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May 31, 2007 04:22 PM

Need a serious sea urchin fix!!!!

Does anyone know where I can get a tray of sea urchin???

Years ago (I hate to admit how many!!) when I lived in New York City, I bought a lilttle wooden tray of sea urhcin fillets for about $13 (probably about 20 - 25 individual fillets) from a Japanese grocery store that also sold fish for sushi and sashimi. I love sea urchin sashimi and it's just too outrageously priced for me to satisfy my craving at a regular restaurant. Also, a couple of years ago the LA Times ran a story on sea urchin and there was a great recipe for sea urchin sauce for pasta that I'm dying to try out...

Thank you!!

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  1. What part of town do you travel?
    I'm thinking of several places, but it would help to know whether you are close to Redondo Beach or Torrance or West L.A.?

    6 Replies
    1. re: liu

      I currently work in Hollywood (but soon to move to Santa Monica, so either area) and I live in Sherman Oaks. I also travel to Toluca Lake/Burbank area frequently too...thank you!!!!

      1. re: cimero

        Hmmm...I can't think of anything in Hollywood or Sherman Oaks or Toluca Lake/Burbank, but perhaps Santa Monica Seafood carries boxes of urchin. Does anyone else know?

        Now I'm back to my original thinking. I would try Nijiya Market on Sawtelle in West L.A. Otherwise, you can try the urchin at Mitsuwa Market in West L.A. as well. I know both of these markets will carry what you want, and I don't think you will find it much less expensive unless you go downtown to the large fish markets. If you are in Torrance, Marukai Market would be my first choice.

        If any of this sounds do-able, let me know and I will supply addresses if you wish.

        1. re: liu

          Also Safe and Save market on Sawtelle would be a likely place to check with.

          1. re: tony michaels

            I would ditto Safe & Save on Sawtelle. Call ahead - - if they don't have it in stock they will get it for you if (and only if) they feel that they can obtain high quality urchin.

          2. re: liu

            Hi liu, thank you for these suggestions, even though the option at Vermont and Olympic is probably closest to me at work, I still would love to explore all the places you mentioned for urchin as well as any other little "gems" I might find!! If you have addresses, I would much appreciate!!!

            1. re: cimero

              Hello, cimero!

              Santa Monica Seafood
              1205 Colorado Avenue
              Santa Monica
              M-F 9:00am to 7:00pm, Sat. 9:00am to 6:00pm, Sun. 10:00am to 5:00pm
              (They also have a store in Costa Mesa)

              Nijiya Market
              2130 S. Sawtelle Boulevard #105
              West L.A.
              Everyday 10:00am to 11:30pm
              (While you are there, walk Sawtelle for many fun and delicious places to eat! Also, be sure to go nextdoor to Beard Papa's for a cream puff or three!)

              Mitsuwa Market
              3760 Centinela Avenue
              Los Angeles
              Everyday 10:00am to 8:00pm
              (There are several other Mitsuwa Market locations, including Torrance, San Gabriel and Little Tokyo. This location is not as nice as the more upscale one in Torrance.)

              Marukai Market
              1740 West Artesia Boulevard
              M-Sat. 9:00am to 8:00pm, Sun. 9:00am to 7:30pm
              (While there are several Marukai Markets, this is their main store. Be sure to save a couple of hours to explore this amazing market. They have a wonderful selection of reasonably priced and beautiful dishes.)


      2. Aside from Japanese markets, I've also seen those little wooden boxes of fresh uni at some Korean markets. Hannam Chain on Olympic and Vermont is selling them for $9.99 (was there yesterday). Note: I haven't seen uni at the California Market (Western and 5th).

        1. not what you want, but if you'd like to have a restaurant prepare your pasta with uni, i'd go to the SPOON HOUSE on redondo beach blvd in, i believe, gardena.

          although i have never had that particular dish, i can attest to the fact that they use good quality pasta (di cecco sp?), and that the pasta is cooked to order so it is actually prepared PROPERLY.

          you can see their menu by going to this site and clicking on 'ON SCREEN MENU'

          1 Reply
          1. re: westsidegal

            I sometimes get that craving for Uni Pasta too - I usually go to Nijiya on Sawtelle and make it at home. The owner of Toscana restaurant in Brentwood used to stop by at Takao right across the street and buy some off Takao-san and make his version of Uni pasta and serve it as one of the specials. I'm not sure if he still does that - maybe he buys his own by now. It was kind of a secret pasta that you had to ask for since it was never on the menu...

          2. SIMPLE.
            Go to IMP (7th & San Pedro) or LA Fish (4th & Stanford) in Downtown LA before 9am. Buy a tray (32 pcs) approx 34 to 36 dollars.
            Most of the best Uni comes from SB (channel islands) but the Best (Blue Label) still comes from SD and is very rare, just ask Hiro (Urasawa). Kar and I can wipe out a tray in less than 15 mins. Uni on Pasta is to die for also.

            1 Reply
            1. re: russkar

              Or in risotto. Ca' del Sole does uni risotto once in a while and it is divine.

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