Sushi Grade fish in San Diego
What stores in San Diego sell sushi grade fish that can be consumed raw? I assume 99 Ranch is an obvious answer but are there any others? Is the quality between place pretty consistent?
99 Ranch sells it and it's safe to eat, but I find it a bit flavorless. It'll do in a pinch, though, and the prices aren't bad. Mitsuwa also sells it, but it's a bit pricey and visually, it hasn't looked fresh the couple of times I've looked there.
My candidates would be Mitsuwa Market, off the 163, Point Loma Seafood, in Point Loma, The Fish Market, in Del Mar, and one other place whose name escapes me, in Carlsbad, just west of the 5, in a shopping center at either the Poinsettia or Palomar Airport exits. Maybe someone else can chime in on this spot.
Edit: Add Nijiya to this list as well.
Nijima on Convoy across from Home Depot Expo typically has a much better selection than Ranch 99. Though I'd probably try Catalina Offshore first.
To me, "sushi grade" can have two meanings. 1) it's safe to eat raw 2) it really is sushi grade, in the sense that it belongs in the best of sushi bars
For the former I'd limit it to the Japanese, and perhaps the Korean, markets. So we're talking Mitsuwa, Nijiya, and the new Marukai (when their fresh fish section is up and running). Of course Catalina and any of the other commercial specialty suppliers of fish for sushi bars would do.
For the latter I'd recommend befriending a respected sushi chef and ordering it through a reputable sushi bar. Really most of what's served in the sushi bars out there is not very compelling product. Safe, perhaps, to eat, but most is not really "sushi grade"... By obtaining it through a respected sushi bar/sushi chef, you'll be getting the best product that the supplier has on hand.
The distribution of top-quality (non-commodity) sushi ingredients is very much a relationship-driven business.