Sushi Grade Fish Source in the Triangle Area?
I was wondering if anyone knows of a source of sushi grade fish in the Triangle Area (preferably Cary area if one exists)? I'm planning on making sushi at home but haven't seen a whole of lot places that carry sushi grade so far. Ideally I'd like a place that carried fresh, but I'd be happy enough with a good source of quality frozen if not. I'm aware of at least one mail order place on the west coast but shipping costs tend to make it cost prohibitive unless you buy in larger quantities.
You've really got to be careful with Tuna at Harris Teeter (though it appears you're already weary). Most of the stuff they sell is called "Soku Block" which is treated when it's caught to retain the color. The problem is, it looks the same even if it is getting old. You can usually tell it by it's somewhat unreal pink color. Even fresh, it has a rather unfortunate sawdust like texture even raw or rare.
Thanks for the heads up on the HT fish, detlefchef. I've heard of the use of carbon monoxide to keep meats fresh looking, so this must be something similar I suppose. I'll keep an eye out for it. Its kind of sad really that they use techniques like this to disguise the freshnees. I'm ok with treatments that prolong the freshness, but ones used soley to make a product look better than it is troubles me. I think I heard something to the effect that seafood can be frozen and defrosted several times and still be sold as 'fresh'. You're better off buying it frozen and defrosting it yourself, unless you know its come directly from the coast in the last day or two.
By the way, I checked out Grand Asia and was really impressed. Nice selection in general and they had live tilapia, which I believe can be used for sushi.
The other source I am considering is: http://www.catalinaop.com/
I'm curious if anyone has ever used this company and can comment on their experience.
I had run accross a post about Grand Asia and was planning to stop by today and check them out. I bought some frozen Tuna from Toyo Shokuhin on Chatham Street yesterday but they didn't have my favorite, which is Salmon. She'll order Salmon but it sounded like I'd need to buy it in some quantity. I suppose it would probably still end up cheaper than mail ordering it from the west coast.
Whole Foods does seem to have decent seafood, at the least one that used be called Wellspring in Raleigh. They are a bit pricey though. Sadly even the fish at the Harris Teeter nearby looks pretty bad these days. Most of the time, its not something I would even want to eat cooked. I have seen them carry frozen sushi grade tuna from time to time though.
Anyways, thanks for the advice. I'll check out Tom Robinson as well.
One of the decided fringe benefits I've been reminded of now that I'm back in the restaurant biz is being able to order my fish from wholesalers and not deal with the rather sub-par retail seafood scene.
What I can tell you is that Grand Asia in Cary typically has a pretty nice and fresh selection of seafood. While not all the usual suspects for sushi, there's some pretty good flounder and other white fish. Tom Robinson in Carborro is pretty solid if you don't go there dead set on anything in particular and just see what he's got.
Lastly, while it's insane expensive, Whole Foods is a very safe choice.