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Best "Local" Seafood Restaurants in Bay Area? Coming from a distance and need FIX!

Spireup Mar 13, 2014 09:40 AM

I'm completely deprived of my first love—fresh seafood—while living in the midwest.

Looking for any "local" eateries which provide any of the following: delicious oysters, muscles, crab, clam, abalone, scallops, geoduck, squid, octopus, etc. What am I missing?

As long as it's fresh and consistent, I'm all ears for suggestions...

"Dives" are fine, general stores are fine, low, medium, high end restaurants are fine, food trucks are fine. Want to avoid fried. Even a groceries/markets American or ethnic are fine as I may have kitchen facilities.

Thoughts? Please provide name and location. All advice appreciated.

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  1. g
    goldangl95 RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 10:36 AM

    Hog island if it isn't still closed when you come.

    Hog & Rocks

    Bar Crudo (though can be inconsistent)

    Skool (slow service)

    1760 had a good a mount of seafood on their menu.

    Sf actually isn't a huge seafood town. Not sure if it's sustainability reasons or there just isn't that many true local species.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95
      BoneAppetite RE: goldangl95 Mar 13, 2014 10:41 AM

      Passionfish in Pacific Grove would fit the sustainability bill. Good choice of Skool. We think of Koi Palace as a seafood house.

      1. re: BoneAppetite
        Robert Lauriston RE: BoneAppetite Mar 13, 2014 10:46 AM

        Passionfish is 120 miles from San Francisco.

      2. re: goldangl95
        moto RE: goldangl95 Mar 13, 2014 12:44 PM

        the locally caught seafood varies with the season of course, and many SF restaurants that feature seafood have a significant part of their menu based on stuff that's flown in [on an oyster selection for example, one or two varieties offered will be local, several won't be]. wild abalone is local enough, but so rarely seen in licensed eateries it isn't realistically worth considering. one place that consistently has a number of choices that are locally sourced (and explicitly noted on its menu) is Fish in Sausalito. generally speaking for the present, the Dungeness crab with the season waning might not even be very local now, but the petrale sole or sand dabs will be (herring or sardines are often a good bet as well). other stuff will be dependent on getting accurate info on the source from the restaurant.

      3. Robert Lauriston RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 10:37 AM

        Anchor Oyster Bar
        Bar Crudo
        Hayes St. Grill
        Hog Island Oyster Bar (closed for remodeling?)
        Sotto Mare
        Yank Sing (dim sum, lunch only)

        1. j
          jaiko RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 12:42 PM

          Should you go up to visit Sonoma Cty, Bravas Tapas in Healdsburg makes a terrific octopus dish, lightly dusted with Ceylon cinnamon. We eat octopus often and theirs is so far the best we've had. Amazing concept/execution.
          Bravas Tapas
          420 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
          (707) 433-7700/also OpenTable

          One of my niece's favs is:
          La Mar Cebicheria
          Pier 1 ½, the Embarcadero, SF.
          Website & menu: http://lamarsf.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: jaiko
            moto RE: jaiko Mar 13, 2014 12:53 PM

            if you're trekking as far as Healdsburg, Mateo Granados gets his seafood directly from fishermen/gatherers and boats he supports.

            1. re: moto
              Civil Bear RE: moto Mar 13, 2014 01:33 PM

              Heck, if going north then fresh & bbq'd oysters along the Marin coast are a must.


          2. d
            DavidT RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 01:22 PM

            Plouf (on Belden Alley, SF) specializes in mussels, serving them with a variety of sauces.


            Tadich Grill and Sam's Grill (both in the Financial District) are SF's two "old-school" seafood houses. Your best bet at either is to have the sand dabs or have the fresh fish of the day simply grilled.

            1. m
              mikeh RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 02:19 PM

              Fish in Sausalito (recent thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966670


              They do it about as local as it gets around here, which means sourcing from individual fishing vessels along the West Coast and only serving sustainably-caught species. The quality is first-rate.

              1. Robert Lauriston RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 02:36 PM

                The new Sunday izakaya at Local's Corner:


                1. pikawicca RE: Spireup Mar 13, 2014 04:20 PM

                  Is there absolutely no love for Farallon? Have many fond memories, and plan to take my son there when we're in town later this month.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: pikawicca
                    mikeh RE: pikawicca Mar 14, 2014 06:45 AM

                    Thread was asking about local seafood, not just seafood generally. Farallon appears to source from all over (Maine, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, the Mediterranean, etc.). Not the same as "catch of the day" stuff coming off local boats.

                    Truth is that you can't find many of those true "locally-sourced only" places in the Bay Area (except for some of those mentioned above). It's not like in some other parts of the country (Louisiana and the Carolinas come to mind) where you can go to seafood places where everything they serve is from local boats that are catching everything in a 100-mile radius.

