Sara wrote a post two years ago about the San Pedro Fish Market, and I’ve fantasized about visiting since then. All that sunny, surfside seafood looked like paradise. So that was the obvious choice for Umamiventure #26, since I was coming into town. Also, with all the devastating seafood drama happening in New Orleans (great essay in Washington Post yesterday), and the rest of the coast, I felt that we needed to support the industry. SUPPORT SHELLFISH! I crossed my fingers for flawless weather. And a glorious day it was– not a cloud in the sky! I was unaware of how far San Pedro actually is from the city– it was closer to Long Beach and about a 45 minute drive for everyone. Thanks to everyone for making the trek out! It was a day of non-stop laughter, World Cup madness (England vs. US), pitchers of Coors Light, and mountains of seafood on trays. Loved every moment of this trip! SO MUCH FUN.
The San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant may be the most raucous place in Los Angeles on a Saturday afternoon - a crumbling wharf in the Ports O' Call complex of San Pedro swarming with children, besieged by gulls, vibrating with the sound of mariachis whose trumpets compete with spurts of banda music from a dozen radios, blasts from the stacks of passing cruise ships, and orgiastic seafood consumption that rivals anything you saw in Tom Jones. Here picnic tables sag under the weight of baroque, stinking pyramids of fish skeletons and shrimp shells, ruined lobster carapaces, oyster shells, crumpled paper cups, dessicated limes, yardlong shanks of margarine-yellow garlic bread that look as if they've been gnawed on by wolverines. Tanned, shirtless men stagger past with fried catfish big enough for Hemingway to have bragged about. The beer line seems to stretch half a mile. Teenagers, buzzing on gallons of sugary horchata, pound crabs with little wooden mallets, impatiently trying to free fugitive nuggets of sweet meat from tricky interstices of shell. Mariscos nirvana. Lobster heaven. Dungeness crab paradise. You are reminded that the Mexican population of Los Angeles will soon rival that of Mexico City itself.
The San Pedro Fish Market is located on the Port of Los Angeles and has been in operation for more than 30 years. The Fish Market is the place to go to for fresh fish in the Harbor area and offers retail and wholesale fish, ready-to-eat seafood fare and restaurant and banquet services...
If first impressions are everything, then San Pedro Fish Market may not have lasted more than the 50 years it has been in business. There’s a lot to be turned off by at first glance: the overwhelming crowds, long lines, a pervasive smell of raw fish, high prices, and pigeons and seagulls stalking your every move, waiting to pickpocket your shrimp at an unsuspecting moment.
This rambling, bustling spot on Berth 78 of Ports O' Call Village offers more than 200 varieties of fresh seafood, including lobsters and crabs, which are plucked live from tanks. The game is you-pick-'em, they-cook-'em --- unless you're just shopping for seafood to take home. Various vendors offer side dishes ranging from corn on the cob to coleslaw, as well as thick and crusty garlic bread to round out one's meal. The shrimp tray is among the most popular dishes, consisting of plenty of peel-and-eat shrimp sautéed with onions, bell peppers, lemon and lots of spices. Whole-roasted fish is also a treat for those with a hearty appetite. On weekends, the outdoor dining deck is filled with families sharing trays heaped with shrimp, crab and fish fajitas while listening to the strolling mariachi bands. This is one of Los Angeles' great no-frills al-fresco dining experiences and, if you bring a crowd, also one of its best bargains.