Finding Dover Sole on the Westside
I am making a French birthday dinner for myself this week, and am trying to find a source for Dover Sole.
I recently moved to the area, and am on the Westside/SM.
If you are looking for the "real" dover sole, the only place I've seen it was frozen at Surfas in Culver City. the real dover sole is expensive and very hard to find. The "dover sole filets" which is sold in our markets is really slime sole, cheap and nothing like the real thing. Dover sole is one of my favorite dishes and the best I've had locally was at the Grill in the Alley in Beverly hills. It's served whole, and fileted at table side - I prefer to take the whole fish head, bones and all. The fish guy at the Culver City farmers market on Tuesdays has great fish - I'll see if he has any. Good luck and happy birthday.
Baron is right about local "dover sole" -—it's usually been brined and is pretty much inedible. I've seen those frozen Dover sole at Surfas, but they don't always have it. Been tempted but it's really expensive for frozen fish. Given the package size, I'm pretty sure they're whole fish— you'd have to cook it and then quickly debone it like a French waiter before your meal got cold.
The farmers market fish guy often has petrale sole, which I think is our best domestic flatfish option. But next door at TJ's, you can get frozen turbot filets that are pretty decent if handled properly. Allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight and don't overcook.
If anyone's tried the Surfas sole I'd be curious to hear how it was.
San dabs are a distant cousin to the dover sole. Granted, they are not quite as good, but a lot less expensive and more easily found. Dust with flour, saute with butter and lemon.