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Sep 23, 2007 03:01 PM

Where can I buy fresh lobster?

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. re: hrhboo

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

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

                1. re: Diana

                  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

                    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

                      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...






                2. re: hrhboo

                  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

                    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

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

                3. Gelson's
                  Bristol Farms (sometimes)
                  Santa Monica Seafood

                  1 Reply
                  1. 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

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

                      1. re: Neta

                        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

                          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...


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

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: treeboy

                        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!