Phil's Fish Market was the victim of sublime deception on Throwdown with Bobby Flay, but it worked out (predictably) when his prized ciopinno won over the judges, John Pisto and The Herald's very own Mike Hale.
It was all fun and games, of course. But it was also great promotion for Phil DiGirolamo, Moss Landing and Monterey Bay fisheries.
We were amused to note that the Food Network misspelled Phil's last name (DiJirolamo). But we were proud of Mike, who looked great and hammed it up appropriately for the TV cameras. We especially enjoyed the introduction of the judges, standing back-to-back, arms crossed, on the beach of Moss Landing.
Mike has earned respect and a following with his weekly restaurant reviews. While the work of a critic is thought subjective, his credibility as a reviewer is beyond reproach, which is likely the reason the Food Network sought him out as a worthy judge for Throwdown. There are times, of course, that a review will create internal issues at The Herald, particularly among our advertising staffers. Painful as that can sometimes be, Mike has developed a reputation of trust among readers -- and his reviews hang proudly in a growing number of restaurants throughout the county.