Restaurant News & Reviews

Top Dish: Crunchy, fresh fish and chips done right at JoFish in Lynden

Name: JoFish Seafood & Grill.

Location: 312 Front St. in Lynden. Contact: 360-922-0187 and Facebook.

Quick bite: The owners of JoFish, Deana and David Haworth, are picky about their seafood and the other offerings at their restaurant. That’s a good thing for their customers who like simple fare done right.

Take their fish and chips, made with true cod caught by Lynden-based Alaskan Leader Fisheries from the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska. The fish is caught using hook and line as part of a sustainable fishery, and frozen within two hours while at sea.

“It’s fresh as you can get it,” Deana Haworth said.

When it arrives at JoFish, David Haworth hand-cuts the cod — as he does with other fish served at the restaurant — which is used in dishes that include fish tacos, fish sandwiches, and the fish and chips.

I got a large order of cod fish and chips for $12.95. Four pieces of fish sat on top of a basketful of french fries. The fries were, well, fries. But the fish part of this culinary duo was a revelation.

The lightly breaded cod was firm, flaky and fresh. It wasn’t greasy. And there was plenty of fish. At this restaurant, you won’t get what I like to call the fish doughnut — a tiny piece of fish surrounded by unwanted doughy batter.

JoFish uses a dry breading that sticks and gives the dish a delicate crunch in every bite. It’s wet batter that puffs up when it hits hot oil, according to Deana.

The restaurant strains the canola oil used to cook the fish daily — throwing it out every third day and pouring in new oil.

And because their fish is top-notch, they don’t have to do much to the raw ingredients.

“Any good chef knows ... to keep it simple. And it’s kept simple. It’s a very simple breading. You can taste the fish,” Deana said.

Eat it plain, or dip the fish into their house-made tartar sauce for a rich mouthful.

Side: Try also a grilled cod sandwich for $12.95. The moist fish comes on a slightly sweet potato bun with tartar sauce spread on the bread. There was nothing fancy about the preparation or the presentation. But the fish was flaky and it wasn’t overdone, my friend and fellow diner said.

The story of ... This is the fourth seafood restaurant owned by the Haworth family. They opened their first one in California in 1990. JoFish is how their son David, when he was 2, pronounced his middle name Joseph. Their son’s nickname also made sense as a restaurant name, the Haworths said, given their focus.

Ambiance: Casual and family friendly with a maritime theme. There’s also outdoor patio dining.