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Dec 12, 2008 02:58 PM

Local crab season is over

At least according to Alioto-Lazio Fish Co. Their boats were only pulling up three crabs per pot so they called it a season. The crabs there are from the Pacific Northwest.

BYW, thanks little big al for that tip.

Today the price was $4 lb live and $4.50 lb cooked and cracked. I already had the wine and sourdough, so Pacific Northwest or not I brought one home. Pretty good for Dungeness. They cook the crabs in the morning. It is not cooked to order. Something about not being allowed to sell hot crab.

This is really a terrific shop that in addition to the three huge tanks of crabs, sells fresh fish. Today there was fresh petrale ($12.99 lb) and two other fish I'm forgetting that were also from the PNW.

Some of the fresh fish they sell in-season includes halibut, snapper, wild king salmon, lobsters

Frozen fish - shrimpmeat, prawns, scallops, king crab legs, calamari (steaks, tenticles, tubes)
They have frozen fish too, so if you need out of season sand dabs, they have them.

They also carry Fish Bros smoked salmon (lox, kippered, jerky


Canned goods include: Dave's gourmet albacore and salmon, Guardino's clam chowder

They also have crab boil, crab cake mix and bottled sauces (Louie, tartar, cocktail, dill mustard, cioppino)

The people there are very nice and knowledgable too. The women helping me assured me that the local crab fisherman did ok this year. She said that the catch in the PNW was very good this year.

Amazing, this was one of two places in Fisherman's Wharf that I would actually go out of my way to shop. The other was Crown and Crumpet in (gasp) Ghirardeli Square ... I'll write that up later. And while I wouldn't go out of my way for it, I'd recommend Cellar360 for visitors. Well, it is Guadalupe Day, a day of miracles.

I drove by at 7am to scope Alioto-Lazo out. At that hour Fisherman's Wharf doesn't have any fishermen that I could see, but it was packed with SYSCO trucks. The only place that had seafood trucks lined up in front was Alioto-Lazlo. The do wholesale business and sell to many restaurants. So the day's catch, I guess, was being delivered to their customers. I decided it might be good to come back later for the crab.

440 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA

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  1. Thank you so much for posting this information!!! It gives me time to ponder what to do about Christmas dinner, since we were planning on having fresh oysters and local crab. How big were their crabs? I might consider buying ones from PNW, but would prefer to buy fewer larger crabs than a bunch of smaller crabs. I love crab, but wonder sometimes whether they're worth the effort and mess!

    1 Reply
    1. re: cvhound

      I bought the crab cooked and cracked. It was $9, so two pounds.

      I'm really sorry I didn't pick one up from Kanaloa Seafood at Oxbow Market in Napa last week. They said they were 2 lb crabs, but looking at the crabs in SF compared to those at Kanaloa, I'd say those were closer to 3 lbs or more. They were seriously the most beautiful crabs I've ever seen. Very, very ... very lively. The tank was spotless. It looked like an aquarium. They were however, $8.99 lb.,

    2. What hours are they open for retail?

      1. Thank you for the complete and detailed reporting job on the full breadth of what's available. Much appreciated.

        Personally, I'll go with Oregon or Washington or Alaskan crab this year if need be. Not a lot of angst there. The price seems right.

        As for Alioto-Lazio, I can't see navigating through the zoo scene at the wharf unless I perhaps had other business in the Presidio or thereabouts. Too much of a hassle.

        Thanks for braving the parking situation to bring us a fine report.

        Sushi Monster

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sushi Monster

          Alioto-Lazio has their own parking spaces right in front of the building. Just drive up and pick out the crab. It is not just curbside, but a little parking area.

          I will say though that the Wharf area was absolutely dead this morning. I was able to park on the street right at Ghirardelli at 11 am and there were still lots of places available when I left at about noon.

        2. Leave it to the tourists (New York's Bridge and Tunnel Club in this instance) to put out a nice lttle photo spread of Alioto-Lazio.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Xiao Yang

            Excellent photos. Maybe there were more than three tanks, or seeing the cinderblok holding them up, maybe they were configured differently today.

            What was kind of sad was that the tourists would drop by and leave. I'm not sure if they were aware they could buy the fish cooked. It would be a shame if they paid twice the price a few blocks away near the main drag.

          2. Talked to a friend in Sequim today. Her guy is pulling out lots of dungeness crabs in the Olympic Peninsula waters.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sharuf

              That's right next door to Dungeness, Washington, where the crab got its name. Maybe that makes them more "authentic" than local Dungeness ;-)