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SiseFromm

Pearson's Port

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Hallelujah! They look absolutely stunning. I can't wait to head over myself and pick a few up. I have a strong feeling this Sunday's supper is going to include a spiny lobster dish of some sort. Great report and that dish looks awesome.


R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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Going to Pearson’s Port was one of the first things on my to-do list after having just gotten back to Orange County after a year in Europe. I can’t believe I’ve lived within a couple of miles of this place for almost 20 years and didn’t know about it!

I told the young man in charge that I had heard about Pearson’s Port on the internet. He pointed to the recent Russ Parsons LA Times article that was prominently displayed on the counter. I said, no, from a web site that people from all over the world use to talk about food. He was surprised, thought that was cool, and asked for the eGullet url.

Pearson’s Port is so incredibly charming that it is worth a visit even if you hate fish. Just a shack out over the water, with a half dozen salt-water tubs of live critters and some dead ones on ice. To give an idea of how in-the-drink this place is, well, it is a good thing they laminated the Russ Parsons article.

The breeze was streaming in off the Pacific, the sun was shining. Just being there made me want to blow off work, rent a kayak (which you can actually do, next door) and take off to do some fishing myself.

Worth the soul-crunching drive from wherever...

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Wow that lobster looks amazing, nice work, when can I come over for dinner?

Do you mind if I inquire as to what the price was?


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Thanks for the compliments, Swicks and SiseFromm!

I'm pretty sure the price was $16 or $17 a pound. It cost me just over $40 for the two lobsters, so all in all not a bad deal. With the local catches (lobster, prawn, crab, etc.) it's hard to remember that Pearson's has a good selection of fish that they fly in as well. I've picked up a few things from them here and there (white sea bass and yellowfin tuna) and they were of good to very good quality.

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Spiny Lobsters are indeed in full effect. The tanks are full and should remain that way through March I believe. Pearson's Port also just received a write-up in LA Times Food Section earlier this week so check that out as well. As for us, well, here's the most decadent lunch I can possibly imagine for a Saturday afternoon:

Pearson's Port Spiny Lobster Rolls

(1997 Peter Michael ‘Mon Plaisir’ Chardonnay)

gallery_12732_4564_290152.jpg

gallery_12732_4564_170657.jpg

The lobster was poached in butter, gently mixed with mayonnaise and celery, then seasoned with salt and white pepper. That's it. The buns were toasted in a few spoonfuls of the poaching butter. I was tempted to add tarragon & chervil but I was going for the purity of a true lobster roll. I'm glad I showed restraint because the lobster absolutely sings in this preparation.

p.s. - Not pictured is my wife and her plate . . . lest anybody think I'm going to polish that bottle off myself.


Edited by SiseFromm (log)

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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I thought I would revive this thread after there was a large article in this week's LA Times about the good people at Pearson's and also the start of Spot Prawn season.

Here is the article with an accompanying video:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...0,3978159.story

Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I plan on picking up some spot prawns this weekend for some grilling.


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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I thought I would revive this thread after there was a large article in this week's LA Times about the good people at Pearson's and also the start of Spot Prawn season.

Here is the article with an accompanying video:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...0,3978159.story

Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I plan on picking up some spot prawns this weekend for some grilling.

I'm glad to see they're getting some much deserved attention. Normally, I would be bummed about little "secret" places like this getting "discovered", but knowing that a little boost in business for the Pearson's could help a lot, I don't mind. Last couple times I've been by, they didn't have the prawns so I'm glad to hear they're finally here!

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I'm definitely going to stop by there next week; I drive by that location a couple of times a week but have never actually been to the shop. If it is the one I'm thinking of there is a sign on PCH that says Lobster/Crab or something to that effect. I always assumed it was just some guy selling seafood out of a truck and kept on driving. Yeah I'm a dumb@ss.

Having read the article and this thread I can't wait to give them some money.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I'm definitely going to stop by there next week; I drive by that location a couple of times a week but have never actually been to the shop. If it is the one I'm thinking of there is a sign on PCH that says Lobster/Crab or something to that effect. I always assumed it was just some guy selling seafood out of a truck and kept on driving. Yeah I'm a dumb@ss.

Having read the article and this thread I can't wait to give them some money.

You are correct, they share a lot with an RV Park and Kayak Rental Shop. The shop is literally on the water. Go give 'em some money and support a great local resource!

