BoDo: Something Fishy


By Jamie Dillon

Being hooked on fresh seafood in a land-locked state can be as challenging as landing a man-sized marlin with your bare hands. Fishmongers slinging the day’s catch on wharfs are a good 400 miles away. The chance to dig toes and trowels into sandy beaches to unearth hiding mussels and clams is an opportunity most Idahoans only get on vacation.

Even so, one of Boise’s more progressive retail districts is home to a growing list of places to peruse fresh-catch sheets and receive the quality and variety of fish, shellfish and other ocean dwellers you might expect from Pike’s Place Market or Pier 39.

Get your oyster shuckin’ tools and lobster bibs ready, and make your way to these places that are all within casting distance of each other.

Bonefish Grill

This full-scale restaurant’s urban flare and fine-dining feel also comes with plenty of approachability, memorable service and a fresh atmosphere found in both the food they serve and the drinks they prepare, says Bonefish Managing Partner Alicia Grams. The 50 + tables and twice-daily happy hours make it a popular destination for celebrations of any size or occasion. Favorites on this menu include, Bang Bang Shrimp and grilled Chilean sea bass.

855 W. Broad Street, Suite 260,

Fresh Off the Hook

Voted Best Seafood Restaurant in by Boise Weekly for the past seven years and in the Idaho Statesman’s first Best-of Awards in 2012, this casual cafe-style eatery started in West Boise a decade ago and recently expanded to BoDo this past November, says owner David Bassiri. Bassiri said one of the most popular menu items is a hot seafood salad, thanks to its hearty mix of Tiger shrimp, bay scallops, bay shrimp, zucchini, mushrooms, scallions and diced tomatoes nestled on a bed of fresh garden greens. Salad lovers may also opt for the seared Ahi salad. As with any good seafood destination, the fish and chips are a must.

401 S. 8th Street,

Happy Fish Sushi Martini Bar

Crisp and cold, a deftly made martini can be the perfect seafood pairing.

The classic American cocktail served alongside Asian mainstays makes Happy

Fish a hit with Boise’s eternally hip. Old pros mingle with those who are new to chopsticks and can select from maki (rolls), temaki (hand rolls), nigiri (pads of rice topped with slices of fish), sashimi (fish only) and more.

855 W Broad Street, Suite 205,

Reel Foods Fish Market

Receiving deliveries six days a week from all over the world, the Pacific Northwest and right here in Idaho, Reel Foods is the father of Idaho’s fish markets. Now

30 years old, Reel Foods moved to its new BoDo location this past September, bringing with it dozens of the usual daily selections, as well as a newly added fresh lobster tank. With access to more foot traffic, Reel Foods is now serving up more prepared foods, so grab a cup of homemade chowder and a crab salad for lunch here.

Beyond the standards, including Alaskan halibut, Idaho trout, scallops, in-shell oysters and ahi tuna, Reel Foods Manager Anny Bruzewski said special orders are common for people with particular cravings. “We get requests for just about anything, and we can almost always get it,” Bruzewski said. “Skate wing, halibut cheeks, fresh octopus, soft-shell crab. We order from all over the world, and we have our regulars who call when they want something special.”

611 Capital Blvd.,

Yoi Tomo Sushi & Grill

Big appetites and moviegoers are welcome here. This sushi joint offers all-you-can eat specials as well as a special discounts for people who present same day ticket stubs from the movie theater across the street. On this menu, you will find items that give nod to famous flicks such as Ocean’s Eleven, 007, Dark Knight, Anger Management and Twilight.

405 A. Capitol Boulevard,

Lucky Fins – Coming Soon

Fish lovers know their affinity doesn’t always come cheap. While lofty market prices can make fish and shellfish among the most expensive entrees on any given menu, it’s the hope of Lucky Fins owners to make seafood a more affordable and accessible experience to Treasure Valley residents. You can spend $8 or $25, depending on what you want, and this locally owned, upscale-casual restaurant will expand its presence soon by opening just north of BoDo next to Century Link Arena (in the former Brick Oven Bistro location) this summer. Top sellers on this menu include cedar-plank salmon, fresh sushi and fish and chips.