shopping for larger volumes
does anyone know anything about getting good food in larger quantities?
I am planning on cooking for around 50 people and need to find the best place to get at least some of the following items:
Sushi Grade Tuna and other fishes
Scallops in shells
Morels and other wild mushrooms
I live in San Diego, work in Orange County, and can even travel to LA.
I'll second the rec for Catalina Offshore for the sushi grade tuna and I'd also talk to them about the monkfish, shell scallops and whatever other fresh fish you need. If they can't help you on those 2 items call Blue Water Grill and talk to them. Newport Meats might also be an option for you, for both the fish and the meat.
For lamb racks try Costco in Mission Valley. Does the foie need to be fresh? Iowa Meat Farms has it frozen and I'm pertty sure they could handle your request for ground lamb. Both items would be pricey. Specialty Produce is probably your best bet for produce. They used to be down off Morena Blvd., but I think I heard that they moved locations recently. They sell mostly to the trade but will sell to the general public.
Cooking for 50 isn't that difficult, you probably don't need as much as you think you do. Costco and Smart & Final will have almost everything you need in the way of staples and other regular groceries. If you're in the trade Restaurant Depot is probably where you need to go.
The first Price Club store was opened by Sol & Robert Price on Morena Boulevard in 1976 following Sol's sale of his successful FedMart chain to Hugo Mann. That store, originally an airplane hangar once owned by Howard Hughes, is still in operation today as Costco Warehouse #401.
Costco was started in Seattle in 1983 by an ex-employee of both FedMart and Price Club--James Sinegal--together with Jeffrey Brotman, an attorney from Seattle. Costco merged with Price Club in 1993, forming PriceCostco. The name was changed to Costco Wholesale in 1997.