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agreed.

I went on sunday around 1 pm and they were already out of spot prawns. Damn, perhaps this weekend. We had some great shrimp though.


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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I'm definitely going to stop by there next week; I drive by that location a couple of times a week but have never actually been to the shop. If it is the one I'm thinking of there is a sign on PCH that says Lobster/Crab or something to that effect. I always assumed it was just some guy selling seafood out of a truck and kept on driving. Yeah I'm a dumb@ss.

Having read the article and this thread I can't wait to give them some money.

You are correct, they share a lot with an RV Park and Kayak Rental Shop. The shop is literally on the water. Go give 'em some money and support a great local resource!

Oh I will. Work has not taken me that way yet this week but probably will later this week. Gas prices being what they are recreational driving is out for me but I'm down that way a time or three a week anyway workwise. I'll post back once we have some goodies :).


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Stopped by there just now, the prawns are beautiful.

My new friends were distinctly unamused by the drive home.

I'm not sure they'll be all that thrilled when I introduce them to Mr. BBQ later this afternoon.

They should be wonderful split lengthwise and grilled.

--edit the prawns were freaking tasty and a great counterpoint to the ribeye.

--Well worth the price and happy to support a local resource.


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Stopped by there just now, the prawns are beautiful.

My new friends were distinctly unamused by the drive home.

I'm not sure they'll be all that thrilled when I introduce them to Mr. BBQ later this afternoon.

They should be wonderful split lengthwise and grilled.

--edit the prawns were freaking tasty and a great counterpoint to the ribeye.

--Well worth the price and happy to support a local resource.

Good to know, I am probably going to get some this weekend. Did you just split them live and throw them right on the grill? Any sauce or anything?


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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I thought I would revive this thread after there was a large article in this week's LA Times about the good people at Pearson's and also the start of Spot Prawn season.

Here is the article with an accompanying video:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...0,3978159.story

Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I plan on picking up some spot prawns this weekend for some grilling.

Why not just go buy some at an asian supermarket? At almost $20 a pound, the spot prawns at Pearsons sounds expensive when you can find them at a lower pricepoint at an asian supermarket. And, its been my experience that seafood at these asian supermarkets tend to be fresher than what you'd find at other supermarkets.

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Stopped by there just now, the prawns are beautiful.

My new friends were distinctly unamused by the drive home.

I'm not sure they'll be all that thrilled when I introduce them to Mr. BBQ later this afternoon.

They should be wonderful split lengthwise and grilled.

--edit the prawns were freaking tasty and a great counterpoint to the ribeye.

--Well worth the price and happy to support a local resource.

Good to know, I am probably going to get some this weekend. Did you just split them live and throw them right on the grill? Any sauce or anything?

I just split them live grilled brushed with a little EVOO/minced Garlic/Lime (touch of sea salt) Marinade. I snoozed them a bit on the freezer prior to splitting them - hard to split them when they are trying to flee the knife :). I bought 4 prawns yesterday which equated to 7/10 lb. Enough for two with the ribeye for surf and turf. Anyway I'd rather have a little of a really nice ingredient than a dollop of something mediocre. Grilled them less than 1.5 minutes a side on a hot hot (charcoal) grill. Sublime.

I thought I would revive this thread after there was a large article in this week's LA Times about the good people at Pearson's and also the start of Spot Prawn season.

Here is the article with an accompanying video:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...0,3978159.story

Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I plan on picking up some spot prawns this weekend for some grilling.

Why not just go buy some at an asian supermarket? At almost $20 a pound, the spot prawns at Pearsons sounds expensive when you can find them at a lower pricepoint at an asian supermarket. And, its been my experience that seafood at these asian supermarkets tend to be fresher than what you'd find at other supermarkets.

I might be able to find them cheaper agreed. I prefer, however, to give a little more money directly to the guy who caught them. Just my .02


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Why not just go buy some at an asian supermarket? At almost $20 a pound, the spot prawns at Pearsons sounds expensive when you can find them at a lower pricepoint at an asian supermarket. And, its been my experience that seafood at these asian supermarkets tend to be fresher than what you'd find at other supermarkets.

Also I regularly haunt the Asian markets both in Long Beach (little Cambodia) and in Orange County (Little Saigon) and have never seen this quality there. My wife, a marine biologist by trade, just chimed in as well "Never seen this quality/freshness elsewhere".

