it being. The salty spam is mellowed out a lot with the sweet teriyaki sauce. If you want a food adventure, then give it a try as it is a traditional Hawaiian dish.

Torrance has a lot of good food options, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go here for breakfast again. The food is well priced and tasty, making it an easy recommendation in the city. You can find more of my recommendations in Torrance here.

24 Hours in Torrance Itinerary: Restaurants, Beaches, Movie Locations & Malls

The city of Torrance is situated in between Redondo Beach and San Pedro. With its booming population and long history, the city has plenty to offer those that stop by for the day or stay for the weekend. I got a chance to spend a day there, and here are my recommendations for how to spend 24 hours in Torrance.

Video

Before diving into the post, here is a video I made on all of these recommendations as well.

Breakfast – King Hawaiian Bakery

To start your time in the city, there is no better spot for breakfast then the famous King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant. This purveyor of popular rolls is a great low key diner with fantastic food. I recommend the French Toast, which is made with the King’s Hawaiian Rolls. If you are feeling adventurous you can try the Spam Musubi as well, which is basically spam sushi; not for everyone, but it is a traditional Hawaiian dish.

Madrona Marsh

After breakfast take the 5-minute drive to the Madrona Marsh, a nice piece of open space right in the middle of the city. The one-mile trail will take you past vernal wetlands and let you see some fun wildlife including many types of birds. Read more here.

Biking the Strand Bike Trail

If you are still in the mood to be active, head over to one of the many bike rental spots near the beach for a nice ride on the bike path that goes all the way to Santa Monica. If you want a fun and less active way to do this, consider renting an electric bike from Pedgro in Redondo Beach and then you can ride the path and just take in the views without the workout.

Lunch – Yellow Fever

I would not leave Torrance without a visit to Yellow Fever, as it is my favorite spot in the city for food. The bowls here have fresh ingredients and never seem too heavy. I also recommend the ugly egg rolls, which are a great side to share (they are so good you might want to eat them all yourself though).

After lunch, you have four options for the afternoon. You can probably do multiple depending on how much time you want at each.

Option 1: Breweries

Torrance is full of craft breweries, and there are many great ones to recommend. Here are my top 3:

Smog City

Monkish

HopSaint

HopSaint also has food in case you skipped lunch.

Option 2: Toyota Auto Museum

The Toyota Auto Museum is by appointment only, and it is the only museum for the auto manufacturer outside of Japan. There are over 140 cars there ranging from vans to race cars, with some famous ones like the Minority Report car thrown in for good measure.

Even if you are not a car lover, this is a fun museum to check out in the area. Be sure to email them to schedule a time to come though.

Option 3: Del Amo Fashion Center

If you are a shopper then this mall is where you will want to go. At one point in time it was the largest in the United States, but now it is just “one of the largest.” The mall is massive, easily taking up many city blocks and you can probably spend a half day here.

Option 4: Hollywood Movie Spots Tour

Torrance has been a popular movie and TV location over the years. If you are into visiting film spots then here are four to check out.

Buffy’s the Vampire Slayers House

Located at 1313 Cota Ave

Torrance High School (90210, Bruce Almighty, She’s All That, many more)

Located at 2200 W Carson St.

NWA Studio (Straight Outta Compton recorded here)

Located at 1327 Cabrillo Avenue.

Torrance Beach (Batman TV Show)

This is where Batman surfed against the Joker in one of the most famous scenes from the TV Show.

Mitsuwa Marketplace

Before dinner, consider stopping by the Mitsuwa Marketplace (Or you can eat dinner here too). Mitsuwa Marketplace is a Japanese Grocery Store, and it has a ton of fun and unique foods. If you go with your family, consider trying to find some of the most unique things you can to eat.

Dinner – Ramen Yamadaya

Ramen Yamadaya is in the north part of Torrance, and it is a great spot for some quality ramen. Ramen Yamadaya is very small though so you might have to wait, especially on the weekends, it is worth it if you like ramen though.

Sunset – Torrance Beach

For sunset, head down to Torrance Beach and take advantage of the proximity to the water for great shots of the sun going down over the ocean. I recommend getting here at least 45 minutes before the sun goes down as it is a great spot to relax and take in all the views.

Hotel – Marriot Torrance

For hotels, it is hard to beat the Marriott Torrance as it is right in the heart of town, across the street from the mall. The hotel has a great lounge area with outdoor games, a pool and a nice bar. It was a excellent spot to hang out in the city, and I recommend it.

So there you have it, my recommendations for how to spend a day in Torrance. Let me know what I left off that you like doing in the comments.

Seven Dishes You Must Eat in Torrance

The city of Torrance, located between San Pedro and Redondo Beach, is home to one of the largest malls in America and dozens of fantastic eateries. I am always looking for the most unique foods to try when I go to a new city, so this list is seven food experiences you need to have when in Torrance. Be sure to let me know what I left off in the comments.

