Simplified Seafood in San Pedro

When it comes to fish, simplicity is usually best. Too many creatures of the sea are killed twice--first on a fishing boat, then in a kitchen. Unless you're in the domain of a master chef, it's usually wise to ignore those elaborate, fine-sounding saffron-lobster-cream sauces, which can overpower the flavor of your fish, and order it plainly broiled.

Which brings me to the 22nd Street Landing. This San Pedro seafood restaurant has a comforting San Francisco feel: dark wood, slowly revolving ceiling fans, and a row of booths and tables so long it would take Super Bowl star Jerry Rice at least five seconds to traverse their length. Of course, the visual glory of the restaurant is the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows--the alluring sight of hundreds of boats in San Pedro harbor.

Before your fish arrives, a good way to begin is a bowl of clam chowder ($3.25), with more clams than potato. The soup gets a smoky flavor from chopped bacon and is seasoned with thyme and white pepper.

Highlighting the menu are 12 fresh fish dishes, including freshwater as well as ocean fish. An Idaho rainbow trout ($8.95 at lunch, $13.95 at dinner), which comes with the clam chowder or lobster bisque, is broiled over a blend of apple, orange and lemon-tree wood. Blackish char lines from the grill contrast handsomely with the green and silvery-blue of the trout's skin. Rounding out the rainbow on this healthy plate are steamed carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli and rice.

Among the other offerings are New Zealand orange roughy ($12.95/$18.95), Pacific yellowtail ($11.95/$14.95), thresher shark ($10.95/$15.95) and Alaskan halibut ($12.95/$18.95).

The Sunday brunch buffet ($15.95) features lobster bisque and snapper Vera Cruz together with unlimited sparkling wine and orange juice and an assortment of salads, omelets and carved meats.

22nd Street Landing is at 141 W. 22nd St., San Pedro. (310) 548-4400. Open Mondays through Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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