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Oct 29, 2007 09:37 AM

Where to buy fresh anchovies on westside?

For an upcoming cooking club dinner party, I'd like to marinate fresh anchovies. I've had them in restaurants & just love them... so I thought I'd give it a try to do it myself!

I called SM seafood and the woman who answered the phone said that they don't have fresh anchovies & had no advice as to where I might find them.

Any suggestions? SM Seafood is my "go to" place for fish... so I'm now stumped. Thanks!

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  1. Hello, WLA gal!
    We were at Seafood City in Eagle Rock (Filipino Marketplace) this past Saturday, and they did have fresh anchovies. Many of their customers were flocking over and purchasing them...perhaps the price was good, but I did not notice what it was.

    9 Replies
    1. re: liu

      Hi Liu!

      Thanks for the tip. We called Seafood City, and they do have them, although they are frozen. So far, no luck finding fresh ones. Sigh.

      1. re: WLA_gal

        No, the ones we saw were indeed fresh!
        Had they been frozen...I don't know, but I doubt it. They were fresh as customers were excitedly bagging them.

        WLA gal -- I am actually quite surprised that SM Seafood does not have them. Our purchase there -- perhaps a year or so ago -- was my first into to these delicious fishies. They were marinated, I think, but they were very fresh! My rule is always: if you don't like your answer, call back and talk with someone else!

        Santa Monica Seafood: #310.393-5244

        1. re: liu

          I think that the ones at Seafood City HAD been frozen... I definitely prefer the texture of fish that have never been frozen.

          Our plan was to marinate our own fresh anchovies using an Italian recipe. I did find already marinated anchovies from Italy... they were good, but we figured that if we marinated our own fresh anchovies they would be even better!

          My friend called one of the big places downtown and they didn't have them either.

          I'll call SM Seafood again... or maybe stop by to speak with the manager. Last time I was there she was very helpful.


          1. re: WLA_gal

            Where did you find the marinated anchovies from Italy?

            1. re: whatsfordinner

              Whole Foods in Santa Monica. They are prepackaged in a little white tray. Marinated in vinegar with a few unnamed spices/herbs.

              They were good, but I've had much better ones in restaurants & thought I could reproduce that if I could only find the plain, fresh anchovies! We will be getting the ones from Seafood City and I'll also double check SM Seafood later today.

              1. re: WLA_gal

                Wow! I admire your motivation and perseverance!
                Please post back and let us know if you find the fresh ones.

                1. re: liu

                  No luck... I went to SM Seafood, and the first guy just said "no" and when I insisted "do you EVER have them," "do you know where I might be able to get them" the guy went to someone more knowledgeable who said they can be seasonal, and this is not the season. (I think he said summer.)

                  In any case, I checked a fish book I have by Rick Stein, and he specifically mentions how hard it is to find fresh anchovies because a) they are a pain to deal with and b) they spoil quickly (they are shipped whole and the entrails can cause them to spoil faster).

                  I've read a few posts (chowhound & other places) where people talk about finding anchovies at farmers markets, etc., but I think now is not the time.

                  Of course, there may be fishermen here & there who are using them as bait...

                  Thanks for the suggestion of Seafood City - we'll check it out & report back if there is anything of note...

                  1. re: WLA_gal

                    Again, I admire the 'Hound passion that makes you chase!

                    1. re: WLA_gal

                      I've seen them in the past at Granada Market on Sawtelle. Haven't been by recently though...

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