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Reasonable Fish store in LA?

g
gothamboy Feb 5, 2007 02:05 PM

Anybody know a reasonably priced fish market in Los Angeles? I just moved here and want to buy some muscles, but they're way over priced at Whole Foods. thanks!

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  1. g
    glutton Feb 5, 2007 03:19 PM

    I honestly don't know how it's pricing compares, but the quality of fish at Santa Monica Seafood is really good. They supply a ton of restaurants.

    1. l
      lokekini Feb 5, 2007 03:24 PM

      Depends on where in LA you live I guess but THE FISH KING in Glendale is hands down the best fish place I've found. I know people that drive from all over LA to buy their fish there. And they always have a good, fresh, quality selection.

      The Fish King
      722 N Glendale Ave
      Glendale, CA 91206
      (818) 244-2161

      1. Chowpatty Feb 5, 2007 03:31 PM

        Neither Fish King or Santa Monica Seafood could really be called reasonable, but I agree they're the best. With seafood, it's pretty much you get what you pay for. The Chinese markets have very cheap seafood, but who knows where and when it's from. I'm sure some of it is fine if you know what to look for. Seafood City in the Eagle Rock mall is very cheap and looks clean and fresh, however I haven't tried their fish yet.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chowpatty
          Will Owen Feb 5, 2007 04:51 PM

          "The Chinese markets have very cheap seafood, but who knows where and when it's from." Sorry, but that's borderline offensive. These folks were cooking fish when my ancestors were trying to figure out this " fire" stuff, and they know what's good and what to do with it. Yes, Fish King is great, and they still call me when they have skate ever since I asked them to three years ago - but they want $15/lb for it, and I get it at San Gabriel Superstore for $2.95. And if I ask they'll skin it for me.

          1. re: Will Owen
            Chowpatty Feb 5, 2007 04:56 PM

            I certainly didn't mean to be offensive. I just meant that there can be a communication problem, particularly if it's very busy and crowded. I can't imagine being able to ask very many questions about the provenance of fish or get cooking advice in the crush of people and din of Hawaii market, for example. And some of the smaller, cheaper fish markets of every nationality don't always smell very good. That's what I meant "it's fine if you know what you're doing" -- you've checked out the skate and it's good, so that's good to know. But a beginning chef is going to find it much easier to go somewhere like Fish King where they can get advice and find out where the fish is from.

            1. re: Chowpatty
              Will Owen Feb 6, 2007 09:20 AM

              Okay, sorry if I seemed a bit cranky there - I was forgetting that such issues as provenance and sustainability don't seem particularly important to a lot of Asian suppliers* or customers, and it's also true that stinky surroundings don't bother everybody as much as they might you and me. I do find Hawaii Supermarket kind of at the edge of acceptability in the cleanliness department, which is why I cited SG Superstore as my example. 99 Ranch markets are also pretty clean generally, and used to dealing with English-speakers.

              *OTOH, how about all those mainstream American restaurants that have never taken Chilean sea bass off their menus?

          2. re: Chowpatty
            b
            billyed Feb 6, 2007 02:00 PM

            Re: Seafood City in the Eagle Rock.

            Just the stink coming out of this place was enough for me. AND I had a bad cold.

          3. m
            mattesq Feb 5, 2007 03:41 PM

            the mussels at the fish king are pretty reasonably priced

            1. l
              lokekini Feb 5, 2007 03:43 PM

              That's what I thought.

              1. c
                chefthisguy Feb 5, 2007 04:10 PM

                Fish King is great...they also supply restaurants from their warehouse in Burbank, so they get a large selection...of which they will fry for you (it seems they fry everything at their little galley)...I suggest you take it home and cook it yourself.

                1. corydon Feb 5, 2007 05:11 PM

                  I get fish frames at A1 on Sunset in Echo Park for soup/stock/fumet. International Marine downtown for whole fish or mollusks.

                  Don't have a best price alternative for fileted fish. Whole Foods has pretty fish and no smells but the price hurts my heart. I thought the Fish King prices were high but I'll look into their mussels since others say the price is OK.

                  I use the Monterey Bay aquarium guidelines. I notice that the Asian markets seem to know nothing about it. Toothfish aka 'Chilean sea bass' for days. I won't buy it from them but most of their customers will.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: corydon
                    b
                    bulavinaka Feb 7, 2007 08:39 PM

                    I really enjoy shopping at 99 Ranch, but I come close to tears when I scan the seafood counter. The quantity and types of fish multiplied by the number of stores and restaurants around the world has to be crippling most of the major fish stocks, if not just about wiping them off the face of the earth. The Patagonian Toothfish used to come in large fillets at 99 Ranch but have begun to drastically shrink in size over the past few years, which to me, is reflective of the depletion of this species. This fish is believed to live up to 50 years, and doesn't reach reproductive age until - I think - 7 years old. I love the flavor of this fish but will no longer eat it no matter where or how it is sourced. It is an overharvested species of fish that takes far too long to replenish its numbers, along with most tuna species. There's even an amazing story about a pirate fishing trawler - I think it was the Viarsa - holding an illegal haul of Chilean Sea Bass worth millions that was chased through the rough South Sea for two weeks by the Australian Coast Guard.

                    I'm glad you're so conscientious about your choices. Most people are not as informed, and even those that are may not care. I used to be an avid SCUBA diver and photographer. With a vegan sister and a vegetarian wife, I've come to try to make more informed food choices in general, but especially when it comes to seafood. It's just too painful to think about eating something that could be gone within the next decade.

