The Last Bite — Winter’s Don’t-Miss Dish in Edible Santa Barbara Magazine
Want the full Cast Iron Seared Fish Sandwich Recipe? Get it here.
This airy seafood tavern sits in the middle of Carpinteria’s main street, just blocks from the beach (in the old Sly’s location). It’s warmly reassuring to those who’ve eaten at Little Dom’s in Los Angeles; Little Dom’s Seafood has the same wooden art deco bar, combination of casual cafe booth and outdoor seating, cozy dining banquettes and takeaway deli. Here, as in LA, the building’s history and architecture influence the restaurant’s 1940s feel and design—a perfect neighborhood joint for local seafood, Italian food staples (don’t miss the rice balls!) and Little Dom’s signature crunchy, smashed-fried potatoes.
This new outpost has a focus on local seafood, with a raw bar serving oysters, uni, marinated market fish (crudo) and fish rillettes on seeded flatbread, as well as oven and pan-roasted fish options plus a squid ink pasta with local uni butter. Owners Warner Ebbink and Chef Brandon Boulet, the same duo behind the LA version, say the seafood focus was a no brainer here. They source halibut, albacore and other big fish from Wild Local Seafood’s open ocean fishing boats, and smaller fish including Vermillion Snapper and Rockfish from their day boats, all based in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
After a long history of LA food and drink spots, including the original Dominick’s, the two partners and their families relocated to Ojai and Carpinteria and noticed that there wasn’t a seafood restaurant in Carpinteria. With Wild Local Seafood, they saw an opportunity to source all kinds of local species of fish and base the menu on what’s available from the boats, all while adding to the local economy (especially important to the duo during this last year). Wanting to support local organic farmers as well as fishermen, they looked to their literal neighbors Earthtrine Farm in Ojai and Frecker Farms in Carpinteria, as well as Beylik Farms, Givens Farm, and Carpinteria’s Thursday Famers Market.
They opened their doors in late summer 2020 and they are ecstatic—being so close to the food they source means serving it fresher than ever, sometimes within hours. And it shows.
Visit Little Dom’s Seafood online.
Cast Iron Seared Fish Sandwich Recipe
Want the full recipe? Get and print it here.
To make the Cast Iron Seared Fish Sandwich at home, make sure you have a good cast iron skillet, and some medium-bodied, thick-cut white fish fillets like Snapper, Rockfish or Halibut (nothing too oily). Marinate chopped napa or savoy cabbage in white balsamic vinegar, fennel seed, oregano, and salt at least 2 hours or in the fridge overnight. Make some pickled green tomato slices using your favorite pickling recipe that’s slightly sweet (this can be done 1 day ahead of time).
Heat the skillet over high heat until it’s very hot and add grapeseed oil (or olive oil or butter). Season each side of the fish with a mix of oregano, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Sear the fish on each side to get a crust, about 2-3 minutes per side. Butter a brioche bun on each side and toast it in the same skillet to get the edges crispy. Make chile aioli by mixing mayonnaise, calabrese chile oil/paste, garlic, and lemon juice. Smear on both sides of the bun, add the cabbage, the fish and the pickled green tomatoes and serve with crispy potatoes or salad.
Visit Little Dom’s Seafood online.