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Where can I buy fresh lobster?

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TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 03:01 PM

Trying to grab a few of them for dinner. I'm located in West Hollywood, so markets closer to that area are preferable, but of course I would be willing to make the foodie trek if that is necessary. Thanks!

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  1. Jennalynn RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 03:02 PM

    Most Ralphs have them.

    1. hrhboo RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 03:03 PM

      99 Ranch.

      13 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo
        Jennalynn RE: hrhboo Sep 23, 2007 03:06 PM

        They're none near WeHo... and I've gone to the Monterey Park store and they only ever have 4+ pounders. Too big for my needs (and $$ for my blood).

        1. re: Jennalynn
          hrhboo RE: Jennalynn Sep 23, 2007 03:17 PM

          Tiny Nancer mentioned that he/she is willing to make a trek if necessary and 99 Ranch does have the freshest and least expensive. SM Seafood is great too but not open on Sundays. Fresh lobster = live lobster, and I've never seen these at Ralph's. Please let me know which branches have them as I live on the westside and hate driving all the way across town for lobster!

          1. re: hrhboo
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            Diana RE: hrhboo Sep 23, 2007 03:25 PM

            Lots of Ralph's have live lobsters in tanks. the ones near me all (SFV) do. Call around the local Ralph's and ask the seafood dept if they have live.

            Hrboo..try your local Gelson's!

            99 tends to have the older, bigger, and tougher lobsters, but the price is right.

            1. re: Diana
              hrhboo RE: Diana Sep 23, 2007 03:27 PM

              None of the ones in my area have them (or none that I know of at least). There is a Gelson's nearby, I'll check them out, thanks!

              1. re: hrhboo
                wutzizname RE: hrhboo Sep 23, 2007 08:36 PM

                I've bought live lobsters at several Ralphs. Not sure if they have them in right now. But sometimes the tank is somewhat hidden behind the seafood area, so ask. Same with Gelsons.

              2. re: Diana
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                bulavinaka RE: Diana Sep 23, 2007 03:37 PM

                The big meaty ones are great for black pepper lobster...

                1. re: bulavinaka
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                  Diana RE: bulavinaka Sep 23, 2007 03:57 PM

                  mmmmmmmmmm Yummy!

                2. re: Diana
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                  markethej RE: Diana Sep 23, 2007 10:30 PM

                  Older, bigger lobsters are no tougher than 1lb - 1 1/4lb ers. And, I don't understand how anything that's alive could ever be considered anything but fresh.

                  1. re: markethej
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                    Diana RE: markethej Sep 24, 2007 07:47 AM

                    Older as in they are alive but have lived longer. Not older as in dead and sitting around. In the lobby world, age corresponds directly to size. Too huge isn't always great.

                    As lobsters age, their meat does tend to toughen and get a bit less sweet. Those mega giant old guys may look impressive, but won't taste so hot. Sometimes, all 99 has are HUUUUUGGGE lobbies, that would be better in dish than straight up steamed or for sashimi.
                    Still, it takes a while to get that way. Pretty much, you're OK at most places if there is a tank and the bugs are lively. If he flips his tail and does the little victory wave with his arms, that's a good one to get!

                    1. re: Diana
                      Dommy RE: Diana Sep 24, 2007 10:48 AM

                      Nope, they taste just fine... It depends on how you cook them. We use for Lobster Rolls... where it the key TASTE is rich, soft tender lobster... The are dead on...

                      Before...

                      http://members.aol.com/pmgon/Chowhoun...

                      After...

                      http://members.aol.com/pmgon/Chowhoun...

                      --Dommy!

                3. re: hrhboo
                  Jennalynn RE: hrhboo Sep 23, 2007 03:44 PM

                  I can only speak of the three Ralphs in my immediate area. They all carry live lobster in tanks in the fish area. Third and La Brea. Wilshire and Martel. Pico east of La Brea.

                  Fresh = Live. If it's kicking when they pull it out of the tank, it's fresh. If it's lethargic, don't buy it. (And I always check to see if they're boys or girls, I'm not a lobster roe fan).

                  They usually have 1 - 2 lb ers. Again, the trouble with 99 Ranch for me is they're always 4+ lbs. I find bigger harder to determine doness and too easy to over or under cook.

                  1. re: hrhboo
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                    Dig T RE: hrhboo Sep 24, 2007 08:46 PM

                    I usually go to the 99 Ranch Market in Monterey Park or Rosemead every three months and buy their lobsters. When I've been there they usually have a choice from about 2-4lbs. What really bothers me is how dirty the entire seafood area is.

                    It's cheap but not something that I'd recommend.

                  2. re: Jennalynn
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                    bulavinaka RE: Jennalynn Sep 23, 2007 03:22 PM

                    There's the 99 Ranch in Van Nuys as well. Closer as the bird flies but getting to anywhere from WeHo can be tough...

                4. d
                  Diana RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 03:09 PM

                  Gelson's
                  Bristol Farms (sometimes)
                  Santa Monica Seafood

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Diana
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                    mkleeh RE: Diana Sep 23, 2007 03:29 PM

                    fish king in glendale

                  2. t
                    TinyNancer RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 06:33 PM

                    Thanks for all of the suggestions! I've been meaning to try out SM Seafood, but since it's closed today I ended up making the run to Ralph's. The lobsters aren't bad-looking -- about 1.25# or so. We'll see how making them actually goes.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: TinyNancer
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                      Neta RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 07:54 PM

                      You can also find the fresh (not frozen) tails at Costco.

                      1. re: Neta
                        Jennalynn RE: Neta Sep 23, 2007 08:41 PM

                        The tails at Costco are previously frozen. And they're not Maine lobster, they're Pacific spiny lobster. I've tried them and I was not happy.

                        1. re: Jennalynn
                          Dommy RE: Jennalynn Sep 24, 2007 10:49 AM

                          Yup! There IS a taste and texture difference between these two lobsters. I love Spiny Lobster... but I would never use it for Lobster Rolls...

                          --Dommy!

                    2. t
                      treeboy RE: TinyNancer Sep 23, 2007 08:08 PM

                      Bristol Farms - Beverly & Doheny - live, straight from the tank.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: treeboy
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                        cecibean RE: treeboy Sep 23, 2007 09:42 PM

                        Just tackled this issue myself. Had a fantastic lobster dinner at my friends house and the search for the right lobsters was much talked about. We live in WEHO and they live in Silverlake. Went to the Bristol Farms on Bev. and Doheny waaaaay to expensive for lobsters in murky water. Didn't have time to go to SM Seafood but that was my next choice. We ended up with great lobsters that were $16.99 a lb. from the big fish market in Glendale...can't remember name since I'm never there. Well worth it and I would go back for the lobsters there any time, in fact, I wish I lived closer because it is a great place to get fish!

                        1. re: cecibean
                          justanotherpenguin RE: cecibean Sep 23, 2007 10:14 PM

                          fish king

                      2. e
                        ebethsdad RE: TinyNancer Sep 25, 2007 11:06 AM

                        HOWS Market, the reincarnation of the late lamented Hughes Market, also has live lobsters, along with the best deals on "Prime" beef in case you want to go all surf 'n turf.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ebethsdad
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                          Dig T RE: ebethsdad Sep 25, 2007 03:50 PM

                          Good one! Are they still open 24 hours?

                          1. re: Dig T
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                            ebethsdad RE: Dig T Sep 25, 2007 04:39 PM

                            Yes indeed. Great selection of eclectic sodas too, including three kinds of Reeds Ginger brews.

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