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Sushi Grade Tuna - a triple request

Hi everyone -

1) does anyone know where to get some sushi grade tuna in this town, not at the overpriced St Lawrence Market?

2) also, alaskan black cod, again, not at the world's best St Lawrence Market?

3) I've noticed that, along with the dearth of excellently prepared food in some of the more 'marquee' name restaurants, that our hair salons are terrible, particularly for men. Along with every thing in this city, if it isn't part of the 'trend' then you can't get it. I'm just looking for a reasonably priced place, where the cutter knows how to cut curly/wavy hair, to leave some length and not give that gumby look that EVERYONE is sporting.

Any suggestions? Many thanks....

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  1. if you're willing to make the trek out to thornhill, taro's fish in j-town has some of the finest sushi grade fish around (he supplies a lot of the restaurants downtown with theirs). last time i was there he even had otoro. might have the cod you seek as well. don't know how the price compares to SLM but if you want quality you're gonna pay for it...


    can't help you on the coif front though...

    4 Replies
    1. re: yoyodyne


      I think black cod at the market is about $20/pound. I'll pay for quality but not hype, if you can dig it....just like the coif places.

      1. re: bluesbreaker1969

        You're quite right about the price of tuna at the St. Lawrence Market. At $23-$24 a pound, it's rather high, as is much of the other fish on offer there. Especially since a place like Sunny Supermarket, in the Leslie-Finch Square plaza, with a vast, attractively-priced fish section that caters mainly to Asians, also offers tuna at $9.99 a pound. Though it doesn't seem to have tuna all the time - mainly, it seems, early in the week. If you don't live nearby, you may not want to drive there and discover there's no tuna that day. As to whether it's actually "sushi-grade" tuna - a phrase I suspect has little meaning other than as a marketing ploy - I don't know. But its tuna is fresh, tasty and I can't tell the difference in taste between its $9.99 tuna and the St. Lawrence Market's $23-24 tuna. When tuna approaches the price of Cumbrae Farms' superb dry-aged striploin steak, that's when I opt out of the SLM's tuna sweepstakes.

      2. re: yoyodyne

        After reading this, I got the false impression that yellowfin tuna at Taro's was a better deal than at SLM -- far from it! I thought the yellowfin tuna was expensive at $27.99 per lb nowadays, but at Taro's...boy...it is VERY expensive. They're talking $9 per 100g (correct me if i'm wrong, but that's equal to $40.82 per lb)!! If that isn't an example of taking customers for suckers, than I don't know what is! They do, however, sell reasonably price sushi made to order.

        I saw tuna at No Frills for $9.99 per lb though, but it was more of a pink color than red -- definitely not good maguro, but probably good enough to eat as sashimi.

        1. re: ilovemaguro

          Tuna quality varies wildly across the city, the good stuff will not be cheap. It's just not possible to get good tuna for cheap. Actually, it's pretty hard to get good tuna in Toronto period. The majority of it goes to Japan and Fulton Fish Market in NYC. The leading restaurants in the city rely on Taro for high quality tuna.

          The supply of tuna is in a precarious state too, hence suppliers are getting away w/ selling iffy tuna because of a lack of fish.


      3. I usually recommend Bill's Lobster on Gerrard St. East as they can order in anything and the prices are better than SLM.

        For item (3) above, try Salon Afif. http://afifsalon.sites.toronto.com/
        Afif has been cutting my hair for about 25 years.

        1. It is up north, but Taro's is the place to be. I was actually surprised to find Halibut there last night, but black cod and aji tuna can always be found pre-wrapped in the fridge. Everything there is super fresh. I'd also recommend the marinated black cod, and some salmon croquettes resting on the table at the cash.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dlw88

            Little tip: hit St. Lawrence after 4pm on a Saturday afternoon and the prices drop dramatically. They gotta move that stuff before they close for Sunday & Monday.

            Taro does indeed rock, but just be warned that if traffic's bad it's 1.5-2 hours round trip from downtown Toronto.

          2. SLM as a fish source harkens back to the bad old days before places like Taro's emerged. There's really no point in buying there apart from giving in to your herd instincts.SLM vendors all seem to sell the same boring,over-priced, and limited selection.Try Mike's in Etobicoke on N. Queen(part of the huge All Seas distribution operation). Taro's is pricey but the selection is nicely off-beat and the quality is superb.

            1. I completely forgot to mention Diana's Seafood in Scarborough when I posted earlier today.

              It's a great place to buy seafood, too bad it's quite a drive for me.

              They have sushi grade tuna.

              1. Have to echo the other recommendations of Taro's Fish in Markham (J-Town, Steeles just east of Woodbine) for tuna. The toro/ohtoro there is both outstanding and very pricey as to be expected.

                1. Okay...Just as good (and in some ways better) as Taro...The Fish Man in Thornhill on Glen Cameron. Ask if Ryan is there, Rich & Rita own it but they probably won't be on the retail counter. For that matter Ryan won't either...but you can't top thier fish and they are more reasonable on $ than Taro.

                  1. Just for the record I also highly endorse Bill's Lobster and Taro's Fish in J-town. I've been meaing to make it out Diana's for ages, and may make a try this week as soft-shell crab season is early this year...

                    As for hair, i really like Akin Coiffure on the Danforth (Address: 1356 Danforth Avenue, Toronto (416) 462-3860), though this is about as off-topic as one can get on chowhound :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. First, chefcliff, J-town is one of the largest Japanese food stores around the city. Here's a web site to check it out: http://www.japantown.ca/

                      As for bluesbreaker1969 questions, here are my 2 cents:

                      1. Lobster Island at Finch and Kennedy Road. Typically the cater to restaurants, but a couple of curious travellers like myself have managed to get some. Here is the "Toronto Life" description: http://www.torontolife.com/guide/food...

                      2. I'm not entirely sure but Red-Sea Fish Importing may have Alaskan black cod. When I went in there the fish was fresh and more affordable. Specs:

                      Red-Sea Fish Importing
                      1480 Jane Street
                      North York, ON M9N 2R1
                      (416) 241-3504

                      3. Pat's Barbershop on Dundas St. north of McCaul, across the street from the AGO in the lower level. The barber's is actually Pat's son Sam and he used to be located on McCaul in between College and Dundas (his old fashion shop made a few movies too). He's real traditional: cuts without washing and has all the Playboys.

                      Hope this helps...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: oishi

                        hey all thanks for all the information - much appreciated. Kagemusha thanks for reminding me about Mike's - I was trying to remember this one in Mississauga/Etobicoke - Frank's, Joe's, but it was Mike's.

                        I called up Taro and it sounds to me that while he does have other fish - prev. frozen Black Cod, butterfish (which brings me to the is "fresh" really 'fresh') - it seems that Tuna is his thing.

                        I'm going to check out mike's this w/e and a few other places listed here.

                        As to the hair thing - - very off topic. but I figured overrated food and hair places could be one and the same...


                      2. ...believe it or not I've had some great fresh tuna loin from the fishmonger in the "no Frills" at Eglinton and Victoria park...you can't beat the price either.

                        1. if you don't mind getting frozen tuna or you need to go get tuna for a later date I believe the price by weight at whole foods isn't too bad. I also believe i've seen black cod there as well.

                          And as for hair? Aveda Institue on king street. $18. Make an appt about 2 weeks in advance for a saturday morning at 9am. When i do this i go hit st lawrence at 8am, grab all my non perishables that go quick from the north market and then go back after haircut to grab other stuff. Makes for a very nice morning! Be warned it can take them a LONG time to cut hair as they're students. But they are very very good.