We are proud to have become known as the premier destination for seafood on the central Oregon Coast. It is our mission to give people “the best seafood experience of their lives” and we are honestly thrilled that not a day goes by that we don't hear exactly that from our customers.
When Local Ocean’s doors first opened in 2005, owners Laura Anderson and fisherman Al Pazar envisioned “a fish market with a little restaurant attached.” Thankfully, our customers had a broader vision for us. As they lined up for bowls of crab soup and plates of perfectly grilled tuna mignon we added more tables, expanded outdoor seating, and in 2014 opened an upstairs addition, doubling our original seating capacity.
Anderson, now sole owner of Local Ocean, is from a multigenerational fishing family, and an experienced deckhand. Raised on eating salmon and lingcod for dinner, it was not until her college years at Oregon State University that she realized some of the most valuable natural capital on the planet is right outside our front door. People the world-over demand Oregon’s wild seafood for its superior quality and flavor. Every dish we create features sustainably caught seafood, which helps to insure the long-term health of our oceans and local fishing industry.
The people who make Local Ocean possible have a deep sense of pride in every dish we serve. There is an unbroken chain of respect and careful attention, from the local fishermen of the Newport fleet, to our fish buyer Amber Morris, to Chef Enrique Sanchez and his kitchen crew, to your server. You can taste the quality and care that goes into each bite. The fish connects us. The wonder of Oregon’s ocean bounty and our aspiration to give people the best seafood experience of their lives has proven to be a powerful force. People line up to eat fresh, local fish.
Meet the Team
Owner Laura Anderson comes from a small boat fishing family. Trolling for salmon and harvesting crab in the summers on her dad’s commercial fishing boat gave her an appreciation for the fishing families and crew that bring Local Ocean its daily catch and an authentic understanding of its quality. Seafood was literally her “bread and butter” growing up.
In her early years, Laura worked with artisanal fishermen as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, followed by a year of international business in Hanoi, Vietnam.
While the master's degree in marine resource management (Oregon State University 2000) was not a prerequisite for becoming a restaurateur, is has been partly responsible for the success of Local Ocean. Understanding the science and the policy of fisheries ensures that every dish served at Local Ocean passes Laura's “red-face test” for sustainability.
In addition to running the day-to-day operations at Local Ocean, Anderson also is the director of the Oregon Ocean Science Trust, a board member of the Oregon Coast Aquarium, and a trustee of The Nature Conservancy of Oregon.
Fish Goddess Amber Morris is on site 5 days a week at our Bayfront location to answer all your seafood questions. When she's not pounding the docks looking for today's freshest catch, she is behind the fish case, filleting and wrapping your evening meal.
Her love of community shines through the close relationships she keeps with her valued customers and the more than 70 local fishermen she buys from. Don’t be surprised if Amber remembers you even if only met her once before. If you’ve been around Newport awhile she probably even knows your kid’s names and their Chinese sun signs. She’s often heard saying things like “Oh, that little monkey!” or “How’s your little rooster doing?”
Truly a gem in our small community, Amber and her naughty little golder retriever Segar can often be found playing on Nye Beach before and after work.
Chef Enrique Sanchez-Rodriguez has been part of the Local Ocean team since our opening in 2005.For ten years Enrique served as Local Ocean’s Sous Chef under Chef Charlie Branford.When the chef position opened up, Enrique stepped up without missing a beat.Keeping Local Ocean’s quality and reputation for consistency is at the forefront of his personal mission.
Enrique's passion is to “bring global flavors together on one plate,” following the fundamentals of fresh ingredients, tastes and textures. He likens the process to that of a play: the plate is an expression of his artistry, the food an expression of his soulful approach.
Tony came to Local Ocean in 2018. He started as kitchen manager, bringing 10 years of experience in restaurants in both the front and back of house. His first year, he was chosen by fellow staff members for two Local Ocean annual awards, both the Team Player Award and the Bright Ideas Award. Tony was promoted to General Manager the next year in 2019. Beloved by Local Ocean team members and customers alike, Tony bring his infectious attitude, goofy jokes, and whole heart to work every day. As customers you will often see him on the floor helping to mix drinks, bus tables, seat guests and sell fish. Behind the scenes he makes sure we are meeting our goals, growing our offers, and responding to every guest need, graciously and timely.