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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Scott’s Seafood Mountain View to close, reopen as new concept

Uploaded: Jul 24, 2014
A changing of the helm at Scott's Seafood Mountain View will result in the closure of the Castro Street seafood spot and the opening of a new fusion restaurant.

Billy Berkowitz, owner of Max's World -- which runs Max's Opera Cafe at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto and in San Francisco, among other outposts – has partnered with Scott's Mountain View owner Steve Mayer. The two met by chance in a business group about six months ago.

"We love downtown Mountain View; we've been looking at that location for awhile. It was just through the powers that be that Steve and I got together," Berkowitz said Wednesday.

All of the Scott's Seafoods are independently owned, so Berkowitz and Mayer's partnership and the ensuing concept change only affect the Mountain View location. There are also restaurants in Palo Alto, San Jose and Oakland.

The 420 Castro St. space's last day as Scott's Seafood will be this Saturday, July 26, Berkowitz said. He's hoping to re-open around Sept. 8 as Mixx, a casual, fusion restaurant – a mix of food elements, hence the name.

"There will be Latin and Asian in addition to American flavors," he said, adding that Mixx will be a spin off of the latest restaurant his family has opened (Vault 164, a contemporary American restaurant in downtown San Mateo).

He said there will be "snacks and share plates" like lacquered duck breast, dungeness crab dip with salt and vinegar chips, pork belly baos and scallops gratin. Entrees will include seared duck breast with plum demiglaze, fried chicken and waffles, short ribs bourguignon and a whole fried branzino in thai green curry.

Ryan Shelton, formerly of the recently shuttered Palo Alto Grill, will head the kitchen, Berkowitz said. Shelton previously cooked at Chez TJ in Mountain View and Palo Alto's Baume.

Berkowitz said he hopes to revamp the space to make it more social. He's converting a previously private banquet area in the back of the restaurant into a lounge with TV's, a shuffle board table and a hutch full of games. He'll also be introducing a bar cart called the "Mixxmaster" that will be rolled around the outdoor patio, offering a few featured cocktails, beer and wine.

It's the end of a mini seafood era for the Castro Street space. What was formerly the Cantankerous Fish was revamped and reopened as Scott's Seafood in 2012.

Sadly, Scott's MV just snagged -- for the second year in a row -- the Mountain View Voice's "Best Of" award for best seafood.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Castro Street Diner, a resident of Adobe-Meadows,
on Jul 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

Loved that place both as the Cantankerous Fish and Scotts, much better than the T & C location. So sad to see it go.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by NW Resident, a resident of North Whisman,
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Also sad to see Scott's go after only 2 years, but so it goes in the restaurant biz. Manager Alberto and his staff always treated me and my family well during our visits for lunch or dinner.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sol Castic, a resident of Castro City,
on Jul 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Oh. A fusion restaurant...that's different.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Just as a reminder (to NW Resident and any others), the current restaurant (where I'm writing this) opened in 2003, as "Cantankerous Fish: A Scott's Seafood Venture" -- not 2012 -- so it has been 11 years, not two (the recent MV-Voice "Best Of" write-up was confusing on that point). In 2012, owner Steve Mayer remodeled the interior, then reopened under the simplified name Scott's Seafood -- staff and menu essentially unchanged. (I see Elena has edited her text to better reflect that history.)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Foodie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jul 26, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I love Scotts inT & C but it's been getting $$. I really wanted to like Cantankerous Fish, but never had a good meal there. Same for the Scotts that replaced it. I hope the food is good...


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Oh, lord, another "fusion" restaurant.

A poverty of imagination.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

"new concept"

Code for pretentious, over-priced food for a pretentious, sheep-like clientele.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Well, yah, but, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Jul 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm

About Scott's winning "Best seafood Restaurant" I'd like anyone who voted for it to name 2 other seafood restaurants in MV that they know of.

Sometimes being "The only one people know about" equals being the best in town in the poll. Same goes for the vegetarian restaurant that always wins...its the only place people know about so they vote for it, weather they've eaten there or not.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by fusion??????, a resident of St. Francis Acres,
on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm

i hate fish anyway....love lobster and shrimp only....the new fusion place wont make it either......ill come back in 2 years and do a i told you so......see you in 2 years


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Max Hauser, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Jul 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Max Hauser is a registered user.

