Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company

Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom

Spencer Makenzie’s in Ventura, CA | What to expect

Spencer Makenzie’s is all about filling portions of fresh fish served in causal surfside digs. It is a streetside shack a few blocks from the beach with a sunny open patio. There are places like it dotted up and down the Pacific coast, but Spencer Mac’s plump grilled shrimp and aggressive hot sauces make it one of the best. Most items on the menu have Mexican names, but they have little in common with familiar tacos and burritos, other than being wrapped in a tortilla.

What to eat at Spencer Makenzie’s

The famous item is the grilled fish and shrimp burrito. It’s a simple pocket stuffed with flakey, gently grilled haddock and bouncy grill-kissed shrimp. The only company in the flour tortilla are plain white rice, unseasoned cabbage and a spiced crema known as “Spencer sauce.” It is audaciously restrained, but it works because the seafood is fresh and well-cooked. Because of the simple, clean fillings of the burrito, it becomes a bit of a hot sauce vacuum. Fortunately, Spencer MacKenzie offers three excellent hot sauces on the table. Use them! 

Try the sauces!

Each sauce has a different balance of sweet and heat. Being hot heads, we kept reaching for the hottest, least sweet one: habeñero. Habeñero is a natural partner for seafood anyway. You can get most dishes “Brooklyn style” which adds a sweeter hot sauce in the kitchen. We prefer to do it ourselves. 

Fish Tacos

Almost as essential as the subtly grilled fish and shrimp burrito are “world famous” fish tacos. You can get them either with grilled or fried fish. The fried is tempura-battered cod, cooked to order. It makes for an unusually crunchy fish taco. Fresh cabbage and large diced sweet bell peppers built upon the powerful crunch. The only way to offset the crispiness of this giant taco is with lots of the great aforementioned hot sauces. 

Shrimp Taco

We are less fond of the Parmesan hard shell shrimp taco. True, the excellent grilled shrimp were springy and tasty, but its Spencer sauce felt gluey against a crisp shell, and cheese doesn’t really belong with seafood that’s only been slightly cooked. We bet these hard shell tacos are better with chicken or asada.

Shrimp Wontons

We also tried two of Spencer Makenzie’s most celebrated snacks: shrimp wontons and ahi pockets. The wontons are tasty, bite-sized fried pouches of shrimp and cream cheese topped with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce. They are basically like a crab rangoon but filled with shrimp instead of imitation crab meat. 

Ahi pockets are a less successful venture into Asian flavors. A sweet tofu inari pocket is filled with cold plain rice and topped with ahi tuna that has been seared with blackening spices and topped with “dynamite” sauce, like you’d find in a fusion sushi place. The marriage of Japanese and Cajun flavors is not a happy one; but we couldn’t even get past the hunk of cold unseasoned rice that made up the bulk of this snack anyway. None of this matters much though. We come back to Spencer Makenzie’s for best-in-their-class fish and shrimp burritos.

*NOTE: There is another location in Camarillo, CA

What To Eat

World Famous Fish Taco

Grilled Fish and Shrimp Burrito


Shrimp Hard Shell Parmesan Taco

Ahi Pocket

Hot Sauces


Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company Recipes


What do you think of Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company?

2 Responses to “Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company”

Bill Malone

February 24th, 2022

Steve Kirkpatrick ! hi good friends at Roadfood Bill needs Steve at Spencers to help out a bit Ventura Thompson location Calif. gets dangerous for he told to ask him Steve Kirkpatrick who’s playing little wrist games ! shoot at county or not by fbi in either bill and or wm. they were clearly told no steve bills at 515 8234 (805)


    Please pardon boys who's playing with bill i think under control clearly told to pull out of eland and antelope ! thank you services not needed and working on senior share with wm and or bill ref mary claire former b i thanks

    December 24th, 2022

    again happy holidays any problems at eland and antelope said to be marshalls that have not pulled out yet so b i please remove them thank you steve and daniels of mac kenzys conf fine again services not needed steve bnnt


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