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Sep 25, 2011 03:08 PM

Where to buy seafood?

Where do you buy your fresh seafood?

We're moving from vegetarian to eating seafood and are looking for places to buy fresh fish/seafood.
Preferably in the central San Diego area.

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  1. For ease of access and quality the choices are Blue Water on India St. and Bay Park Seafood just off Morena Blvd.

    1. Doesn't get much fresher than Catalina Offshore Products off Morena:

      2 Replies
      1. re: bizzwriter

        I went to COP a few weeks ago. They had a special on fresh yellowtail for $3.00 a pound!!!
        I asked for a pound and a half, and I swear they gave me over 5 pounds, for $5.00.
        They have the best, freshest, and most reasonable fish in San Diego. A little out of the way, but OMG worth it.

        1. re: bizzwriter

          +1 on COP. They have great prices and great quality.Tommy Gomes is good people and very active in the local fishing community.

        2. Just back from Tunisia, Sicily and Taiwan and finding it hard/impossible to find the quality and types of fish and mollusks that are eaten in those serious seafood cultures. I really grew to appreciate fresh markets with smaller whole fish, unfrozen squid and cuttlefish, octopus- made cooking a breeze since they were so available and easy to deal with, not to mention caught daily. In this part of the US, larger frozen species such as salmon, halibut, dorado, swordfish, tuna and farmed jumbo prawns are the main event at most shops (Blue Water for example- high quality, but everything they carry with the exception of shellfish, is previously frozen/sold in large fillet pieces), and make cooking simple and not absurdly expensive curries, grills and soups kinda a major deal. Wish California would return to smaller catches of local smaller fish and gastropods- a financial pipe-dream, I know, but I would certainly line up for that instead of the usual halibut steak in my choice of blackened, lemon pepper, or teriyaki preps. Feel like were missing out on the best of what's lurking in our own 'backyard.'

          Anybody know: is the frozen stuff at Trader Joe's any less 'fresh' than our 'local' shops? I know that certain species like halibut and rockfish, mussels and oysters can be, but what else? Fresh sardines for Americans? Next to impossible to track down with any regularity.

          Can't beat Blue Water for fresh fish service from Ryan, though. That'd be my rec for the OP if they want nice big pieces of too expensive fish. Should be cheaper than beef, in my opinion.

          Sorry for the sour grapes. Let me know if you can do better than I have!

          4 Replies
          1. re: SaltyRaisins

            I hear ya Salty, I just returned from Veracruz where the fish, shellfish and octopus were great. To find what you want go to Catalina Offshore and talk to Tommy. Ask him what's fresh off the boat and hasn't been frozen. He should be able to accommodate you (I think/hope?)

            1. re: SaltyRaisins

              Yeah -- it's kinda catch as catch can when it comes to local and fresh. I suspect that most of the Trader Joe's product comes from far, far away -- unlikely to be local, or particularly fresh.

              I have found that Pescador in La Jolla almost always has at least a couple kinds of locally caught fish (they always mark it as such) as does The Fishery in PB. Call before you go. If you check out Catalina Offshore Products's website, they clearly mark which of their products are live (sea urchin, abalone), fresh, and frozen.

              Of course, a number of the Asian markets (99 Ranch, etc.) have live fish/shellfish/gastropods in tanks. I guess it doesn't get much more local than that. I love the quality Japanese markets like Ninjiya because my impression is they only sell the best seafood they can get their hands on.

              p.s. Costco regularly stocks fresh wild-caught fish -- they almost always have rockfish and often have dover sole and some species of salmon. They had both king and coho salmon this past week at the Morena store. Seems very fresh (check your sell-by dates) and the prices are usually very reasonable.

              1. re: SaltyRaisins

                Don't remind me.

                I spend most of the summer in coastal Spain (North and Med coasts) and if the markets there moved to San diego, every grocery store, farmers market, and fish shop in san diego would go out of business within a month.

                I think one market had at least 15 different types of shrimp.

                1. re: stevewag23

                  It sounds like you two have identified a market niche waiting to be filled. Why not pool your money and open a shop selling the type of sea food you're looking for? If your prices were reasonable then I'd shop there.

              2. Drive up to Newport Beach and be there when the Dory Fleet comes in in the morning. It doesn't get nay fresher than that.