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Weho Whole Foods - Fish Counter

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Has anyone else noticed something off recently at the fish counter at Whole Foods at Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd?

The fish seems less fresh than usual, especially the salmon and tuna, often with a dried out look.

Right after the New Year I chocked it up to no turnover because of the holiday, but I've noticed that it seems to have persisted.

Am I alone?

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  1. WF fish has always sucked IMHO. They get the leftover scraps...

    1. I've never been to the WeHo WF, but that sounds a lot like the Tustin WF. In the case of the Tustin WF, with 15 minutes' drive you can be at Santa Monica Seafood in Newport Back Bay, or at Marukai or Mitsuwa in Costa Mesa, so there's no reason for me to keep up with whether they've improved.

      1. Stopped buying fish from WF, Brentwood after noticing a definite decline in the quality. Now buy at Vicente Foods (who buys their fish from S.M. Seafood). The fish is always extremely fresh.

        1. Horrible! Went there for the last time to get a dungeness crab about two weeks ago. The guy told me it arrived "just yesterday." When I got it home and smelled it, the only way it had arrived the day before was if it was delivered by pony express. Further, I got a smoked trout (delicious) and was going to get a mustard sauce until I noticed it had passed its expiration date over a month before! The other jars of the same sauce had their expiration dates ripped off, most likely by an unscrupulous manager trying to save a couple bucks...

          1 Reply
          1. re: burglover

            oh, you just reminded me, i bought a pork loin at that Weho Whole Foods that also had passed it's expiration date, which of course i didn't realize until i got it home. They took it back, but still...it's just kind of gross, and not what you'd expect from WF

          2. I bought from them years ago, same location, and ended up throwing away the fish I bought.
            It smelled like old fish.
            Disgusting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: latindancer

              Rule of thumb: If it smells like fish it ain't fresh! If it smells like the ocean or has no smell, then you are rockin!

            2. OK, so if not the WeHo Whole Foods for fish, where do you guys go in that area? I'm not driving all the way to Santa Monica every time I want to buy fish.

              Is Gelson's on Santa Monica in WeHo any better? I buy chicken there all the time and it's been good. How about Trader Joe's? I've never bought meat at a Trader Joe's because it just seems... odd.

              11 Replies
              1. re: sobriquet

                your best bet is Koreatown.

                1. re: sobriquet

                  Try Bristol Farms. They're much better/fresher than Whole Foods.

                  1. re: sobriquet

                    Try Bristol Farms on Beverly. It's where I buy my fish and, quite honestly, I don't find anything better at Santa Monica Seafood.
                    Just always make sure the fish smells like 'nothing' and you'll be fine....there are lots of personal chefs who shop for fish at this market and I know their standards are high.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      I've never been in a Bristol Farms. How are their prices?

                      1. re: sobriquet

                        Their prices are, in general, higher than Ralph's and Gelson's. My main reason for shopping at Bristol on Beverly is the convenience and their excellent produce department.
                        They've got a great deli section, a wonderful salad bar and hot food bar which includes a hot soup bar and a 'so so' bakery. Their soups are really good.
                        It's worth the trip, in my opinion, to check it out.

                      2. re: latindancer

                        Is the one on Beverly better than the one on Sunset? I know it's much bigger. I've always been underwhelmed by the look/selection/prices at at the Bristol on Sunset.

                        I'm hoping this is a temporary thing at WF, until recently I was always pleased with the quality and it was good for picking up fish quickly on a weeknight.

                        I try to buy my meat from Huntington meats at the Farmer's Market, does anyone ever shop at Tuesquella's Fish Market there?

                      3. re: sobriquet

                        There's a kosher place on fairfax I used to by at. Great halibut, but alas, no shellfish.

                        Hollywood is a no mans land for fresh fish, EXCEPT, the wonderful stall at the Sunday farmers mkt.

                        1. re: Adsvino

                          2nd rec for the truck at the Sunday Farmer's Market. Always fresh and good. When we lived there it's the only place we bought from. Now I live near Fish King in Glendale witch is the best!

                          1. re: Adsvino

                            Also the shellfish available from Carlsbad Aquaculture at the farmers market is AMAZING. They've got some incredible farmed oysters, clams, and live scallops.

                          2. re: sobriquet

                            I only buy fish in the WeHo area from the farmer's markets. Monday morning, Plummers Park on Fountain and Vista, Pete. J&P West Coast Seafood. The best fish, ever.

                            1. re: sobriquet

                              Well my first choice is go to SM Seafood during my lunch hour. But what an annoyance.

                              Then, Bristol Farms Chasens.

                              But as others have posted, several farmer's markets have good fish including the big Hollywood market. Terrible, slow service at the line.

                              And the Carlsbad Acquaculture has terrific clams.

                              The Asian supermarkets are really hit and miss in my opinion. Very fresh, yes. But almost always low quality farmed fish and if it is live, the tanks look disgusting.

                            2. Your best source for seafood on any given day is an Asian market. Seafood is prominent in Asian cuisine, so you can count on fish and shellfish being very fresh (even live), as well as a greater variety. In addition, the product's high turnover generally translates to lower prices.

                              If you prefer the megamart feel, try one of the larger Korean stores on Olympic in Koreatown, or a Japanese store along Sawtelle. If you're feeling adventurous, seek the small Thai groceries in Hollywood, which may be closer to you if you live on the east end of WeHo.

                              Seafood is not foremost on the minds of "us Westerners"--we're more likely to consider a bird or beast, leaving seafood to languish. If we ate the stuff regularly and increased the turnover, we can expect pristine product on display.

                              1. I'm reviving this thread as I'm in the mood for fish tonight. Since the original post I nearly exclusively get my fish/seafood from the Sunday Hollywood or Monday WeHo Farmer's Markets, and is really is vastly superior.

                                However, tonight my choices are between BH Whole Foods, Bristol Farms on Beverly/Doheny or the WeHo WF. Anyone have recent experiences? Or another option?