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Apr 19, 2012 05:54 PM

Sand dabs

Hello everyone!

I was wondering if anyone knows of any fish markets in San Diego that sell fresh Sand dabs?
They seem to be impossible to find here in SD; any suggestions would be very much appreciated!


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  1. I get my fix at Tadich Grill in SF because I rarely see them in SD.
    I would try Lucky Seafood in Mira Mesa or Catalina Offshore.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beach Chick

      The Admiral Kidd Club used to serve them, but that was a l-o-n-g time ago :-)

    2. I don't know about markets but they are usually on the menu at King's Fish House and generally very good.

      1. The NEW Tuna Harbor Dockside Market has them.

        It's located here: 598 Harbor Lane, San Diego CA 92101 (south end of Pacific Highway where it enters the Seaport Village parking lot)

        They have had them every week!

        14 Replies
        1. re: pray4mojo


          Actual Sand Dabs (not turbot), from local waters?

          1. re: Fake Name

            Yep, check their website they may have photos. They weren't cheap though, I believe it was $5.50 lbs.

              1. re: pray4mojo

                Comparatively speaking, that's not a bad price at all...

            1. re: pray4mojo

              Thank you for the info; I will definitely check this place out!

              1. re: socal1

                Yeah I assumed $5.50 a pound was expensive because they were sold whole and it didn't look like there was much meat on them. The thought of filleting them up was enough to scare me away. I was doing a random search for sand dabs and found this post. Glad I could help!

                1. re: pray4mojo

                  "The thought of filleting them up was enough to scare me away."


                  Probably disqualifies me for for home chef of the year. I don't break down my beef, either.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    Do you need to fillet them? I'm not an expert sand dab chef by any stretch, but I do love the taste. In the past, I've bought them whole but cleaned. You just flour and season, and pan fry them till done. Once cooked, the meat comes right off the bones. As you said, if you filleted pre-cooking, you'd have a miserable amount of meat per sanddab. Hope that helps and good luck!

                    1. re: FattyDumplin

                      "The thought of [cleaning] them up was enough to scare me away."

                      Although I have cleaned fish before....

                      1. re: Fake Name

                        i hate cleaning fish... probably stems from the time when i was in college, went catfishing with my buddies. got home with a bag of 20 large, still alive catfish and no real idea how to prep them. Ended up bashing them with a hammer and filleting them with a dull knife and it was horrible. especially since even when dead, the nerves still connect every so often and cause movement. after that, i haven't cleaned a fish since.

                    2. re: Fake Name

                      When I was a kid, many many moons ago, we used to rent a house down on Capistrano beach for the summer. This was way before Dana Point Harbor was dredged. Anybody remember Capistrano Beach Club? Anyway we used to surf cast for fish. Caught a lot of perch and some flat fish (species unknown). Gutted and cleaned more than I care to think about. Now I want my fish ready to go on the pan.

                        1. re: littlestevie

                          Remember when the OC was all orange groves and Newport Beach was old money and you didn't have to wear your gaudy diamond crusted Rolex and drive around in ostentatious Lamborghini..

                          Have relatives in Lido/Balboa and would hang in Laguna and I think I've been to Capo beach club but I was a mere enfant.
                          Corona Del Mar is still pretty much intact.

                          I miss taking the boat around to Woody's and then to Balboa YC for dinner for abalone or sand dabs.

                          1. re: Beach Chick

                            Lots of fond memories. The 405 stopped at Beach and Newport was sorta an island with all that open land around it. There was a Jolly Roger on Balboa Island and the houses on the island were still modest. At least the last time I checked, Dad's was still there. But what I really do miss is the local fish.

                2. Just saw this on their FB page. Looks like no sand dabs this week!


                  1. Cook em whole, Scale em and gut them. Pat dry simple flour try coating and fry in shallow cast iron pan.
                    You can also trim off the fins which will allow it to cook faster, therefore not allowing a bunch of oil into the fish.

                    sand Dab is a great fish. Just saying,,,,,,

                    carry on