Okay, so right after I posted about Al's last night, Jon called up inquiring about dinner. Good timing. With fish and chips on the brain -- and not much in the fridge -- we decided to take a trip over to the strip mall that is home to Al's.
The restaurant is clean and has a contemporary feel. The space itself is not very large (it seats maybe 20?), but based on what we saw, it looks like most of their business is to-go.
While waiting in line, we surveyed the beverages in the drink fridge. The bottled, carbonated sangria sounded interesting -- but not necessarily in a good way (I had carbonated iced tea in Europe and that was disgusting) -- so I went with a Jarrito juice drink. There were actually quite a few Mexican beverages to choose from.
Which brings me to my next point: Al's Fish N' Chips almost seems like a misnomer for the restaurant. Yes, they do offer fried fish with a helping of fries. BUT, it's got quite a few other seafood offerings and a Mexican food bent. For example, the menu also included fried calamari, crabby cheese bread, shrimp louie, crab louie, New England clam chowder, tacos, shrimp cocktail (Mexican style), ceviche tostada, guacamole, black beens, cheese quesadilla.
So there appear to be two main themes to this place: deep-fried food and Mexican food. We went with one of each last night. I ordered the fish and chips, while Jon had the fish tacos, both of which are made with cod.
Jon enjoyed his tacos -- which consisted of a couple of pieces of fried fish, cabbage, tomato salsa and a sauce of some sort. And I thought the fish'n'chips were great. The batter wasn't too thick/heavy, but it coated the fish just enough to give it a nice, crispy texture. (I assume the pieces in the taco were the same, but I didn't actually sample any of Jon's dish.)
Since the TV was tuned into Rachael Ray, who I find extremely annoying, the wait for the food may have felt longer than it actually was. We estimated it was probably 15 minutes from the time we ordered at the counter, to the time they brought the food to our table. With just one person doing the cooking, and a second person dealing with the register, it made sense that the food might take a little while. (The service was friendly, and that's more important to us than waiting a bit longer than expected.)
There were no desserts on the menu (nope, no flan!), but after a meal at Al's, you could easily stop in a few doors down at the Baskin-Robbins for a sweet ending to your evening.
Al's Fish N' Chips
2139 Roosevelt Avenue
Redwood City, CA
(650) 366-FISH (3474)