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Nov 20, 2007 12:23 PM

Freshest fish?

Where's the best place to buy the freshest fish in South or Middle Orange County, besides Santa Monica Seafood in Costa Mesa or Jon's in Dana Point? I find it really difficult to find and buy the sweet-tasting fresh fish that is so good when just broiled or sauted.Your suggestions, including ethnic markets, are welcome because I don't mind traveling if it's really good.

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  1. I always find really good fish at Bristol Farms.

    4 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Bristol Farms is grossly overpirced. Some of the larger Asian markets around town (99Ranch on Valley and Del Mar) have good selection and due to strong turnover very fresh fish. The prices are a fraction of Bristol Farms.

      1. re: monkey

        Not necessarily. When I was shopping around for fish for my mom's birthday dinner BF actually came in with the lowest price over other grocery stores and their fish looked better! And you know you are always getting the freshest.

        1. re: monkey

          99 ranches tend to be VERY hit or miss. they do have great stuff--dungeness crab and often spiny lobster in live tanks, lots of different rockfish. but you have to shop carefully; the next item might be completely rank. for consistent quality, i really prefer the japanese chains--mitsuwa and marukai. i was also really impressed by seafood city.

          1. re: FED

            You can smell it when you walk into the store!!

      2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I'm with 'monkey' on this one, on both points he made with regrads to Bristol Farms and Asian markets. 99 Ranch Markets are a good place to find fresh fish at extremely reasonable prices. Live fish and live crabs and lobsters in tanks and 'caught' whole fish is always kept on ice, as it should be, not just pacakaged and refrigerated. Link below to their 'store locater' page at their website.


            1 Reply
            1. re: crt

              In addition to the Taiwanese-owned markets like 99 Ranch, also check out Filipino markets like Seafood City or Island Pacific. In Filipino cuisine, either a fish is served whole or cut cross-wise into steaks and so you won't find much in the way of filets, but you'll definitely get a selection of whole fish. I'll admit that some specimens will be fresher than others (another advantage of buying whole fish is that you can see the eyes and touch the skin to help determine its freshness), but there are always some great finds there.


              (Seafood City doesn't seem to have a website, but they're more prevalent than Island Pacific.)

            2. Fish King in Glendale always has really great quality fresh fish. It's not excactly near you, but I'd say it's worth a trip. It's not cheap, but the quality is much higher then Ranch 99.