With yet another summer beginning to wrap up and say farewell for the year, these five elevated seafood towers must not go unexplored. From cuisines of Creole, to Southeast Asian, to plant-based inspirations, each restaurant presents a tower with a twist that reflects their unique identity.
These culinary works of art, which include a variety of seafood and shellfish delicacies, are yet another way to step up your summer food-game.
Another plus to the seafood tower menu option is that they often include oysters, a well-known aphrodisiac. That makes these extravagant and photo worthy seafood towers perfect for a warm summer date night.
Photo: Anne Watson
ROKU, West Hollywood, CA
This upscale Japanese restaurant features a sashimi seafood tower which includes a variety of fresh sushi grade fish and a wasabi cocktail sauce. It’s garnished with purple plumeria flowers and delicately simple leafy green plants that give an island-inspired vibe to the bamboo tiered tower.
Pair this dish with their “Pacific Scorpion” cocktail, and you are sure to feel like you’re enjoying an evening at an oceanfront Japanese restaurant at a 5-star resort in Kaanapali, Hawaii.
Photo: Rick Poon
Cassia, Santa Monica, CA
Chef Brant Ng’s seafood tower at Cassia is inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine and consists of wood-fired grilled “Sunbathing” prawns that are then chilled to pack a sensational smokiness. The tower also includes snow crab claws, fresh spicy scallops, smoked salmon dip and oysters on the half shell. It includes an array of homemade, unique sauces utilizing the season’s freshest ingredients, including persimmons, tomatoes, and chilies. With a simple and clean presentation, this tower is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious.
Crossroads, Los Angeles, CA
This innovative plant-based restaurant serves a vegan pseudo-seafood tower that is served upon market availability that allows them to incorporate whatever is new and noteworthy from local markets. The tower uses unique vegetables including the rare lobster mushrooms that are tempura fried, “artichoke oysters”, and hearts of palm that remarkably resemble calamari rings. Crossroad’s artichoke oysters are completely vegan and made with an artichoke purée, crispy oyster mushrooms, kelp caviar, and a yellow tomato béarnaise. Lobster mushrooms are the main attraction here and they are a highly sought after item known for their striking resemblance in flavor to that of actual lobster.
The creativity that Chef Tal Ronnen uses with his unique plant-based twist on your classic seafood tower is inspiring and appropriately tailored to the rapidly growing LA vegetarian and vegan community. The seasonal additions are something to look out for, as this chef is always pushing the veggie-trend boundaries, and in a delectable way at that.
Photo: La Mar
La Mar, San Francisco, CA
With a Peruvian flare, La Mar aims to present a new and fresh idea that is different than what most people typically know as Peruvian food. The various platters, or bandejas, offered are different takes on the traditional Peruvian fare of cebiche that include fresh raw seafood and shellfish with citrus-based marinades called tigers milk, or leche de tigre.
Photo: Shannon O’Hara
Brennans of Houston, Houston, TX
This Creole-inspired seafood tower consists of Louisiana and Gulf Coast favorites prepared with both raw items and also cooked. The tower includes boiled jumbo shrimp, creole lobster “On a Stick”, crab claws, smoked catfish dip, and oysters on the half shell.
Their menu also includes Turtle Soup au Sherry, and an elevated take on a classic and Creole signature dish called Frog Legs Almondine. The legs are cornmeal-crusted, with a warm andouille vinaigrette and brown butter toasted almonds.