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Nov 28, 2012 08:49 PM

New to eating mussels - where should I try?

I always thought mussels creepy and slimey until I tried them in a cioppino (out of state, in FL) and decided that they are actually little sea gems. I have not had them any other way.

So my question - to try out more versions of mussels (or perhaps the same prep) ... what's good in LA (Newbury Park west / Pasadena east / Sun Valley North / Palos Verde south)? Looking to taste a variety of preparations (Italian, French, Japanese, Californian...).

Price not an issueso long as mussels are a main part of an entree, as opposed to 1 course of a 15-course omakase menu.

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  1. If you are willing to venture south to Orange County, 2 excellent prospects for mussels are:
    Marché Moderne at South Coast Plaza - classic French preparation
    Brussels Bistro in Laguna Beach - Belgian style, with great accompanying beers

    1. The fresh New Zealand Steamed Green Mussels rolled with lemongrass & basil served with homemade green chili sauce at Jitlada in Hollywood are great.
      Also nice fresh steamed black penn cove mussels at Water Grill in Downtown LA.

      7 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Many "mussel fans" (myself included) strongly prefer black mussels over the green-lipped from NZ. At least at first, I would recommend that a "mussel newbie" stick with black mussels such as those from the northwest US or Prince Edward Island in Canada.

        1. re: josephnl

          Thanks for the advice. Curious if the preference of black over green is because of taste or texture, or both?

          1. re: Betcom

            Both! My favorites are Penn Cove from WA, or PEI from Canada...or of course if you are in France from the Brittany coast. Although I love raw oysters, for me, I like my mussels steamed...although, I've had some chilled cooked mussels from a can that we're delicious...I believe they were from Spain.

            1. re: josephnl

              TOTALLY agree. The black mussels (especially the PEI) are far superior to the larger green shell mussels.

          1. re: wienermobile

            I second the mussels at Jitlada.

            And disagree with josephnl - black mussels can be great, but the green lipped ones tend to be sweeter and less fishy-tasting. (and a bit cheweir too).

            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              There is no right or wrong, it's a matter of taste. I much prefer black mussels. To me, Penn Cove, PEI or French Brittany mussels are the best!

          2. I love the green curry mussels at Larry's on Venice Beach.


            1. If you like them raw, I would recommend the Water Grill.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                OP has only ever had them cooked.