Desperately Seeking White King Salmon
Hey! Swooning at the description of white king salmon in yesterday's New York Times ("This is much more than salmon without pigment. It is different from the red in taste, in texture and in many other subtle qualities. It has a softer flesh and is buttery and silky, less meaty and somehow less salmony. It tastes at once sweet, like a freshwater fish, and deeply of the sea. It is clearly salmon, but with flavors reminiscent of perch and Chilean sea bass. Compared with farmed salmon and even red king salmon, which tend to be oily and fishy tasting, white king salmon's delicacy is incomparable."), inquiring minds are salivating to know: are there any LA restaurants that serve it? Do tell!!
p.s. Just for fun, below is a link to the Psychic King Salmon.
Many years ago-at what is now Ike Ichi on SM Blvd, just east of Bundy, served white salmon sushi. It was theee best.
Then it was gone.
The chef made all sorts of excuses.
Two years later I was at a fish wholesaler in Juneau-and they told me there was no market for it-and it was used as a cheaper BBQ fish in Alaska, since it was more oily, and didn't dry out when cooked.
They had plenty of frozen filets in stock-and said it was not rare.
The last place I heard of it in LA, was at a fish market on Fairfax.
White king salmon is an "accidental" catch, caught along with red king salmon. Since the white kings are much rarer than the reds, there is not a predictable supply. On Sunday, I called both Fish King in Glendale and Santa Monica Fish Market, and neither had any white kings available, although they both said they get them in from time to time, depending on availability. Because of the unpredictable availability, restaurants do not have white king salmon on their menus on a regular basis. I've seen white king salmon offered at a wide range of restaurants in Los Angeles, including Vincente's (where Gino Angelini was attentively cooking a whole white king on the wood-burning rotisserie), Four Oaks, and Tahiti Restaurant, among many others. I think your best bet is to call one of the restaurants specializing in seafood and ask if they have white king salmon available, and keep checking until one of them gets some in. Among the obvious choices are Water Grill, The Lobster, and any of the McCormick & Shmick restaurants in L.A.
I've never had white king salmon, but it sounds a lot like Copper River salmon, which is available around May of each year. I've had it two years running (no pun intended) at Brandywine in Woodland Hills. Excellent. Done very simply. Very white in color, not a strong salmon taste.