The Taste: 7 Seas of Seafood

For our third installment of culinary pornography from the LA Times The Taste festival, we went out to sea. Oysters, ceviche, unagi, shrimp—this slideshow’s got it all. Plus, we threw in some kumquat for good measure. Enjoy. Photography: Stephanie Nelson

1. Oysters on the Half Shell: Black Market Liquor Bar Why it’s awesome: Long known as an aphrodisiac, oysters are one of the best dishes you can share with your girl. When you bite into these crispy oysters, you’ll feel some heat due to the added Sriracha sauce. Or perhaps it’s from somewhere else. More info:

2. Spicy Seafood Ceviche: Ayara Thai Cuisine Why it’s awesome: This fresh and spicy seafood staple has just the right balance of citrus, salt and spices. Close your eyes and you might think you’re in Bangkok. In a good way. More info:

3. Unagi Causa Roll: Picca Why it’s awesome: It’s like a sushi roll, except LA celebrity chef Ricardo Zarate substitutes mashed potato for rice. Then he tops the dish with a drizzle of eel sauce and micro greens, which nicely complement the unagi. Muy bien, Ricardo. Muy bien. More info:

4. Halibut Kumquat with Yuzu Vinaigrette: Sushi Roku Why it’s awesome: This tiny dish packs a powerfully silky punch. The halibut is so tender and buttery it melts in your mouth, and you’re left with some nice citrus and floral notes from the yuzu. Culinary bliss, Japanese style. More info:

5. Indonesian Grilled Cilantro Shrimp: RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen Why it’s awesome: Rock star chef Mohan Ismail nails the flavors of Southeast Asia. Grilling the shrimp brings out a sweetness from the caramelization and pairs deliciously with the corn, sweet potato, peas and coconut milk. You could eat a billion of these. More info:

6. Tuna Burger: Chaya Restaurant Group Why it’s awesome: As much as we love a good beef burger, this seafood alternate might have it beat. The soy-glazed tuna is perfectly complemented by spicy wasabi mayo, creamy avocado, lettuce and tomato. Step aside, Jim Halpert, this is the real Tuna. More info:

7. Green Fish Halibut Ceviche: Casa Azul Why it’s awesome: Fresh and zesty, this ceviche stays green with avocado, jalapeños and cilantro, all mixed in lime juice. The only thing that could make this tastier would be a margarita. We trust you can find one. More info: