Everything we experienced at the Seafood Zone was a bit out of the ordinary. In the first place, we were the only customers in the restaurant. (They're very busy at lunch.) Secondly, the décor in the small café was the most casual we have ever encountered: bright blue folding chairs and metal tables all adorned with beer labels advertising Corona and Pacifico, walls covered with Baja-inspired beach scenes and two giant TV screens. Carlos Netto, the owner, pointed out with a sweet smile, "This is not fine dining." Also unusual was that this restaurateur was our server, and chatting with him provided the evening's entertainment. What was even more surprising was that this little restaurant serves some of the finest ceviches we've had in recent memory.
The charming Carlos, a former real estate agent from El Salvador with no previous restaurant experience, told us that when his wife, Susan, became ill, they changed their diet dramatically to focus on healthy foods. At this same time, he was looking for a business opportunity with a partner who had restaurant experience. They took over Guty's, a Mexican restaurant, a little over a year ago, and the previous chef's father took over the kitchen. The partner went by the wayside as often happens in small businesses, and Carlos became a jack-of-all trades. His passion for healthy food has led him to gradually transform the menu, an ongoing project, which includes a visiting chef from Peru, the world capital of ceviche, who will share his knowledge of Nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian cuisine).