Connie and Ted’s is the long-awaited follow-up to LA’s best seafood restaurant, Michael Cimarusti’s Providence. Just opening this week it’s already bustling, a fun and playful design highlighting great service and a menu long on East coast style seafood.
So, how is the food at this eagerly anticipated joint?
And that’s a little disappointing for The Monster who wants it to be a transcendent experience. If you go in expecting a good time and good food, you’ll most certainly be pleased.
From one of the owner’s opening the door to the fleet of staff there to make sure you’re pampered, Connie and Ted’s knows that great service goes a long way. On this front, even in the early days, they are excelling. Likewise, whether inside or on the large covered patio, the space is a hip homage to the seafood restaurants dotting the right coast and paired with an inspired drink menu it makes this a wonderful place to come with friends.
And the menu, it is a veritable cornucopia of the sea featuring both a raw and steamed section, appetizers, specialties, sandwiches, a grilled catch of the day and plenty of sides. Further, the desert menu is sure to have many indulging in extra calories.
Starting off the night is Nancy’s peeky toe crab cake served with cole slaw and tartar sauce. It’s a nice sized portion and it’s good, not great. This will be the reoccurring theme of the evening. The essential crab taste gets lost a bit here.
Next up, a sampler of Jo’s wicked good chowda’ that includes New England, Manhattan and Rhode Island clear. While all of them are tasty, none of them are particularly chowda’-like as they are all thinner based soups. The homemade crackers they are served with, tiny cubes of cracker, prove an ingenious touch.
Grilled calamari with San Marzano tomato, arugula and bread crumbs is the last of the appetizers and it doesn’t disappoint. A large portion of calamari this is one of the evenings highlights.
For the main courses Ed’s Portuguese fish stew is the first call, with hake, clams, mussels and linquica. This is a rec of the waitress and ordered despite the presence of pork (which at first they tell us can be removed and later recant). Either way, this is a lot of potato and not as much seafood as The Monster would like. That being said, sopping up the sauce with the bread that is included is an indulgent treat.
For the sides onion rings and homemade dill pickles are chosen and both work, large portions again given the price.
A lobster roll (hot, buttered) is the last entree and it comes with a mound of fries (too large in fact, save some potatoes!). No complaints about the lobster roll (other than wish it was a smidge bigger).
So, what’s missing? For The Monster, who worships at the altar of seafood, there wasn’t one bite that just blew us away. But given Cimarusti’s pedigree this might be case of a restaurant needing to hit its stride or a case where the wow factor comes in items we didn’t order.
Either way, The Monster will surely be back to try again.
Why go? It’s Cimarusti and seafood. ‘Nuff said.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
8171 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046