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Has anyone seen Soft Shell Crabs for sale in local markets?

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Absolutely dying to get my hands on a box of soft shells while they are in season- has anyone seen them for sale in the markets?
I'm eastside- adjacent, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Glendale, even Chinatown all work...

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  1. I seem to recall L.A. Fish having them last week. I know for sure that Whole Paycheck/Foods had them on Sunday. 99 Ranch did NOT.

    1. santa monica seafood on Wilshire has uncooked soft shell crab in their retail section.
      They are currently offering a groupon to be used within the next month. They sell out quickly and the number of certificates is limited. Act quickly if you are interested.

      1. LAX-C in Chinatown

        5 Replies
        1. re: chrishei

          and great coconut ice cream too.

          1. re: chrishei

            Ooh, perfect. This place is close to the house and sounds like it will be a fun trip, too.

            1. re: jdwdeville

              Go on the weekend and get some Ricky's Fish Tacos while you're there...

              ...Or here's a wacky idea, ask if they'll fry some soft-shell crab up for you if you buy it and bring it to them!

            2. re: chrishei

              Yes LAX C has them just north of chinatown on I think North Alameda st?

              1. re: chrishei

                update- no fresh soft shells at LAX-C, only boxed frozen imported.

                however, small (+/- 1lb) live lobsters were $8.99 and damn good on the grill.

              2. How much should I be paying per pound for uncooked soft shell crab?

                2 Replies
                1. re: wienermobile

                  Call santa monica seafood retail store. Their prices are competitive with trustworthy purveyors in the L.A. area.

                  1. re: cujo

                    The price for fresh uncooked at Bristol Farms was $32 per pound. That would get around you 4 crabs per pound. Expensive.

                2. Struck out when I called Fish King but they said they have had them intermittently.

                  Got lucky on my second try at Santa Monica Seafood. Still kicking (barely) and the overall quality was pretty good. Price was $8 each and they were big - between 1/4 and 1/3 pound each.

                  I'd be wary of that LAX-C rec below. I didn't see them last week in the fresh fish section. The soft crabs they sell by the box are frozen indonesian swimmer crabs and fit for nothing but spider rolls from questionable sushi joints.

                  Also, you really don't want to deep fry these little bad boys. Dust with flour, salt pepper and pan fry in a little butter.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                    Glad you found SM Seafood. Did you see my recommendation earlier today? I have a Groupon that I plan to use on Saturday to purchase their soft shell crabs.
                    I totally agree with your advice: Steer clear of unknown purveyors, particularly those who may not practice sustainability.
                    I plan to steam mine---the way they do in Baltimore with Chesapeake Bay soft shells. Yum.

                    1. re: mrgreenbeenz

                      I spoke w the guys at Fish King today- they can order them, takes 1-2 days.

                      That doesn't help me w my soft-shell craving for tonight, though...

                      1. re: jdwdeville

                        Do you have something against going to Santa Monica Seafood? They are open on sunday.

                        1. re: cujo

                          I'm not always crazy about their quality level (sometimes very good, sometimes just okay), and that coupled with the prices makes the LONG drive from the eastside not worth it, imho.

                          1. re: jdwdeville

                            I have found that to be true with their prepared food and I stopped buying. Is that true with their uncooked fish & crustacean? Maybe that's why they recently gave Groupons.

                    2. By box, if you mean case, 2nd recc by john for L.A. Fish Co. (call first and make sure they're in stock). You'll have to get there early (before 8am), but they'll still be moving in the hay unlike the retail markets and you'll have to trim them (easy). Just make sure they're alive and not blowing bubbles. You can choose from jumbos (18) or prime (24)

                      Never bought one at retail that's been alive (maybe SM Seafood, but they're mostly dead). They usually kill them to dress them and put them on ice. The meat goes pretty mushy quickly at that point.

                      If a case, then LA Fish. If one or two WF or maybe McCall's.

                      Good luck!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: revets2

                        Just returned from S.M. Seafood. Those little critters were definitely alive and were selling for about $7.50 each.

                        1. re: maudies5

                          Yup, I think it depends on your timing. They'll sell 'em not alive too...for the same price.

                      2. FYI...there's a coupon in the Saturday L A Times every week for $5 off at Santa Monica Seafood. I don't typically use coupons, but every bit helps!