Ye Olde King's Head (Santa Monica)

When I lived on 7th street in Santa Monica, CA, one of my favorite places was the Ye Olde King’s Head near the beach on Santa Monica Blvd. Yeah… their fish and chips were great, but my fav was their Brum Fish Cakes, which were served with peas and sliced beefsteak tomatoes.

Since then (decades ago), their menu has changed/expanded, but the Brum Fish Cakes are gone, and according to their website, the fish and chips look nothing like they did back then (looking more like Van Camps frozen fish fillets more than anything else).

So I am just wondering if any of you here remember their Brum Fish Cakes, and maybe have a copycat recipe for them.

Well whaddya know… just spotted this recipe on YouTube, and the deep fried version looks very similar to what I got at the King’s Head.

I honestly don’t remember tasting mashed potatoes in what we had there, but in Googling “British Fish Cakes” (dunno why I didn’t do that initially as “Brum Fish” found nothing) it seems the potatoes are a staple ingredient.

Since Chef John is a much bigger fan of his recipes than I am, I will look thru a number of recipes online to explore various seasoning differences, but for the most part it seems 4 parts Haddock, Pollock, or Cod poached in milk, and 3 parts mashed potatoes are the starting point.

Looking forward to recreating one of my favorite pub dishes from my days in Santa Monica.


TBH, I’ve never seen a Van de Camps fish fillet “live,” but, based on what I remember from the commercials in my childhood, the ones at Ye Olde King’s Head thankfully don’t look anything like Van de Camp’s in real life. :slight_smile: The King’s Head ones are really sizable and, on a good day, the crust is so wonderfully crunchy. :slight_smile:

Here is what the YOKH fish currently looks like based on their web site…

This doesn’t look anything like what we used to get there when I lived in Santa Monica. Back then it had a combed finish, and was much larger.

I mention VDK as this is what it looks like…

And while it is one of the better frozen fried fish on my list, the King’s Head fish now pictured on their web site looks way more like it than it did years ago.

here’s a yelp photo from 8/21/22 with a caption that says “Fish and Chips (King) ( Left: Beer Batter Fish, Right:Traditional)”

here’s 7/22/22


which style do you like better @paranoidgarliclover ?

i haven’t found a fish n chips here that I’m really in love with in LA…ive done drinking at YOKH but it’s been a while…you’ve peeked my interest. I know @Chowseeker1999 and many others rave about the connie and teds iteration…i don’t find it bad but there’s a ton of better stuff that i prefer at connie and teds that that, even in the fried area (clams)…sometimes tho a pub atmosphere, some beer and a fish and chips could be pretty cool tho, I’m gonna check it out next time i have some time down there

been a while since i’ve had more than drinks and onion rings at the HMS Bounty on Wilshire in ktown area… this is what yelp shows their f and chips as…nothing recent tho

This isn’t really a pub but the wee chippy on the venice boardwalk doesn’t look awful

I really despise the third street promenade (farmer market aside) but the photos of the fish and chips at the britannia pub vary from looking ok to looking more like the old fish sticks type… i think the atmosphere here may not be for me.

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I’m not familiar w/ what a combed finish is or what it looks like. I will say the VdC one looks almost breaded, which is not what the King’s Head one is like. But see below.*

I do think the portion size is smaller from what it was many yrs ago (I wasn’t in the area decades ago! :slight_smile: ). But it’s still pretty sizable. I also think scale can be difficult to determine in a pic, and the chips at King’s Head are significantly thicker than, say, a McD’s fry.

Traditional, unquestionably!

I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten the FnC at Connie and Ted’s! I haven’t been often (a wee bit out of my price range except for a relatively special occasion), but I wouldn’t doubt they have a great rendition since everything is quite good there.

@chienrouge, if you don’t live super far from King’s Head, I think it’s worth a re-visit. They have a decent curry, BTW (but the accompanying rice, not so much), a super-food salad which was pretty good, and their lamb Fri night special is quite lovely.

*Many yrs ago, King’s Head changed their batter (prob around the same time the portion size got smaller). IMHO, it was TERRIBLE. I can’t remember now what it tasted like (and the texture was also TOTALLY off). Partner and I were heartbroken, since we loved the FnC there previously. We stayed away for 1-2 yrs and then, on a whim, decided to go back to see if anything had changed (we live not TOO far away). When we asked if the batter had been changed back, the server said that “traditional” was an option. Hallelujah!!!

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Thanks for the info - traditional it is. I’m gonna give it a shot. Looks nice and crispy in that photo from yelp. I like the atmosphere there and am near there a few times a week. A few pints of well poured beer and my appetite is enhanced too. Friday lamb roast special sounds great too.

(ps, I agree Connie and Teds isn’t super cheap, but some of the menu is reasonable and my research shows the FnC is just a few bucks more there than the “king size” at YOKH. @Chowseeker1999 has reliable tastebuds, give em a whirl!)


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Not exactly what it used to look like but this is pretty close…

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Looks crispy and good where is that one from

I honestly don’t remember.

That must indeed have been many (decades) ago b/c I don’t ever recall getting a batter like that at King’s Head (and I’ve probably been going there off and on for 15 yrs?).

That looks a lot like the kind of batter you could get at Batterfish (which is no longer in LA, sadly).

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Early 80’s to early 90’s.

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I just feel like this sort of belongs in this thread …

Looks good where is it

Mitch’s seafood

Just went to Ye Olde King’s Head last weekend…preferred the current batter to what you typically get.YMMV.