I was sitting at a red light on Tustin Avenue in Orange, staring at all of the random small businesses, when I saw a storefront tucked deep into a small strip mall that I probably wouldn’t have seen if my car was moving. It had a bright yellow sign that read, “H. Salt Esq.,” a fish and chips place. The name was so cute and quaint that I’m sure I would have gone even if I weren’t an esquire myself.
I later saw an H. Salt, Esq., in San Pedro, but it wasn’t until I checked out their website that I learned it’s actually a sizable chain.
I finally got around to eating there during some weekend afternoon errands with Mr. Furious. They don’t sell sandwiches or anything like that — just fish and chips, fried veggies, and a few random other non-fried sides. I had the oysters & chips combo ($6) and a small side of cole slaw (less than $1), Mr. Furious ordered the Regular Dinner (3 fish and chips for $6), and we shared an order of popcorn shrimp ($5).
My oysters were suitable, but I was a little disappointed with the chips, which were really just standard pre-frozen french fries I could get at any independent burger stand and were pretty soggy. I really only ate them as a vessel for the vinegar. Mr. Furious wasn’t really happy with his fish, which he thought was way too bland to serve at a restaurant with “Salt” in its name. I thought the fish was okay, but still nothing to write home about. I may have been swayed by the vinegar. However, I think we both agreed that the popcorn shrimp was excellent. Though everything else had pretty standard breading or batter, only the popcorn shrimp was fried in a completely different breading full of seasonings that were very delicious. I’ll probably go back to see if any of the other fish types (or the veggies) have the same breading as the popcorn shrimp.
H. Salt is just fine to satisfy a basic fish and chips-type craving, but it definitely won’t be infiltrating my dreams at night.
H. Salt, Esq.
436 North Tustin Avenue
Orange, CA 92867
Monday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.