                    1. re: mikeh
                      Robert Lauriston RE: mikeh Mar 14, 2014 10:53 AM

                      The opening post says "completely deprived of fresh seafood in the Midwest" so it doesn't sound like local is that big a requirement.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        ckshen RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 14, 2014 10:58 AM

                        And 'local' seafood really narrows down the choices to sardines, salmon, dungeness crab, oysters, etc.

                        1. re: ckshen
                          Robert Lauriston RE: ckshen Mar 14, 2014 11:05 AM

                          Depends on how you define local. Here's a discussion of what's local:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            ckshen RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 14, 2014 11:10 AM

                            right. and fish swim a long way anyway, unlike 'locally grown produce'.

                        2. re: Robert Lauriston
                          Spireup RE: Robert Lauriston Mar 14, 2014 10:58 AM

                          You are correct Robert...

                        3. re: mikeh
                          Civil Bear RE: mikeh Mar 14, 2014 02:47 PM

                          >>"Truth is that you can't find many of those true "locally-sourced only" places in the Bay Area (except for some of those mentioned above). It's not like in some other parts of the country (Louisiana and the Carolinas come to mind..."

                          Tony's Seafood Restaurant in Marshall used to put out true "locally sourced" seafood. Until he got caught anyway...

                        4. re: pikawicca
                          c oliver RE: pikawicca Mar 14, 2014 11:14 AM

                          I've had the impression for some time that Farallon was more about showy and that better seafood can be had elsewhere. This thread provides a great list.

                          We loved Bar Crudo and think Plouf is good and Belden Place is always a fun experience. I've heard good things about Fish - steve h ate there while renting a houseboat in Sausalito last summer. He also loves the oysters at Zuni.

                          1. re: pikawicca
                            nocharge RE: pikawicca Mar 14, 2014 06:36 PM

                            OK, let me bite. I really like Farallon. I haven't been there in about a year, but that's mainly because its sister restaurant Waterbar is closer to where I live.

                            The price point for entrees seem to be about $5 (give or take) higher at Waterbar than at Farallon, but I guess that's the cost of the views.

                          2. p
                            Pius Avocado III RE: Spireup Mar 14, 2014 09:02 AM

                            This article about a unique abalone farm underneath the pier in Monterey mentions Michael Mina, Coi, Commis and Saison as customers:


                            1. ckshen RE: Spireup Mar 14, 2014 10:42 AM

                              Koi Palace has plenty of seafood prepared Chinese style.

                              If you are willing to go out of the way, Yum's is a small shop in Newark does crab in various cantonese/ asian style very well, and cheaper. R&G in chinatown is also fine, they are more of a banquet type restaurant.

                              Oysters you can consider heading to an oyster farm around Marshall and Pt Reyes in Marin County and feast on oysters whose freshness cannot be beat. I love grabbing a baguette and cheese, sit on a picnic table and shuck away. Weekends can be insanely crowded. In the city there are also many places to have oysters.

                              Sun Fat in the Mission district in SF also has tons of varieties of live oysters in circulating salt water tanks (i.e. very fresh). They have varieties like Kusshis and Shigokus that are harder to find elsewhere. With that said, its a seafood market so you have to take the oysters back with you and shuck them somewhere. and Kusshis and Shigokus are not from the bay area.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ckshen
                                Robert Lauriston RE: ckshen Mar 14, 2014 10:57 AM

                                Zuni probably has the best selection of oysters in a restaurant.

                                1. re: ckshen
                                  Spireup RE: ckshen Mar 14, 2014 10:58 AM


                                  Lovely! Especially with the Chinese style recommendations as Dim Sum is also something I need a serious fix of.

                                  Love the idea of fresh direct from oyster farm and we'll be staying in that area for a few days. Keep talking... I'm all ears!

                                2. m
                                  ML8000 RE: Spireup Mar 14, 2014 07:59 PM

                                  Yuet Lee for crab, clams, etc.

                                  Also Chez Panisse always has a fish or seafood item on their menu and you can be assured it will be treated with respect and handled perfectly...not to mention the superior sourcing they enjoy. You can go upstairs which is easier.

                                  Tonight they're serving: buttermilk-fried petrale sole with red coleslaw.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ML8000
                                    c oliver RE: ML8000 Mar 14, 2014 08:09 PM

                                    We LOVE Yuet Lee!

                                    1. re: ML8000
                                      Robert Lauriston RE: ML8000 Mar 15, 2014 11:12 AM

                                      Chez Panisse gets most of their seafood from Monterey Fish, which also supplies Hayes Street Grill, Zuni, and Oliveto.

                                      1. re: ML8000
                                        walker RE: ML8000 Mar 15, 2014 12:05 PM

                                        I'm a big fan of Yuet Lee; I was driving past it last night and thought I saw it was closed, chairs up on the tables. (It's open late, closed on Tuesdays.) I could not find a website for them but found the phone no and called it and got a recording that they are on vacation until Wed. Mar 26.

                                        Here are reviews from Trip Advisor:


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