July 6, 2008
This is my first time posting on Kayoko’s amazing blog. I know, I’m a bad friend. I even bought a digital camera months ago to start blogging and have taken many pics of home cooked meals and refrigerator shelves and have never mustered the courage to post an actual entry. Some of you foodies and professional photographers are intimidating! Despite my social anxiety, the discovery I made on July 4th made me face my fears and… blog.
Lucky for me, the friends I’ve made through my boyfriend Bryon are well versed when it comes to all of Southern Cali’s hidden dining treasures. Whether it’s Armenian chicken, Chinese food in Monterey Park, or sushi so good I can only afford it on special occasions, they know how to eat.
So, when no one had any plans for 4th of July and our friend Seth suggested the San Pedro Fish Market, I was totally game. We met up in Silverlake at 1030am and a group of ten of us made the drive to San Pedro which is about thirty minutes from LA near Long Beach. We took a three car caravan and made it to San Pedro a little past the 11am hour (the traffic gods were smiling down on us). I had no idea heaven was only a ride on the 110s away.
The Market is the kind of place you know you’ll take out of towners till the end of time. When we first got there, it was like snorkeling on dry land. Complete sensory overload. It was great to be there with people who knew what they were doing and what to order. Bring lots of cash as the food is not cheap, but with a big group, and everyone pitching in, you can get your fill for $50-$75.
I started at the crab station with Aubrey, who was a total pro at picking out the best buys.
We ordered three Dungeness crab for $12.99 a pound. Three crabs came to about $75. The guy at the counter picks them up with a tong to make sure all their legs are still attached, etc. They’re then dropped in a bag and weighed. You can bag your own crab, but it was a little too scary for me.
You’re given one of those restaurant pagers and within thirty to forty minutes they’re ready for pick up. The newspapers and the mallets are provided, and they’re a definite must in allowing an easy dining experience. Just try not to think of Sebastian from The Little Mermaid while you eat them.
The crabs were amazing. Next time I will splurge for lobster, which was priced at about $22 a pound.
Next on the agenda were the oysters.
There were two kinds available, Washington and oh no, I can’t remember the second kind. Blog foul. We got a half dozen of both, for about $30. You wait about five minutes while they shuck them and then they’re ready to go.
My one critique was that no cocktail sauce was available, but they did have hot sauce, lemon, and horse radish. The oysters were delicious and meaty, but you had to eat them fast, otherwise, they got warm in the sun and you couldn’t help wondering if you were setting yourself up for a three day weekend of food poisoning.
Second to the crab, the shrimp was my favorite. It was cooked with potatoes and bell peppers. There was still some de-shelling involved, but totally worth getting your hands dirty for.
The corn on the cob was also a great addition to the seafood. I couldn’t get through a whole one as they were soaked in butter, but still delicious. There was also loaves of garlic bread, which helped add a little more substance to the belly than pure seafood and pitchers of beer.
Speaking of booze, I was bummed to learn after we left that bloody mary’s were also available. They would have been the perfect compliment to the meal.
Our friend Jake opted for a mango smoothie which came in a pineapple. It seriously doesn’t get much cooler than that.
Besides the shrimp, oysters, and crab, we also ordered catfish, some veggies, and halibut. Sadly, my camera battery died before the halibut was cooked (it took more than an hour to get it, but it was HUGE– a seven pounder, I was told).
The meal was topped off by churros and ice cream sundaes. By the time we left to walk off the seafood, most of us were a little tipsy. We made one last stop at a nearby candy shop that had all kinds of old school gems. Remember cigarette gum?? All in all, the San Pedro fish market was five stars all the way. If any of you LA peeps haven’t made it down there yet, I highly recommend it. Kayoko, this has Umami adventure written all over it.
San Pedro Fish Market
1190 Nagoya Way, Berth 78
Ports O’ Call Village
San Pedro, CA