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Abalone in California

I'm arriving from the UK at the beginning of April and spending the month in California. I believe that Abalone will be in season in April. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a restaurant (preferably in or near San Francisco / LA / or San Diego) where I could sample abalone? Many thanks.

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  1. I don't have any restaurant recs, but it looks like your timing is pretty good: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

    For SF and LA, you'll have better luck if you post to their respective boards, too.

    1. I saw it on the special Menu last night at Fishouse Veracruz in San Diego CA. $65.

      1. Thanks to both of you. I shall check out Fishouse Veracruz and post this message on the LA / SF boards. Much appreciated ricepad and kare_raisu

        1. I had great abalone dumplings at New Concept in Monterey Park (outside LA). It's a dim sum place. The food seems to be better on weekends than weekdays. Go around brunch time and you'll be pleased with the food and the small pricetag.

          1. Top Of The Market (the Fish Market's gourmet room) on the G Street mole in San Diego usually has abalone on the menu in season, but I've never sampled it there -- too rich for my blood -- but I'd be surprised if it wasn't excellent. When I'm jonesing for abalone, I head for Ensenada (about 80 miles south the San Diego civic center) -- but that's a different board.
            . . . jim strain in san diego.

            1. I can remember my dad in the back yard smacking abalone with a baseball bat to tenderize it. Sadly, otters and sea lions have largely robbed us of that funky scene.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Bostonbob3

                Compared to Man, otters had no impact on California Abalone. California's Department of Fish and Game mismanaged the resource (Davis et al. 1992; Richards and Davis 1993; State of California 1995). DFG underestimated reproduction and recruitment and both legal and illegal harvests exceeded DFG estimates. Abalone require a minimum population to breed/spawn and in many areas the population density is below that required to spawn. Areas where population densities are too low have been closed to harvest with no increase in populatons, areas have been studied for 25 years (2007). In addition to overharvest, a Withering Foot Disease further reduced populations.

                I have never heard of sea lions eating abalone, a google search confirmed that.

                Otters were hunted almost to extinction, only recently have their populations rebounded. I (and the DFG) will credit otters with decimating the Pismo Clam population of the CA coast, but otters have little impact compared to humans on abalone populations.

                Mexico, (parts of) Africa and Austrialia allow commercial harvest.

                1. re: Alan408

                  Pismo is where we used to get our abalone. Thanks for the detailed info, Alan. BTW, I only named otters AND sea lions as culprits because I didn't remember which one likes to snack on abalone. My lazy.

              2. Duarte's in Pescadero has abalone, both as a sandwich and as an entree, along with other very fresh local fish. And it's a nice drive out of the city to see some of the california coastline.

                1. I have had Abalone sushi at Izakaya Sakura in SD, very good as is everything else.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MVNYC

                    Oddly enough, the abalone sashimi is one of the few things I've ever had there that I didn't truly LOVE. I found it a bit too tough and crunchy. But then again, I used to live in Monterey where my favorite sushi bar served larger farmed abalone that was outstanding.


                  2. Arche's in Newport Beach has a abalone on their menu. Haven't had it myself, but have been wanting to try.