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      Das Ubergeek Feb 8, 2007 10:04 AM

                      If 99 Ranch bothers you, do yourself a favour and don't ever, ever, ever go to Tsukiji in Tokyo... the amount of fish in that place is shocking even to those who don't care about depletion of stocks.

                  2. rantsnravesnreviews Feb 5, 2007 05:54 PM

                    Fish King is where its at, espeically on this side of LA, but I don't consider it a bargain. Although I can't find fresh fish anywhere else, whole foods does not compare to fish King in quality and taste.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: rantsnravesnreviews
                      DanaB Feb 8, 2007 10:13 AM

                      Fish King has good prices when compared to places like Santa Monica Seafood, Whole Foods or Gelson's, but I guess "good prices" are relative, as it is definitely more expensive than places like International Marine and 99 Ranch Markets.

                      1. re: DanaB
                        s
                        slacker Feb 8, 2007 10:30 AM

                        Speaking of Whole Foods, they spray some sort of color preservative or something to keep the fish looking shiny and new. What is that stuff?
                        I think regular chain supermarkets must do this too, but I doubt that Fish King does since they are really an outstanding fish market. Unless--do they all do this??

                        1. re: slacker
                          Das Ubergeek Feb 8, 2007 01:19 PM

                          I've seen Robert at Fish King break down a Chilean sea bass, cut it into fillets, wrap one up for a customer and put the remainder on the ice in the case, so I would say not.

                          1. re: slacker
                            DanaB Feb 8, 2007 01:41 PM

                            I would find it hard to believe that Whole Foods sprayed their fish with anything either, given their reputation. What is your source for this, slacker?

                            1. re: DanaB
                              s
                              slacker Feb 8, 2007 01:49 PM

                              I saw them do it.

                              1. re: slacker
                                s
                                slacker Feb 8, 2007 02:16 PM

                                I was curious enough to email Whole Foods about it, and they tell me that it's just chilled distilled water. They said that their fans in the fish cases dry the fish out so they spray with water to keep the fish moist.

                                When I saw them spraying, the liquid looked more viscous than water. But I don't have any reason to doubt their response.

                      2. SauceSupreme Feb 5, 2007 06:41 PM

                        My favorite seafood place is the Seafood City in the Eagle Rock Plaza.

                        1. m
                          mssreatalot Feb 5, 2007 07:08 PM

                          Yes to all the places mentioned above. Big fan of the Fish King and Santa Monica seafood. But, when I want the freshest and most reasonable price I can find (if there is such a thing for fresh fish) I go to:

                          Los Angeles Fish Company
                          420 Stanford Ave (Cross Street: East 4th Street)
                          Los Angeles, CA 90013-2121
                          (213) 629-1213

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mssreatalot
                            s
                            slacker Feb 6, 2007 10:55 AM

                            Thanks for the tip!

                          2. k
                            kanohli Feb 6, 2007 08:59 AM

                            Has anyone here been to the San Pedro Docks (Not Ports of Call area) for fresh fish? I haven't been in a couple of years. They used to open up to the public at 4:00 AM on Saturday morning for a couple of hours. I think it is at the end of 22nd Street at the water, there are some old warehouses that are wholesalers.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: kanohli
                              lil mikey Feb 6, 2007 01:31 PM

                              The Newport Beach Dory Fleet is also an interesting place to buy fish right from the boats as they come ashore. The fishermen go out to sea each day at 2am, and return at 7am with their catch. It's fun to see them coming in through the surf and then selling their catch.

                              1. re: kanohli
                                j
                                jhulla Feb 8, 2007 03:08 PM

                                Consider reading this LA Times article about high DDT levels in fish caught off San Pedro: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-...

                              2. m
                                mangia Feb 6, 2007 01:57 PM

                                I love Fish King, too.

                                Do you have to buy huge amounts at LA Fish Company?

                                The fish monger at the Hollywood Farmers' Market on Sunday is wonderful. NOt much less than Fish King, though...

                                1. i
                                  ickster Feb 8, 2007 12:50 PM

                                  I frequent an area just on the eastern outskirts of downtown LA that has a couple of fish wholesalers that are open to the public.

                                  Pacific Fresh Fish at 700 E. 6th St (213-683-8345) has great yellowfin tuna, kumamoto oysters, live abalone, live flounder, live lobster and delicious king crab legs at reasonable prices.

                                  International Marine Products at 500 E 7th St. (213-896-0210) has a variety of great oysters by the dozen, live mussels (local and new zealand green lips) at good prices, whole salmon, live santa barbara prawns, cooked dungeness crab, sea urchin, variety of sushi grade tuna. This place opens very early and closes by mid morning.

                                  I find both places have the freshest seafood in town at reasonable prices. For most items there are no minimums on what you buy, within reason (you cant walk in and ask for 2 oysters and an eighth of a pound of toro). Both places have secure parking lots and prefer cash. Helpful staff at both places , but have an idea of what you are looking for so they can best assist you.

                                  For those of you with net access:

                                  http://www.pacificfreshfish.com/

                                  http://www.intmarine.com/

                                  1. m
                                    moeberg Feb 8, 2007 01:37 PM

                                    snapper jons in woodland hills.

                                    22941 Ventura Blvd
                                    Woodland Hills, CA 91364
                                    (818) 225-7882

                                    they'll get anything you want and jon is as nice and helpful as they come.

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