To the Blossom-Valley resident: I checked my restaurant file; just the downtown area alone currently has SEVEN other restaurants with strong seafood menus. Some of them offer much larger ranges than Scott's, but all were serious competition. (The others also are associated with other cuisines -- one is Mexican, some are Japanese, and some of the Japanese restaurants, but not all, specialize in sushi). I've sent people to those other restaurants for seafood for years, as well as Cantankerous/Scott's. That's just in the downtown part of MV, and does not include all seafood-specialty restaurants in the poll's geographical range. It also omits two other downtown contenders known for seafood (neither Mexican nor Japanese), but less focused on it.

One feature that attracted many people to Scott's was its locally pioneering bar menu, with good-value interesting substantial plates for $6 (for years it was even less) during prolonged happy-hour periods. Other restaurants have now emulated that program, and a few (like Scratch) offered even more interesting menus, but Scott's "happy hour" ran more hours each week than any competitor, and brought a steady population of regulars who made full dinners of it at attractive prices.

Other comments here about Mixx remind me of another forum where I posted about another restaurant due to open and focus on "inexpensive" small plates, which brought a comment like "great, another overpriced small-plates restaurant." Some folk prefer to read what they want to, rather than what's written (e.g. "inexpensive;" likewise, in publicity that I mentioned above, Mixx is described as aiming for lower prices than Scott's or its nearby competitors). Many of the offhand dismissive comments about restaurants throughout this forum have very basic facts wrong. (And maybe it's just me, but I like try restaurants before judging them.)

(Eagerly awaiting the "yes, but" rationalizations, to confirm that this is the usual Town Square crowd everyone knows and loves!)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Food4Thought, a resident of another community,
on Jul 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Kudos to a new concept at 420 Castro St and good luck to the dedicated staff that has witnessed now a third change. I would use caution with going to extremes regarding a fusion menu. Innovation is key and replication of essentially a bad cheesecake menu would not be key in winning the hearts of loyal foodies. I suggest incorporating a holistic approach like more progressive cities are doing by supporting locally sourced sustainable menu items that remind the diner of what good food is by keeping it simple...the true art of cooking.They\'ll keep coming back.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Well, yah, but, a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:00 am

You're right Max, and you're obviously the exception. Good for you!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

This is the second article I've read about this upcoming new place. Both greatly humored me: flavored popcorn, rolling carets, "artisan" or "handcrafted" drinks and whatnot; high prices, seems like brainy but naive twenty-somethings are the hipster audience. Truly fitting for the area.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Agnes Brydges, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood,
on Jul 30, 2014 at 8:40 pm

When I remember what a sad ghost town Castro Street was in the 60's and 70's, with empty stores, blight, and nothing much by way of restaurants except for Qui Hing Low's and a very few others, I'm pleased to see the vibrant scene up and down Castro Street these past several years. While some restaurants don't enjoy a long stay, others will no doubt take their place. It is amazing to see how many people are dining in restaurants and out on the walks in front. Much like University Avenue in Palo Alto, Castro Street is thriving and so alive.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Kelly H, a resident of another community,
on Sep 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Where are the beautiful fire pits? Seems like you'll attract the after-work crowd if you have good Happy Hour choices and friendly staff. Just my two cents from Los Altos. You have a good location. Might consider offering before/after theatre specials? I enjoyed sitting around the fire pits with friends. Keep your prices reasonable and you'll attract people. Be sure to offer enough "comfort food" items on your menu to appeal to locals who might come more than once a week.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Betty R., a resident of another community,
on Sep 23, 2014 at 4:07 pm

I so agree with you Kelly H. We loved Scott's happy hours as they offered some healthy choices for appetizers other than the deep fried 'oldies' at many other place. Also enjoyed sitting on their lovely front patio. To be honest, we seldom ate in the restaurant as fish these days is just too expensive for a casual night of dining. I can't wait to try Mixx! Glad to see that they're offering happy hour also.



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