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can anyone please tell me the best/cheapest place to PURCHASE LIVE CRABS?? i want to steam 'em at home. also, any suggestions as to the best way to steam/serve live crabs will be appreciated as well!!
i know redondo beach sells live crabs but they're EXPENSIVE. i think it would be a lot cheaper to buy from the source.

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    1. Any sizable Chinese market will have them for reasonable prices. Since you mentioned Redondo Beach, I'm assuming you're somewhere around the South Bay. Have you heard of or tried 99 Ranch Market on Artesia in Gardena?

      99 Ranch Market
      1340 W Artesia Blvd, Gardena, CA 90248

      1. This doesn't seem to be a recipe inquiry, more of a purchase inquiry IMHO. And I'd check 99 Ranch Asian markets for the crabs. Their multiple locations are online.

        1. Either SF Supermarket (Garden Grove) or Sieu Thi Thuan Phat (Westminster).

          2 Replies
          1. do you mean quality seafood in redondo beach?
            i would guess that santa monica seafood and kinf seafood have live crab. Quality has live local rock crab (not so sweet) and dungeness (much sweeter). There'S A 99 ranch in teh valley on Sepulveda at Victory.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jerome

              I'm not positive about their new location, but santa monica seafood never had live crab at their original store. But they did have the best quality pre-cooked, whole dungeness crab I could find on the west side.

            2. $6.99/pound today at Ranch 99 in Monterey Park. Maine lobsters $7.99/pound

              1. When he's there, the seafood guy at the Hollywood farmer's market always has crabs caught in Santa Barbara for $4lb. His fish is fantastic too.

                4 Replies
                1. re: posh

                  thanks for the help everybody! i think i'll check out Ranch 99.

                  1. re: tinatunasandwich

                    I agree 99 Ranch is your best option for finding live dungeness crab in SoCal...especially this time of year.

                    Keep in mind, though, that it is not crab season in california right now, so the crab that is available has been shiped a long way to get here (I think most of what we can buy in L.A. right now is coming from Alaska). This means the crab has been out of the ocean for awhile, and may have incurred some wear and tear during the trip to L.A. So be sure to pick out the livliest crab in the tank to get the highest possible quality. Sick, injured or dying crab don't taste good.

                    Crab season in Northern California opens in mid-November. The availability, quality and even the price of dungeness crab generally improves significantly in L.A. once the season opens.

                    1. re: MrF

                      Yesterday the fish guy at the hollywood market had a very large bucket with live crabs. I would be surprised if the ones at 99 ranch are as good.

                      1. re: posh

                        then you might be quite suprised to learn that the guy at the farmers market is selling rock crab, which would usually be thrown back by anyone who has an option to cook live dungeness crab. I prefer buying from seafood paradise, but 99 ranch has some pretty good quality crab. Dungeness is one of the top species, while rock crab is bycatch.

                2. We've split the sub thread about transporting crabs to the general topics board, since it's not specific to LA and therefore off-topic to this board. It's located here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/655057

                  1. Shun Fat Superstore in El Monte is worth the trip just to see the hot tub sized (actually bigger than a hot tub) tubs of cold water with a variety of live fish, lobster and likely more than one kind of crab to choose from. They're usually cheaper than 99 Ranch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foodiemahoodie

                      Very true statement. 99 Ranch and Shun Fat Markets are way cheaper than at the Redondo Beach Pier or LA Ports of Call and the quality is just as good IMO if you're not looking for outdoor ambience. We were just at Ports of Call last week where already cooked local rock crabs were selling at $5 each with purchase of other seafood products. If you're in Orange County, the large market on Beach and Bolsa (I forgot the name?) has cheap prices also as well as any of the large Asian supermarkets along Bolsa AVenue in Little Saigon.