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Searching for the real Dover Sole.

  • Baron Jun 8, 2008 08:46 AM

Has anyone had a good Dover Sole recently. I’m talking about the real, imported from Europe variety, not the cheap mis-named stuff in the markets. This dish is usually found in fine restaurants and is served table side, the waiter wheels in out and debones it for you. (I like to debone it myself.). The best I’ve had was in the Rancho Bernardo Inn and in the Italian restaurant in Treasure Island, Las Vegas. I would also, really like to find a source to buy it fresh and cook it myself. A simple pan saute with butter and a bit of lemon and parsley. Heaven. The fish looks like a miniature halibut and is flat, about 10-12 inches. This is one my favorite dishes and I have a serious craving.

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  1. Fish King in Glendale stock it fresh, also really excellent Petrale sole.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sally from LA

      Sally from LA,
      Is it the whole fish?

    2. I do not know whether I have had Dover Sole or just ordinary but good US flounder. However, I do know that attaching the name "Dover" to the filet raise the price to between 40 and 50 US Dollars for one filet in this area of suburban Manhattan. In my opinion this is absurd

      How can we know what we are eating and in the end - is Dover Sole really better than flounder?

      Thank you for your attention.

      Mary Louise Murray-Johnson
      NY and Heidelberg, Germany

      1. You can get it frozen at Surfas

        1. I hardly know what to believe about this - I have read authoritative articles which state flatly that no true Dover sole exists in West Coast fish markets, and that whatever we find labelled "Dover sole" is actually flounder, lemon sole, whatever (depending on whose article you're reading). The sad truth is that fish can be sold by their market names, which often has nothing at all to do with their species names; "red snapper" can be any number of things, usually rockfish, for instance. The whole mess to me cries out for regulation, but that's just how I am...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Will Owen

            You can't get FRESH Dover Sole here but you can get it frozen if you're willing to pay the price. They have the real thing frozen at Surfas. It has the rounded snout of the true Dover and not the pointed head of the flounder which is the usual substitute.

          2. http://www.trade-seafood.com/director...

            I found this on web. They list wholesalers and agents for Dover Sole, solea solea. They may be able to direct you to who sells real dover sole in LA or how you can order it a website. Good luck!

            1. My friend had the whole Dover Sole special at Valentino ($45) last thursday.

              1. IMP carries Dover Sole. But it's not always available or already earmarked for restaurants. you can always call and see if they can get you one

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                International Marine Products
                500 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA

                1. Bristol Farms has ordered it for me a couple of times...it was excellent!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TravelPath

                    Thanks for the tip TravelPath. I've had better success with seafood at Bristol Farms than at Whole Foods. I'll ask them to special order one for me. Also, I ordered Dover Sole at the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills ($42 ala carte) it it was very good.
                    Thanks also for the other leads to Surfa's and International Marine Products.

                  2. any suggestions for dover sole on westside?

                    I had some while ago at Zin Americano Bistro in Westlake (near a meeting) and it was quite good - very nice food there...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: travelingmansoul

                      Try the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills.

                      1. re: Baron

                        I just looked at their menu online, and they do not list Dover Sole. Is this currently on their menu, or is it a special that they occasionally have. I'm dying for great Dover Sole, but Las Vegas is too far to go for dinner.

                        1. re: josephnl

                          I just called the Grill on the Alley and was told that the Dover Sole is a menu item and they have it most every day. The on line menu is not complete. I'm going back the first chance I get!

                      2. re: travelingmansoul

                        Cut offers it: Sautéed Dover Sole “A La Meunière”, Preserved Lemon, Parsley, Shallots

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                        Cut
                        9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                      3. Most any restaurant can get true Dover sole if they want it. It's just a matter of price. It's a nice fish, but at $45 a portion, is it that much better than petrale, which would be more like $25 to $30? Do beware of false Dover soles ... seafood marketing labels are notoriously slippery (red snapper anyone?). most of what is sold as Dover sole in west coast fish markets is actually slime sole, which is not anything like the true stuff.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: FED

                          It's also really nasty - it's not just called that for fun. You may as well try cooking snot. Of course, I once bought some halibut from Ralphs that gave exactly the same result when I tried to grill it...

                          1. re: FED

                            Well-prepared real Dover Sole is indeed special. It's nothing like petrale sole, which is also good, but not the same. To have Dover Sole well-prepared such as at Alize in Las Vegas (as described above) is to have an amazing dinner.

                          2. Having worked in a high-end restaurant here in L.A. that served the real deal, I can tell you that all Dover Sole is frozen. If you're cool with that then call up IMP or Santa Monica Seafood. I would personally go through IMP. If you were to do a taste test of Dover Sole that you eat fresh in Europe and the Sole you get here, it would certainly be noticeable. However, if it's defrosted correctly and cooked correctly it's absolutely delicious nonetheless, and very expensive.

                            1. You can get very good real Dover Sole at Vincente on San Vincenti in Brentwood and Melisse in Santa Monica. NOt cheap, but that goes without saying.