Kingfish is a fun New Orleans/Southern focused restaurant in San Mateo. They had a location in San Francisco but that closed.. The place is prime draw for this sleepy suburb as it is around the corner from the Cinemark Theaters and is one of the few places that stays open late. They focus on using organic, antibiotic & steroid-free meats. Our last visit was in late 2016.
The Foster City Costco sells discounted gift cards for this restaurant. A Pacfic Catch opened a couple doors down, probably impacting their business.
Decor, Vibe – Kingfish’s walls are filled with wild and colorful Southern Folk Art adding to a fun vibe. Couples, families, a more upscale crowd than most restaurants in downtown San Mateo. They have two floors with an additional bar area upstairs.
Kingfish Menu pics
Kingfish’s menu features a wide variety of items, some Cajun, others simply American. They have specials each day. The menu has evolved over the years and has led to some items we like, being removed.
Mojito Cubanito ($9.50) – A nice balanced mojito drink with coconut accented liquor. This place clearly knows how to pour cocktails. Our last one in 2015 was a bit sweet with hidden alcohol.
Pomegranate Drop ($11) Anti-Oxidant rich!…And Vodka rich too!! Belvedere vodka, pomegranate juice, hint of apple. Not as foo foo as you would think. Pretty strong and good for you!
Boomerang Cosmo ($9) Ultra cool Boomerang Vodka from Australia, Combier, cranberry juice, fresh squeezed lime, served up was good and strong.
Weed Wacker ($9) Jeremiah’s Weed sweet tea vodka, fresh lemonade, topped with Ginger ale, shaken and served up. Recommended by our server, this cocktail is on the sweet side but was balanced and is highly recommended.
Hurricane ($12) is tall and strong. If you want to get zonked fast, go for it.
Butter lettuce salad ($10) green apples, cane syrup candied pecans, goat cheese,
apple-vanilla seed vinaigrette was pretty good and no that sweet.
Chopped salad ($9) chopped cabbage, romaine and radicchio, toasted
peanuts, crispy won ton strips, honey-mustard with grilled organic chicken ($7) was pretty large and full of diced chicken. A nice crunchy salad with a lite dressing.
Chinese Chicken Salad ($17) was another huge salad with lots of chopped cabbage and strong mustard dressing.
Cheese and Garlic Bread ($6) was hot and slathered in cheese. Lots of garlic flavor.
Steamed Mussels ($12) changed from mussels and clams. It is now in a Thai curry broth with some veggies. A lot more interesting that the usual preparation.
Scallop Appetizer ($13.95) came with two of the biggest scallops we’d ever had. Cooked pretty well with a nice carmelized coating. They sat on top of a black bean/ Yukon potato cakes. A pretty good dish. The was removed from the menu in 2014.
Original Kingfish Number 1 Tuna tartare ($15) tuna, sesame, shoyu, ginger, scallion, fresh mango puree, taro chips. This dish was recommended by the server and proved to be an excellent recommendation. Fresh tuna, cubed and intermixed with some nice Asian flavors. A bit on the creamy side.
Ahi Tuna Salad ($22) was added to the menu in the middle of 2013 and consists of a salad with liberal slices of ahi on top. Not as good as the Tuna tartare, but still worth ordering.
Ice cold oysters ($25 for a dozen) included very fresh shigoku, skookum, pearl point, miyagi the Shallot dipping sauce was very tart. We just stuck to the lemons.
Friday’s Special lobster boil with fixin’s ($35) Maine Lobster, brentwood corn, Silva Sausage Co. Spicy Sausage, was an excellent combination. Freshly steamed lobster, definitely hit the spot. We saw several other tables with same dish. This special was removed on our last visit.
Slow roasted prime rib | au jus – certified black angus | nebraska ($39) was a pretty large slice of medium rare tender meat along with some asparagus, horseradish and a large baked potato packed with the works. (Be sure to ask for condiments on the side) This will surely satisfy any meat fan.
Scallops + Etouffée ($29) hand harvested jumbo U-8 scallops, crawfish, shrimp, mahogany roux,served traditionally ‘smothered’ over long grain rice Atlantic was recommended by our server and frankly was a spicy dish very similar to the Jambalaya.
Beer battered Fish and Chips ($18) had 3 pieces of freshly fried fish, which were a bit on the small side. Quality was fine, and the fries were thin and good.
Wagyu ribeye ($48 for 12 oz) black peppered and grilled, vidalia onion-potato gratin creamed fresh baby spinach, smoked shallot butter, red wine sauce snake river is extremely expensive but worthwhile. Tender, charcoaly, and cooked just right. The potatoes were pretty rich.
Jambalaya ($24) famous shrimp, chicken, andouille, mussels, sweet peppers, long grain rice, braised in a spicy shrimp stock is a classic dish and proved to be a decent one too. High on quantity, HIGH on the heat, 3 large shrimp, and lots of chopped sausage.
Skirt steak + rings ($25) certified Angus beef from Oregon with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and onion rings was a popular dish that featured a tender and correctly cooked slice of beef.
New orleans beignets ($8) cafe du monde chicory coffee | valrhôna bittersweet chocolate – the french quarter classic with cafe du monde chicory coffee crème anglaise and valrhôna bittersweet chocolate dipping sauce. Their signature dessert is excellent. Freshly fried and lightly sugared with two contrasting dips. Keep some room for this bad boy.
Clam chowder ($9) fresh littleneck clams, smoked bacon, Yukon potatoes was huge bowl. Full of clams and cream. In 2016, it was a big chemically.
Half Lobster and Risotto ($26) included a small steamed lobster along with some dense pea risotto. More vegetarian oriented and not very rich. Truffle flavor lacking.
kingfish gumbo ($9) chicken and andouille sausage, mahogany roux, okra,
texas long grain rice was a pretty reasonable version that could use more spice action.
Service at Kingfish was slightly above average and friendly. They do not have enough waiters, so there were long pauses between visits. This restaurant is a good place for groups and those seeking a change from mundane suburb fare, without driving to the city. Other nearby restaurants worth a visit include Hotaru and Vault 164.
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