Courtesy FishScale
Courtesy FishScale

A different kind of burger joint is now open in Shaw. Instead of beef, Chef Brandon Williams forms patties from a variety of fish, including mahi-mahi, salmon, rockfish, snapper, and sea bass. Accordingly, he’s named his new operation FishScale

Inspired by his upbringing in a pescatarian household, Williams first tested his fish burger idea at the White House farmers market in 2012. Like many other local restaurants that got their starts at farmers markets, including Timber Pizza Co. in Petworth and Chaia in Georgetown, Williams is turning his seasonal stand into a permanent location.

Courtesy FishScale

Each of Williams’ sandwiches features a grilled ground fish patty on an olive oil bun with condiments like kimchi or a sambal sauce that utilizes fish peppers whenever possible. The pepper originated in the Caribbean but was brought to the mid-Atlantic region in the 19th century. 

Sides, too, are unconventional at FishScale. They include grilled romaine lettuce and grilled corn flavored with umeboshi, a Japanese pickled plum.

Williams uses only wild-caught fish and organic produce. Burgers cost $13.95 each and sides are $3.50. The menu, posted on a chalkboard inside the restaurant, will change frequently.

Customers order at FishScale’s counter, then grab a seat to eat their meal. Like Sweetgreen and Jettie’s, the restaurant has opted to go cashless, a controversial policy that fast casual restaurants are considering with greater frequency.

FishScale is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

FishScale, 637 Florida Ave. NW