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Aug 27, 2010 12:05 PM

Spot prawns? Or, big fat shrimp.

I had four huge shrimp in curry sauce at Jitlada, for about $22. They were so amazing that I've been back twice for the exact same dish. I'm assuming these are the spot prawns I see in the tank at the Asian groceries. I don't think I'm ready just yet to buy them live and cook them at home myself. Surely my fellow Chows can refer me to another good place that does these big fat shrimp well. Am I correct that spot prawns are just big fat shrimp? Are they a seasonal thing here in So Cal? Thanks!

5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

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  1. Yup, spot prawns are some of the biggest shrimp we eat! And Seafood Watch approves of us eating them, phew.

    They're on Walter Manzke's menu at Test Kitchen LA, but that ends in two days. But, they're served at Church & State to much acclaim, using what I assume is his recipe.

    Church & State
    1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

    6 Replies
    1. re: Papuli

      Had these at Test Kitchen on wednesday night and they were fantastic, especially the fried heads. I really hope he opens his own place soon.

      1. re: mollyomormon

        So good to know. I'm going there Saturday and was wondering if I should really splurge....decision made!

        1. re: Papuli

          Yes, splurge! Definitely also get an order of the corn fritters and the fois gras butter with lavender honey from the tapas menu. The entire meal was very good to excellent and I really loved the thai carrot soup, which is very similar to a crab version of the same dish that I had at Bastide when he was at the helm, except this version was even better, to my taste. Cocktails were also great.

          Cne member of our party had never had the fried heads and was a little nervous to try them, but these made him a convert.

          Bastide Restaurant
          8475 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, CA 90069

        2. re: mollyomormon

          I absolutely love fried prawn heads.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            going test kitchen as well...are those prices for tapas per person or per plate?
            is it shareable?

            1. re: rickym13

              There's the prix fixe menu for $52 and on wednesday night, there was also a tapas menu, which was around $12 per plate. I think there were maybe 6 items on the tapas menu and 6 of us at dinner so we ordered each, in addition to the prix fixe menu. The items I mentioned were my favorites.

        3. Do a search for Santa Barbara Spot prawns. You should get a few hits. They're not shrimp, they look like shrimp sized lobster. The taste is sweeter, firmer. Shell is harder. Delish!

          6100 Wilshire Blvd Ste 160, Los Angeles, CA 90048

          1. Fisherman's Outlet downtown. Four huge grilled shrimp $16.50.

            Fisherman's Outlet
            529 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013

            1. There are a few places that sell them live, if you want to cook them yourself. The Japanese fish market wholesalers have them, just east of downtown. Try International Marine Products about --$22/lb or so.

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: ickster

                I have bought them live from Santa Monica Seafood.

              2. any chinese resto's worth their salt do them well. a simple steamed preparation is my favorite.

                if you are ready to cook them yourself, go to any 99 ranch. they are typically @ $20/lb but sometimes go on sale for $13-15/lb. i go this route when i crave amaebi.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wilafur

                  Hawaii Supermarket has live large shrimp for a bit cheaper than 99 Ranch, and their shrimp are just as big and fresh and alive (jumping!) as the ones at 99 Ranch.

                  If you someone else to cook 'em, boil 'em, or steam 'em, I'd recommend the good folks at Pacific Fish Center, on the Redondo Beach PIer.

                  Pacific Fish Center & Restaurant
                  131 Fishermans Wharf, Redondo Beach, CA 90277