FishScale, located at 637 Florida Ave. NW, is known as the place to go for fast, fresh, sustainably sourced seafood dishes in Shaw. Siblings Brandon and Kristal Williams, the co-owners of FishScale, said the idea for the restaurant came about when their mother became a pescatarian and they wanted to create something she could enjoy in place of a traditional hamburger.
Brandon Williams sharpened his culinary skills at L’Academie de Cuisine and started FishScale at a farmers’ market near the White House. In 2017, FishScale went bricks-and-mortar with a storefront in Shaw. “Shaw is a great place for thriving small business owners,” he said. “I just love the neighborhood. My church, where I grew up, is not too far away on 14th Street, so it was a good area that I knew very well.”
While he’s not the first to make fish burgers, Williams wants to help popularize this type of food and create access to quality wild fish and seafood for Washingtonians on the go. The Maryland crab burger is one of the most popular offerings. “Ours is the best that they’re ever gonna have,” boasted Williams. “Even if you went to a Michelin-starred restaurant, I’d put my crab burger up against any of those places, and I know that we have the best.”
Williams believes the approach to sourcing is what distinguishes FishScale from the multitude of seafood restaurants in DC. “We focus on wild-caught sustainable fish in a fast-casual setting that is accessible to anyone who just wants to get great, fresh wild fish on the go,” Williams stated. “We do fish differently.”
Williams said all of the menu items are FishScale signatures, including fish burgers, tacos, crab burgers, fish cheesesteaks, salads and more. The Japanese sweet potato and grilled romaine sale are popular side dishes. All of the items, including the condiments, are made in house using organic and locally sourced ingredients, where possible. “It’s really like a fine-dining restaurant in a fast-casual setting,” Williams observed. “We make everything from scratch. The only thing we don’t make from scratch is our bread, which we get from a local bakery.”
FishScale also offers a curated list of locally sourced meads and craft beers. The full menu can be enjoyed in the 12-seat dining room, as well as for carryout, delivery and catering.
FishScale is open Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Friday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, including the full menu, visit www.wearefishscale.com.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.