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Local Wild Bluefin Tuna?

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Anyone else notice this on LA Eater this morning: "Starting tomorrow night and lasting for about a week or so, Water Grill is serving wild blue fin tuna caught off Catalina Island. We're told that "...although Bluefin Tuna are not strangers to this area, tunas this large (110 pounds) surprised the local sardine fisherman...A catch like this is very unusual and special because large Bluefin Tunas are often netted by huge vessels in the North Pacific...Tuna of this quality is typically sent directly to Japan and sold for tens, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars because of its sweet, sushi grade, deep maroon meat."

Anyone know anything more about it - specifically, is any of this likely to show up at local fish markets and if so, which ones?

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Water Grill
544 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071

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  1. I'd call American Fish downtown and check with them and of course Santa Monica Seafood would be another likely place.

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    Santa Monica Seafood Co. - SM Retail
    1205 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA

    American Fish & Seafood
    625 Kohler St, Los Angeles, CA

    1. I bought 2 lbs this weekend at Pacific Fresh in Downtown LA. The meat is not as fatty as the BlueFin from Europe and is significantly cheaper ($10/lb vs $30/lb). I don't think the fish is sashimi quality but was tasty nonetheless when slightly seared.

      1. I went there last night, and had the bluefin and it was amazing. You cannot get this particular fish anywhere else, such as a fish market. Last night, we talked to chef Amanda Baumgarten, and the entire fish, from head to tail is all at Watergrill. There was a bluefin tartar appetizer with a thai/green papaya sauce that was great. The entree was seared bluefin, with a simple but effective vegetable preparation. We asked about the belly, and those portions will be used starting today as some sort of a sashimi-like appetizer with fennel. Given the scarcity of bluefin other than in Japanese sushi restaurants, I suggest that you take advantage of its brief appearance at Watergrill. Amanda's preparations did great in not overpowering the amazing ingredient.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cheese_panda

          how much was your meal if you dont mind?

          1. re: emosbaugh

            Entre was 44$, tartar appetizer was 16$

          2. re: cheese_panda

            Any change in Watergrill now that Amanda Baumgarten is the chef?

            I know you really can't judge too much from a reality TV show, but she seemed a curious choice after her run on Top Chef.

          3. Per a fishing website, one local seiner wrapped 45 tons of US waters bluefin and returned to shore 7/5. The fish were what I call mid size units between 40-100 lbs each. Pacific bluefin tend to travel in schools of 20 lbs or less, or 40-100 and then the rare monster class of 100+. So this does look to be a one shot deal. Enjoy.

            1. The last night was tonight. How do I know? 'Cuz I went.

              It was really good tuna. More muscular, and less fatty than Spanish-caught tuna, but the local tuna tasted really "healthy", for lack of a better word.