Jon Rowley Tribute in Forbes

May 20, 2024

The Pacific Northwest has a historic relationship with seafood. The same could be said of our relationship with the late Chef Jon Rowley.  

Jon Rowley was a long-time friend and advisor of the company, helping establish the oyster program at Water Grill. Since day one at Water Grill Bellevue, the private dining room has been named in his honor.

The Jon Rowley Room in Water Grill Bellevue

This homage was featured in a recent article by Forbes Magazine, which spoke about tributes to late seafood legends in Seattle. Read the full article here!

The Ghost of the Coast Appears at Water Grill

April 29, 2024

Show of hands: who wants a cool nickname? No matter how hard you try, it won’t hold a candle to white seabass.

Known as “the ghost of the coast”, the nickname for white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) is a reference to the fish’s ability to stalk and haunt its prey while hiding in kelp beds. They’re voracious predators and exclusive to the West Coast. Starting this month, the California ghosts of the coast are making a seasonal appearance at Water Grill.

Local Legend

White seabass is a true local treasure, found from Central California through Baja California. However, it’s not actually a true bass. It’s a member – one of the largest, in fact – of the Croaker (Sciaenadae) family. And, while “croaker” may not be as cool of a nickname as “ghost of the coast”, it’s more descriptive, as this family of fish makes drumming noises by vibrating their air bladders.

Seasonal Catch

The commercial fishing season in California typically runs from June through March (and year-round in Mexico). White seabass is caught by gill-net and hook and line in many areas off the California coasts, including sandy and rocky bottoms, near- and offshore and, of course, in kelp beds.

They’rea Keeper

White seabass can range from 10-lbs. to 60-lbs.; however, most white seabass will be in the 20-lb. to 30-lb. range. You know it’s a keeper when it’s 28” long. Literally. That’s the length a white seabass must be to keep. It signals that the fish has had an opportunity to reproduce at least once before being pulled from the rotation. Spawning season typically occurs from March to early June.

Fisheries management is supported by NOAA Fisheries, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the White Seabass Fisheries Management Plan (USA) and CONAPESCA and INAPESCA in Mexico.

This is in addition to support from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. They operate a white seabass hatchery in San Diego, which contributes fish to the wild stock from grow-out pens up and down the Southern California coast.

White Seabass at King's Seafood Distribution


White seabass is known for its sweet flavor, firm texture and medium flakes. It’s a great fish for grilling, and its seasonal arrival is timed perfectly for enjoying in the summer months.

White Seabass Ratatouille at Water Grill

At Water Grill, we bring this all together in a preparation of rustic ratatouille, featuring Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, a garlic emulsion and basil oil. See our menus here.