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fresh lump crab meat in San Diego

Where can I buy fresh lump crab meat in San Diego (prefered in the La Jolla/Mira Mesa area) ? I have only seen it sometimes at Wholefoods. And I haven't cooked much with crab meat so is the price at WF ($17 for 1/2 lb) reasonable ?

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  1. Although I have not personally tried it from there, a chef at the Marine Room said that Costco is a good place for it. He was talking about it in connection with a lobster crab cake. I looked on chowhound for a good place for lobsters and found Mainly Lobster which sounded promising. However, I called and left a message for them and never heard back. Does anyone know more about this place or have other good places for lobster?

    1. I just buy a whole crab from one of the Vietnamese markets and cook then clean it. It was ~$4/lb (when Dungeness crab season started it was $3/lb). A 2 lb crab yields about 1 lb meat.

      The canned crab claw meat at Trader Joe's (in the refrigerated section) is ~$10/lb, it is ~$17 at Costco so that is a comparable price without the work. I really can't tell a flavor difference between the pasturized refrigerated canned and fresh cleaned.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        I would say the CostCo lump crabmeat is significantly better than the stuff available at Trader Joe's.

        TJ's tastes slightly more briny in a bad way and the consistency is more stringy overall. The Costco is flakier and sweeter.

        TJ's has the advantage of being a little cheaper ($12 vs. $17 I think) and a lot more convenient (at least for me).

        1. re: Cathy

          the crab at TJ's for $10. is claw meat. Costco's is meat from the body, better quality.

        2. Any updates on this? I hate cleaning crab.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scottca075

            Blue water has lump crab meat, very pricey, close to $30/# last time I noticed it a few weeks ago. Also try Catalina Offshore, or Cheaspeak.

          2. Ranch 99 in Clairemont sometimes has incredibly good deals on crab. The only problem is it is usually whole crab not lump meat. Personally, I don't mind cleaning them (it takes like 5 minutes) plus I'm left with the shell and other parts which I can use to make a great seafood broth. Usually, they practically give away stuff like fish heads as well so I'll toss in a fish head or two, the left over crab parts, an onion, carrots, celery, part of a cabbage, with salt & a few herbs then boil the heck out of it. Maybe add a bit of butter to make it savory. Strain out the solids and you're left with a broth perfect for seafood dishes or even boiling pasta to be used with sea food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: oerdin

              Yeah I was at 99 Ranch and then the Vietnamese store by Sab-e-lee, saw the fresh Dungeness swimming around which was what prompted the question. I still hate cleaning them :)

            2. Call Tommy at Catalina Offshore. He has it sometimes- other times it's frozen. I've used it for crab cakes and they were pretty good.