By Patte Purcell

On a warm starlit night surrounded by happy people, we listened to great music and ate amazing food at one of the best spots in Palm Springs, Fisherman’s Market, ‘the fresh fish joint’ in Palm Springs. This local’s favorite has been voted the #1 Best Seafood Restaurant for fifteen (15) consecutive years and it doesn’t get any better than that. Once you try it, you’ll know why. The Palm Springs hideaway is a Bar & Grill serving an extensive array of Fresh Seafood, Pasta Dishes, Oysters, Steaks, mouth-watering Appetizers, and so much more. They also feature a cocktail lounge with fabulous entertainment

I’ve eaten at Fisherman’s many times for lunch and I absolutely love their fresh fish selection from their chilled seafood cocktails to their famous fish tacos. Every bite is melt-in-your-mouth perfection. We were treated to some of their specialties including the best fresh oysters on the half shell I’ve ever had, served with a tangy cocktail sauce and fresh lemon wedges. These oysters were fresh, cold, tender and flavorful.

We sampled their deep fried calamari with 2 sauces. They were cooked in a batter, crunchy on the outside and succulent on the inside. We also enjoyed the fish tacos they are so famous for. The corn tortillas, with Alaskan cod, were crispy and topped with coleslaw. The grilled ahi tuna fish tacos were amazing. They are so good they were featured on the Rachel Ray show.

Their beer battered fish and chips are served with their fisherman’s chips and a side of crisp coleslaw. They offer a choice of fresh fish. This is one of the things I love about Fisherman’s Market; you can see the daily selection of fresh fish, have it cooked to order or take it home to cook yourself. Their extensive seafood menu offers a plethora of choices from lunch specialties to soups, including their creamy clam chowder, and salads. For the night out there is even a rock lobster tail and prime steak.

I had previously only been to Fisherman’s during the day so I was delighted with the full stage and live music they featured in their lounge Shanghai Reds. The Barry Baughn Blues band was performing on Friday night and the lively crowd was up and dancing. There’s live music from 8-11 every Thursday (Smooth Brothers) and Barry Baughn Blues band every Friday and Saturday. The open air dining and entertainment offers the perfect atmosphere for a balmy evening under the stars.

I had the delightful experience of speaking with the owner Louis Pagano who informed me of the history of this hideaway.

His father owned a restaurant and there was a bar down the street named Shanghai Reds after the owner who would ‘shanghai’ drunks and sell them to ships as slaves. That’s how he came up the name ‘Shanghai Reds’ an oyster bar which specializes in beer and seafood in true Baja fashion. He took his location 16 years ago and brought in signage and other metal memorabilia from the Union Ice Company. Oddly enough the sign he bought happens to have 234 on it which also happens to be the address of Fisherman’s Market in Palm Springs.

The management is warm and friendly. It was a pleasure meeting CFO Richard Hamilton and manager Mike Nagel, who were most welcoming. I even got a hug from both of them when we left. All three were busy helping to seat customers, clear beer bottles from tables, and generally assisting customers in having a great time.

The staff was excellent and service was great. The cocktails were generous and I enjoyed a tasty margarita with my seafood. I enjoyed my experience so much I’m going back for lunch tomorrow.

Fisherman’s Market and Shanghai Reds are located at 235 South Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs.

Mon-Sun: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. They also have locations in Palm Desert 44250 Town Center Way, C-2, and La Quinta, 78575 Highway 111, #100, and Banning at 2271 West Ramsey Street.