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Oct 23, 2013 09:31 AM

Live Sea Urchin at Quality Seafood @ Redondo Beach Pier

If you live in Southern California and haven't been to the Redondo Beach Pier then your missing out. Redondo Beach Pier is a great place in the south bay to get some of the freshest seafood in the area. One great Fish Market and Restaurant is Quality Seafood, there is a wide variety of seafood to be found here. Here is a video of what I had as an appetizer on a recent visit there and by watching it you can see just how fresh their seafood is , so if you are looking for fresh seafood and don't mind getting your hand a little dirty then go check out Quality Seafood at Redondo Beach Pier

Live Uni Sea Urchin Roe

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  1. things I have learned:

    live uni =/= best uni

    1. Is this a hard table to get on a saturday nite? just show up? i have something in redondo that night so was thinking eating there first but can't wait around forever either...never been to that pier -- ill be glad no sharkies action!

      6 Replies
      1. re: jessejames

        uhm. it's like an open air "picnic" area. you buy stuff from the "market", they prep it for you, then you take it to your table.

        i see lots of families bringing in sides from home (e.g. rice cooker)

        1. re: ns1

          thanks -- never been, sounds cool.

          1. re: jessejames

            make a pit stop at bincho if you are in the area, it's a few storefronts down from quality seafood.

                1. re: J.L.

                  Looks quite good guys - thanks for the tip here. Didn't think I would have so many good options, not familiar with the area.

      2. Quality Seafood always has lobsters, but does not often have live uni. Call before you go, or you will be very disappointed.

        1. On that pier, Pacific Fish Center is even better, IMHO.

          16 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            I just had the live uni at Fishing with dynamite and it didn't hold a candle to the stuff one would get at Mori or Shunji.

            1. re: kevin

              Don't make me quote from my rant on live uni (from another thread in June, 2012)...

              "Uni myth: Opening the live urchin fresh in front of the customer means it's gonna be great uni, right?

              No. Contrary to popular belief, cracking open uni just before eating doesn't ensure quality.

              The quality of the urchin roe within the shell is an innate biological characteristic and pre-determined even before opening. Opening the shell in front of a customer does nothing to improve or detract from the quality of the uni within. There's no way to predict the quality of the uni until it's tasted.

              That's why "fresh uni out of the shell" is a scam, in my opinion. Opening a live uni is a crapshoot - you have no idea if that uni (while undeniably fresh) is gonna be good, mediocre, or bad.

              The uni are sold in Japanese markets (generally higher in quality) are already extracted from the shell. The uni-monger sorts out different quality tiers before it's brought to market and puts them in different wooden trays - this way, proper price levels can be set based on quality. Chances are, the uni monger, who is far more experienced at predicting which urchin will have the best roe, will open those shells first at his/her facility to determine the best prices. Meanwhile, some of the more questionable urchins get shipped off to restaurants intact for the "fresh uni out of the shell" ritual."

              1. re: J.L.


                No wonder why the good uni I had at sushi bars was way better with the fishing with dymamite goods.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I'm pretty sure your post is why I made my post #1.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Big +1 on this educational rant.

                    Learned this the hard way at some sushi restaurant in SD serving live uni. Yes the spines were moving but it was so poorly prepared it all tasted bitter due to the purple bits from the inside and the shell. Easily the worst uni I have ever consumed.

                    I have had very good uni in the shell from Maine at Blue Ribbon in NYC so it's not all bad.

                    But as you pointed out, not nearly as good as the uni at a place like Mori.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      uni monger. now there's something to put on the ol' cv.

                  2. re: J.L.

                    Ok cool. Ok to bring beer or wine?

                    1. re: jessejames

                      jj, as you've never been to the pier and are a beer fan, you must check out Naja's Place.

                        1. re: jessejames

                          88 taps! Need I say more? Ok, it's pretty much world famous to beer geeks. It predates the current beer craze.

                            1. re: jessejames

                              I feel like an idiot standing there looking at the white board with 88 choices on it trying to make a decision with a line behind me.

                                1. re: JAB

                                  so you were the one holding up the line ?

                              1. re: JAB

                                It did start before the whole artisanal beer/gastropub thing.

                                Yes, I agree with Jabs that Naja's is indeed quite exceptional for beer.