Based on availability in the local restaurants, seafood seems to be of moderate popularity in Davis. Nonetheless, only Fish's Wild and the numerous sushi restaurants are known for offering a significant variety of species. There are several types of seafood that are nearly ubiquitous in both the high-end and low-end sushi shops of Davis; these include salmon, tuna, eel, mackerel, soft-shell crab, clams, baby octopus, and yellowtail.
Fish n chips, clam chowder, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and oysters can also be found fairly easily. In general, restaurants that serve Asian cuisines often have a fair selection of seafood dishes. Most of the restaurants that carry interesting seafood selections are mom 'n' pop style establishments with menus that have changed very little throughout the years.
Bear in mind that mislabeled seafood is extremely common. Studies around the country have found that an average of 20-25% of the seafood sold in stores and restaurants is mislabeled. In some cases this is due to the restaurant trying to save money, giving the consumer a cheap fish while charging for an expensive one. Sometimes the restaurant or grocer has been duped by their fish supplier. One study by the Boston Globe targeted red snapper, white tuna, local (to Boston) cod, and haddock, all identified as commonly mislabeled fish. They found across 134 restaurants, supermarkets, and fish markets across Massachusetts that 48% of those fish were mislabeled. Red snapper was particularly bad: 24 out of 26 samples tested were mislabeled. To date, only two Davis restaurants have been tested on their business practices. A KCRA 3 expose showed that Fuji Chef and Sushi Nobu served tilapia mislabeled as red snapper. The Mikuni in Davis was not tested, but the Sacramento location was found to use genuine red snapper.
Some 70% of the fisheries in the world are being harvested at an unsustainable rate, i.e. we're eating the fish faster than they're reproducing.
Osteria Fasulo - An upscale eatery, Osteria Fasulo has a menu lineup that changes with the seasons. Generally, it is one of the few restaurants in town to reliably find lobster. Past menu items have included sea bass, swordfish, and monkfish.
Rarer Types Available in Davis
Barramundi (Sustainable choice)
Catfish (Sustainable choice)
Zen Toro (Fluke fish)
Halibut (Sustainable if Pacific-caught)
Lobster (Sustainable choice)
Mahi Mahi (Sustainable)
Red Snapper (NOT sustainable)
(Keep in mind that fish sold as "red snapper" is often actually tilapia.)
Rockfish (Pacific Red Snapper)
Sea Urchin (seasonal)
Sturgeon (Sustainable if farmed)
Fuji Chef (advertised as red snapper)
Nobu Hiro (advertised as red snapper)