I've never had any issues with the waterfront seafood...although I do hear it has a poor reputation. I have yet to experience anything bad.
Another good spot is M. Slavin & Sons in South Arlington (395 & Glebe)
I understand your plight. I am a native Angeleno and have been looking for a long time.
For my money, El Ranchero or El Caminante Charrito (both) in Arlington come closest to tasting like the Mexican food in LA. There is some decent Tex-Mex around here -- and that's fine. It's just not LA.
Good luck in your search.