Tangaroa Restaurant

Worth driving from anywhere!

Living in Marina del Rey for over 30 years, I’ve always wondered why we didn’t have a good array of seafood restaurants. Now, that is not the case!

Inconspicuously located on the corner of a major street close to Marina del Rey is a building I pass by every day.  All I saw on the front of it was Tangaroa.  I nNever thought twice that it might be a restaurant until I noticed people inside … eating.

I saw an advertisement for it in our local newspaper and had to check it out. What a surprise when I entered: it also is a fresh seafood market, as well as a raw bar.

Behind the counter and bar is a huge chalkboard listing all the fresh fish for the day.  There were maybe 50 different types of oysters on the chalkboard with check-marks next to the oysters of the day.  I could choose from among about ten different kinds.

We sat down at one of the many tables and our waitress let us know that we were there during happy hour. She also told us that a lot of the items on the menu are specialties of New Zealand and Australia.  They had a full bar but it was just water for me.  She asked if I wanted plain or sparkling.  I chose sparkling not giving a thought that it might be bottled and from New Zealand. What a treat!  It didn’t need ice because it was served in its own special stainless steel glass to keep it cold.

After we looked over the menu, our waitress let us know that a few items were offered as appetizers during happy hour. Perfect! That meant I got to try several different dishes. Oysters were $2 each.

I asked the waitress about fresh sea urchin. She assured me that I would love it, that they crack the sea urchin and serve it as it comes right out of the shell. However, she also told me that they were out of it. Phew!

We chose a tuna ceviche made with the chef’s choice from a few different types of tuna available. We also shared a seared-tuna-topped salad, peel and eat rock shrimp from Australia, and an Australian cheese platter. I had to have a couple oysters and I told the waitress to let the chef choose for me.

The ceviche was simply the best I’ve ever had. Next time it will be a full order for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had such fresh fish!

As we were eating, the man behind the fish counter kept coming over and asking us how we liked what we were eating. I asked the waitress if he was the owner. “No, he’s the fish monger.”

The rock shrimp looked different from the shrimp I’m used to, with a taste reminiscent of lobster. The cheese plate included perfectly sized samples of a soft cheese, a hard cheese and a blue. It came with a salami, strawberries, and what I think was an orange marmalade and crackers. I missed asking the waitress exactly what cheeses we were eating.

When we were done eating, “my” fish monger came over with a gift of freshly-caught (off the shores of New Zealand) salmon sashimi. I normally don’t care for salmon sashimi but this was just delicious. There was no doubt that it was freshly caught.

I never did have my oysters. After we had ordered the ceviche and salad, the waitress thought I had cancelled them. Now, I must go back for oysters! As if I need an excuse!

What to Eat
Tangaroa Restaurant, Tuna Ceviche
Tuna Ceviche
Happy Hour sample size bowl of New Zealand tuna cevche
Tangaroa Restaurant, Peel and Eat Shrimp
Peel and Eat Shrimp
If you didn't know they were shrimp you'd think you were eating lobster
Tangaroa Restaurant, Green salad with a seared tuna option
Green salad with a seared tuna option
Green Salad topped with seared tuna
Tangaroa Restaurant, Cheese Sampler
Cheese Sampler
Chef's choice of cheeses
Tangaroa Restaurant, Taste of the Salmon Sashimi
Taste of the Salmon Sashimi
Freshly caught salmon from the waters off of New Zealand
Tangaroa Restaurant, Australian Sparkling Water
Australian Sparkling Water
Kopu Sparkling Water
Directions and Hours
Open Today
Sunday10:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday11:30am - 9:00pm
Wednesday11:30am - 9:00pm
Thursday11:30am - 9:00pm
Friday11:30am - 11:00pm
Saturday10:00am - 11:00pm
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Uncle Bill’s Pancake House

    Manhattan Beach, California

    By the Ocean in Manhattan Beach, Uncle Bill’s is known for eggs, pancakes, and waffles; we love the hash brown scramble known as potatoes Stroganoff.

  • Shaky Alibi

    Los Angeles, California

    Los Angeles’ Shaky Alibi is all about the best imaginable Liège Belgian waffles, both sweet and savory. On the side: best-in-the-city coffee.

  • Cassell’s Hamburgers

    Los Angeles, California

    Many were saddened when the original Cassell’s closed, but now we can rejoice. A revamp of the classic burger diner respects traditions that made it famous.

  • Kettle

    Manhattan Beach, California

    A classic southern California coffee shop, open round the clock, serving high-quality square meals with especially good breakfast. Kettle muffins are a must!

  • Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited

    Inglewood, California

    Cheesecake is the single thing on the menu at this Los Angeles take-out-only storefront bakery. Dozens of varieties are available; the best is praline.

  • Sugar ‘N Spice

    Newport Beach, California

    Thank Sugar ‘N Spice for frozen bananas’ popularity on Newport Beach’s Balboa Island. Since 1945.