Chubby Fish

6768, 252 Coming St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA

Come to this neighborhood corner establishment for the seafood, but don’t overlook the beef tartare, complemented by radish, nori, and ranch (and don’t be ashamed to order two if you’re with a party of three or more). Pricing is akin to the Ordinary, without that big brother’s fancy full experience, but it’s worth a visit for treats like tempura blowfish tails—bone-in adult lollypops of crispy, savory flavor, with lemon and spicy mayo on the side. Unconventional entrees like the smoked fish curry (amberjack one week, mackerel the next) with pumpkin and peanuts and hints of citrus, make each bite a pleasant and surprising adventure of textures and tastes. The tiny dining room gets packed quickly on weekends, and the residential setting means they still haven’t acquired a liquor license a year in, but the flavor is worth any sacrifice. The small but excellent wine list includes creative sparkling varietals, and the restaurant is one of a few places in town to serve Life Raft Treats desserts—don’t leave without a waffle-flavored ice cream in the shape of a small chicken leg, coated in toasted corn flakes, wrapping a frozen cream-filled chocolate wafer.

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