Taste and Tell #9: Fine Fish with Friends in Focus


Ventura’s beach-side downtown is filled with cafes, diners, and restaurants, including Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company. As a local favorite, they provide fresh fish and high quality food for their customers.

The Ventura hot-spot has a new location in Camarillo, which opened on May 13 in the Carmen Plaza, located at  311 Carmen Drive.

The Experience

The Ventura location is set up as a casual spot near the beach. With the Camarillo location serving the same menu, the atmosphere here is a little different and bigger. With both outdoor and indoor seating, the entrance is located on the patio. Walk through the patio doorway, and a large, oval bar is surrounded by tables and an extra room. This layout gives the restaurant a more separated space from the kitchen.

The employees were solicitous and the general atmosphere was laid-back and So. Cal beach-cool. The menu had a variety of tacos, burritos, and appetizers to choose from. Each table had three different options of special hot sauces made by Spencer Makenzie’s. They were voted best fish taco by the VC Reporter for eight straight years, and with just cause.

I arrived at the restaurant with my mom, and we were seated right away at a table near a window. Dinner rush was just settling in, so the restaurant was nearly full. Our server took our drink order, and we received the drinks fairly quick. We ordered the World Famous Fish Taco, the Grilled Veggie Burrito, and the “Ahicado” appetizer, which was an Ahi fish and avocado mixture with chips.

From front to back: World Famous Fish Taco, “Ahicado” appetizer, Grilled Veggie Burrito, and the three special sauces.

The Food

The “Ahicado” appetizer ($9.95) was an enjoyable start to our dinner. It was prepared similar to a Ceviche dish, but the fish and avocado was shaped into a cylinder. The fresh, salty chips paired nicely with the cold “Ahicado.” It was somewhat plain, but with the special hot sauces, it was fantastic. “Sweet Chili Fire,” “Caribbean Blaze,” and “Little Sweet, Lotta Heat” were the three hot sauces on each table in the restaurant, “Caribbean Blaze” being my personal favorite.

The World Famous Fish Taco ($5.95) was delicious. The taco had grilled fish with cabbage, bell pepper, cilantro, and Spencer Sauce on a flour tortilla. The Spencer Sauce was a savory sauce that added extra flavor to the taco. Without it, the taco would be fairly dry. It had just the right amount of cabbage and bell pepper, which gave it a good crunch.

The Grilled Veggie Burrito ($7.25) had a sweet and tangy flavor with the teriyaki sauce. A flour tortilla was filled with cabbage, white rice, and a mixture of vegetables in a teriyaki sauce. It was a great option for vegetarian customers, like my mom.


With two drinks, the appetizer, the taco, and the burrito, the total came out to be $30.95, with tax. This was a reasonable price for a two person dinner and the amount of food served for each dish. There were, however, cheaper options on the menu. If one was looking for a cheap lunch or dinner, it would be possible to do so in under $10.

Overall, my experience and food at Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company in Camarillo was wonderful. The food was delicious and the service was excellent. The cheerful staff gave the environment an even better feeling. It’s a great, casual spot for customers to grab a quick meal or sit and enjoy their food.

I will definitely come back again. I’ve tried other dishes on the menu that were also good. It has become my go-to spot for a laid-back meal with my friends.