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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. s
    sally from LA RE: Baron Jun 8, 2008 09:33 AM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: sally from LA
      Baron RE: sally from LA Jun 8, 2008 10:16 AM

      Sally from LA,
      Is it the whole fish?

    2. m
      mlmj RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 02:03 PM

      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. MikeLee RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 02:10 PM

        You can get it frozen at Surfas

        1. Will Owen RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 02:21 PM

          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
            MikeLee RE: Will Owen Jul 6, 2009 07:00 PM

            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. bgazindad RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 02:57 PM


            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. w
              Wolfgang RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 03:35 PM

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

              1. a
                AAQjr RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 06:17 PM

                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

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

                1. t
                  TravelPath RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 06:27 PM

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TravelPath
                    Baron RE: TravelPath Jul 6, 2009 06:40 PM

                    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. t
                    travelingmansoul RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 07:26 PM

                    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
                      Baron RE: travelingmansoul Jul 6, 2009 08:34 PM

                      Try the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills.

                      1. re: Baron
                        josephnl RE: Baron Jul 6, 2009 09:54 PM

                        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
                          Baron RE: josephnl Jul 7, 2009 01:20 PM

                          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
                        New Trial RE: travelingmansoul Jul 6, 2009 11:26 PM

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

                        9500 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                      3. f
                        FED RE: Baron Jul 7, 2009 09:17 AM

                        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
                          Will Owen RE: FED Jul 7, 2009 10:35 AM

                          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
                            josephnl RE: FED Jul 7, 2009 10:54 AM

                            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. f
                            fooddude37 RE: Baron Jul 7, 2009 12:58 PM

                            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. s
                              stevedi RE: Baron Jul 7, 2009 01:44 PM

                              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.

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