Dining on a budget: Carnaby St. Fish & Chips in La Puente

I’m going to assume Carnaby St. Fish and Chips in La Puente was inspired by the street in the state of Washington rather than the infamous street in London.

It’s nowhere near any of those streets, of course, and it is not like the shopping mecca in London. It’s location is hidden by a 99 Cents store at Southill Square shopping center off of Hacienda Boulevard.

As I was looking for something new and tasty for lunch driving down Hacienda Boulevard, this little shop caught my eye when I saw the words Fish and Chips.

The restaurant is small inside, but it’s popular with some locals and regulars. I waited outside for my order and ate at a small outdoor dining area in an alleyway of the shopping center.

I’ve never had fish and chips and I can’t recall the last time I had a fish stick (probably middle school), so I thought I’d take a chance.

Just in case I wasn’t crazy about the fish, I ordered the Shrimp Combo, which came with two pieces each of fried shrimp and fish, and chips or fries for $6.60 plus tax.

When I received my order, I asked for hot sauce or chili sauce but got ketchup and tartar sauce instead. I looked around at the small tables inside the restaurant and found the other condiments being used by the other patrons, so I settled with what I got.

 

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I should have known that if a combo came with just four pieces of something that they weren’t exactly popcorn-size.

The shrimp were large and split in the middle to look like a ring, then fried. The fish were long, wide pieces as well.

I tried the shrimp first, without any sauce, and was pleasantly surprised how light the batter tasted. It was not the typical fried food batter and was not dripping with grease either.

The shrimp inside was plump as well. The fish was all white with no bones and very moist.

I usually don’t like adding salt to anything but the fries needed a little sprinkling. They were still a good complement to the rest of the meal.

Carnaby St. also offers fish and shrimp by the piece, lunch specials, clam, oyster and scallops, and side orders like fried rice, cole slaw and zucchini.

I think I’ll try the shrimp and fish tacos they also offer next time.

I would suggest take-out. It was a little strange having people walk right by you, on their way to get a haircut at a nearby salon or after shopping at the 99 Cents store, while you’re trying to enjoy some fried goodness.

Carnaby St. Fish and Chips is open 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Saturday and until 9 p.m. Friday, closed Sunday. It is located at 1627Y2 N. Hacienda Blvd., La Puente, (626) 918-9223.

7-Eleven – thank Heaven?

Going by a small poll take by me, people are split about eating food made at 7-Eleven stores.

Some may be ashamed for some reason I don’t understand, to admit they do while others may not even dare to try anything cooked there.

Here’s what I say - just like fast food restaurants, it depends on where you go.

I am not ashamed to admit I occasionally will have a spicy hot dog from 7-Eleven and just recently I tried the Go Go Taquitos.

Each 7-Eleven is individually owned, so though they may offer what most stores offer, their commitment to quality may be a little different.

To prove my point, I went to a 7-Eleven today in El Monte, just to use the ATM. My plan was to get cash and get lunch somewhere else.

But not wanting to drive around anymore I thought I’ll just go ahead and pick up something to eat while I was there.

I got two taquitos, Doritos and a V8 Fusion drink.

I first tried the taquitos about a month ago at a 7-Eleven in La Puente, and was surprisingly satisfied. I tried the Monterey Jack and Chicken flavor.

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They were nice and tender with cubed pieces of chicken and melty cheese on the inside and a crispy spicy seasoning flavor on the outside.

I mean for a prepared meal that they just warmed up on the little rolling grill they have there it was pretty tasty.

So when I picked up taquitos from the 7-Eleven in El Monte I thought they couldn’t be that different – you just warm it up right?

Wrong. Apparently they don’t think to time them because mine were overcooked and hard at the ends. Funny enough, I was going to try the steak and cheese one but the guy said he had just put them on the grill so he didn’t think I should get those.

He should have also warned me about the other ones being on the grill for too long.

I don’t know if I’ll try the other flavors but I will probably have a spicy hot dog next time – yummy.

You take your chances. But I will say that I have never gotten sick from anything I’ve eaten at 7-Eleven unlike some may think.

Hey, I’m not looking for a high-quality meal when I go to a 7-Eleven, just something quick and convenient that does the trick until dinner.