Torrance is ugly. The Monster knows this because Mrs. Monster refuses to use Google Maps or Mapquest for directions. Instead she likes to call a restaurant and ask for directions which has never worked and on this trip leads us to Rancho Palos Verdes. Awesome. So now we backtrack through the whole of Torrance to reach our destination. And Torrance is super ugly. But super ugly often equals super great food. The Monster is hungry and wants to hit up Mariscos El Salto and see how it stacks up to Marsicos Chente.
Finally arriving at the correct nondescript strip mall The Monster’s about to put a hurting on some Mexican seafood. It’s a decidedly ugly place, with the requisite mural on the wall (mountain with a rainbow!), the mirrored wall (look, it’s me!) and the television playing NFL football (trifecta!). That the jukebox plays at an insane level, like Chuck E Cheese loud and the flies divebomb you only add to the certain je ne sais quoi. That The Monster’s camera is completely dead only rachets up the annoyance level.
In lieu of pictures since the camera is dead, here’s a map of Torrance for when you get lost.
Chips are quickly brought to the table along with red and green salsa. They all prove disposable enough, the salsa a bit watery, the chips a bit greasy. However, the homemade guacamole made right at the table The Monster orders to stave off starvation is quite delicious.
El Salto Marsicos features a huge menu and The Monster is a bit dazzled at all the choices. Instead of systematically looking at it he begins to vaguely point at dishes and gauge our waitresses response. Somehow this ends with an order of seven seas soup and the mixed seafood platter. The very friendly waitress rightfully looks at us like we’re insane when we place our order because it could feed five.
What The Monster does not know is apparently the meal comes with soup. It’s a red based broth with a bit of spice and one sad shrimp poking its head out. The soup is appreciated by a hungry Monster but he wishes he’d known this and perhaps sanity would have overcome hunger in his ordering. Even better is the meal also comes with rice, a baked potato made inedible by a filthy amount of sour cream and butter and a salad. So by the time the meal comes The Monster has filled his belly full of a bunch of stuff he didn’t really want but couldn’t help but eat.
The seafood platter has potatoes, plantains, fried fish, grilled fish, butterflied shrimp, fried shrimp, squid, and a few things The Monster really can’t figure out but eats anyway wrapped in a flour tortilla. A general rule of thumb is anything fried, doused in hot sauce and wrapped in a tortilla is pretty tasty. And this is.
The seven seas soup has crab mussels, scallops a few types of fish, squid, shrimp…it’s got a bit of kick but how much soup can one consume after already having chips and salsa and guacamole and soup and rice and a salad and a little potato and fried seafood? Apparently the entire large bowl. It’s not a very memorable soup, The Monster wishes it had more heft and more unique flavors.
All in all it’s a decent enough meal but not one that would make The Monster regularly drive to Torrance and skip his beloved Mariscos Chente. That being said, the people were friendly and for those looking for change it may be worth a visit and The Monster readily admits he may have misordered.
Why go? You still own a Thomas Guide.
Monster rating: 2½/5 Monsters
2130 Redondo Beach Boulevard #D
Torrance, CA 90504