French Toast – King’s Hawaiian Bakery & Restaurant

While King’s Hawaiian is known for the famous rolls you can buy in supermarkets across the USA, in Torrance it is known for its spectacular french toast. Made with the same bread they use for the rolls, this is a great dish to start your food adventures in Torrance. I recommend getting it with the Portuguese sausage, which is almost like a spicy kielbasa and it is great.

Ugly Egg Rolls from Yellow Fever

Honestly, pretty much everything at Yellow Fever deserves to be on this list, it’s one of my favorite restaurants in Torrance by far. If you stop by though, don’t leave without getting the Ugly Eggs Rolls. These deep-fried delicacies are cut in two and then charred to give them the ugly look and to bring out the unique flavor. The tangy sauce they provide to dip them in really compliments the taste well. Be sure to also get a bowl when you are here though as they are fresh and excellent.

Chocolate Chip Angel Cookie from Torrance Bakery

Torrance Bakery is a staple of the food scene in Torrance, and it has been here for over three decades. The amount of options they have when you walk in is overwhelming, but for my money, the most unique item they have is the chocolate chip angel cookie. I have a hard time describing it other than to say it is an incredibly light cookie that is not overpoweringly sweet but comes alive with the chocolate chips. The batter of the cookie compliments the chocolate well and even the consistency is unique. It’s less than a dollar for the cookie, so what do you have to lose?

Oysters at Jolly Oyster Market

If you like oysters, or even if you don’t, you must head down to the Jolly Oyster Market and give one a try. I have been may times to the famous Jolly Oyster Food Truck in Ventura, but when I heard Torrance had the market it was a must stop for me. They have some of the best oysters in Southern California, and I have turned three people into oyster fans eating here. I recommend the Kumamoto if it’s your first time.

Tonkotsu Ramen with Pork Belly from Ramen Yamadaya

Ramen is one of the up and coming food trends in Southern California, and when you experience a good bowl you will understand why. This unassuming restaurant in the middle of Torrance has seating for less than 20 people and is almost constantly busy. The highlight here is the Tonkotsu broth made with black sesame paste, soy sauce, and pork broth. It is not a traditional ramen broth, but it is great. If you order it with Pork Belly, you will be shocked to see how massive the slice is that is sitting in your bowl. While it is not a traditional bowl of ramen, it is still fantastic.

Green Tea Snow Bowl with Red Bean from Okrumong

This unique dish is green tea shaved ice in the shape of an egg, served with home made red bean paste on top. I had no idea what to expect when I went to visit, but it’s a refreshing dessert that isn’t too sweet. The red bean is not for everyone as it is almost like a sweet bean paste, but I like it. This is a good spot for a fun dish the whole family can try.

Bacon Belly Bites from HopSaint

There are tons of great breweries in Torrance, including Smog City and Monkish but if you are looking for food, then you want to head over to HopSaint. The fun twist on traditional pub food is great at HopSaint, with the highlight being the Bacon Belly Bombs. These sliced and grilled pork belly pieces have caramelized onions and blue cheese on top. While they are not much to photograph, the smokey, sweet flavor is out of this world. Be sure to order them as you sample the beer.

So there you have it, seven unique dishes to try in Torrance. What did I leave off that you love eating? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

Madrona Marsh Preserve Hike in Torrance

The Madrona Marsh, in the middle of Torrance, is one of the last vernal wetlands remaining in the South Bay area of Southern California. With a few miles of hiking trails, it is a great spot to get a little open space time right in the middle of the city. I was surprised by how many different species of birds I saw while walking around, especially considering there was a Target right across the street. Here is all the information so you can check out this unique spot.

Details

  • Free
  • ~1 mile
  • Location: 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503

Getting There

Madrona Marsh is in the middle of the city, and you can’t miss it when you put the above address into your GPS. It will take you right to the parking lot where you can access the marsh from.

After parking, head across the street to the gate which will be closed but which you can open during operating hours.

Once inside you will be whisked away to a beautiful, peaceful open space area in the middle of the city.

I recommend heading right as that is where the wetlands and most of the wildlife are.

There is a path that goes all around the exterior of the marsh that you can take, and there are little spurs off it to get closer to the water as well.

It is weird to be walking right next to cars driving along the road, but surprisingly it doesn’t startle the birds and other wildlife in the marsh.

We found one pool that was covered in moss, but as you got closer, you could see little crawfish/lobster type things coming out of the water. It was interesting to see creatures like this in the marsh.

Heading around the backside, there is a small bridge to cross the wetlands, and then you will basically be walking through the surrounding dry area completing the loop.

This part isn’t as impressive, but it is still nice to walk through in the middle of the city.

All in all, I enjoyed my short time at the Madrona Marsh. I love that these types of spots are preserved, and I encourage you to check it out if you are visiting Torrance. For more recommendations, check out this post.