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Meet Alex Vaz of Surf City Fish Grill in Huntington Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Vaz.

Alex, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2016, I got heavily into adjusting my diet for optimizing myself and my performance. The opportunity of taking over a failing restaurant called Malibu Fish Grill presented itself. I saw what they were doing and realized I could do it much better. So I took it over and changed the name to Surf City Fish Grill. I focused on using better suppliers for everything, from the fresh fish to the vegetables. Once I established a better supply chain, then I focused on making the menu so much more than it was. I took all the dietary options of the day and incorporated them into the menu. I offered gluten-free, paleo and keto options which you couldn’t really find anywhere at the time. I added cauliflower rice bowls to the menu, zucchini pasta, coconut flour tortillas, and many more items your average eatery wouldn’t bother offering. I found that offering dietary choices instead of subtractions gave people a chance to enjoy the foods they want to enjoy without taking something away. Most restaurants offer you the chance to just take something away from your meal to make it fit into your dietary mold, where we offer you a chance to substitute something and still enjoy the meal in its whole. Today we still offer all those options and I’m always on the hunt to find the latest and greatest thing to offer our customers.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to where we are today wasn’t a smooth one. The people we bought the business from were not upstanding. They had presented us with a business that they claimed was doing well, when the reality was, it was completely failing. But, with grit and determination, we overcame and took a poorly ran business and turned it into one that’s well run and loved by all.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Surf City Fish Grill – what should we know?
We’re most proud of our quality and diversity. We offer so many dietary choices no restaurants offer. This truly sets us apart from anyone else. We believe the customer should have the choice of what’s on their plate because at the end of the day, they’re going to eat it, not us.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Continuing to innovate and create great dishes for our customers that fill a need the market is overlooking.

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