Seriously. These were stunningly good no thanks to my skills but rather to the excellent critters w/o any help from me.


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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I thought I would revive this thread after there was a large article in this week's LA Times about the good people at Pearson's and also the start of Spot Prawn season.

Here is the article with an accompanying video:

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...0,3978159.story

Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I plan on picking up some spot prawns this weekend for some grilling.

Why not just go buy some at an asian supermarket? At almost $20 a pound, the spot prawns at Pearsons sounds expensive when you can find them at a lower pricepoint at an asian supermarket. And, its been my experience that seafood at these asian supermarkets tend to be fresher than what you'd find at other supermarkets.

I've been on both sides of this argument and can honestly say that Pearson's Port offers something no other Asian market can offer in Orange County. Namely, the seafood you have just purchased and are about to consume was swimming in the waters only miles away less just a short time ago. Much of the seafood at places like 99 Ranch Market and even many Japanese Markets (where I get my fish that I consume raw) are bringing in their seafood from other countries. By the time the seafood is cooked and consumed, it could have been sitting around for a week or so. The freshness of the products I've experienced at Pearson's is incomparable. While I agree that the seafood that you see in Asian Supermarkets may be and usually is fresher than what you'd find at "other supermarkets" (Ralphs, Pavillions, even/especially Trader Joes), it is important to remember that Pearson's Port is world's away from either of these types of establishments. For example, I ended up picking up some spot prawns from 99 Ranch Market in Irvine since I was in the area and didn't feel like driving to Newport. While the prawns were certainly tasty, the quality, freshness and overall taste was inferior to what I've experienced at Pearsons. As far as the live spot prawns that 99 Ranch sells, it's not that much cheaper than what you'd pay at Pearson's, and as 6ppc mentioned earlier, you are directly supporting the people that catch the stuff. Pearson's also gets in fresh fish in addition to the locally caught stuff, and while it is certainly great quality, nothing can compare to seafood that is caught locally and brought in still alive and kicking. For local Spiny Lobsters, Stone Crabs, Spot Prawns, Pearsons is the way to go, HANDS DOWN.

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As someone who shops at the Asian markets as well, I agree with everyone who said that the quality of PP is superior.


"A man's got to believe in something...I believe I'll have another drink." -W.C. Fields

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Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I've been on both sides of this argument and can honestly say that Pearson's Port offers something no other Asian market can offer in Orange County. Namely, the seafood you have just purchased and are about to consume was swimming in the waters only miles away less just a short time ago. Much of the seafood at places like 99 Ranch Market and even many Japanese Markets (where I get my fish that I consume raw) are bringing in their seafood from other countries. By the time the seafood is cooked and consumed, it could have been sitting around for a week or so. The freshness of the products I've experienced at Pearson's is incomparable.

While the prawns were certainly tasty, the quality, freshness and overall taste was inferior to what I've experienced at Pearsons. As far as the live spot prawns that 99 Ranch sells, it's not that much cheaper than what you'd pay at Pearson's, and as 6ppc mentioned earlier, you are directly supporting the people that catch the stuff.

YMMV, but if I can buy these same prawns at Ranch 99 for about three or four dollars less, or about 25% less than what Pearson's prices, than I call it that 'much cheaper'.

I thought these spot prawns were found mostly on the West Coast and so I don't buy the argument that the asian supermarkets spot prawns must not be local and less fresh because they're shipped in from other countries. And, none of this matters if there isn't the customer base and turnover to continously buy all these spot prawns at Pearson's. If anything, a customer should welcome larger crowds at Pearson's.

As to the perceived difference in quality if both sources are catching the same prawns from the same area, I'm frankly skeptical given all the documented cases where people can be misled into judging the quality of something if they are misled about the quality and price of that product.

Sure, you tell somebody that I got these prawns from small, local family owned shop and they cost a small fortune and compare them to some other cheaper prawns from a souless, dirty asian chain supermarket, most people are going to pick the former even if they're eating the same exact prawn.

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Really great article on the Pearsons, unfortunately now the secret is out and I fear massive crowds.

I've been on both sides of this argument and can honestly say that Pearson's Port offers something no other Asian market can offer in Orange County. Namely, the seafood you have just purchased and are about to consume was swimming in the waters only miles away less just a short time ago. Much of the seafood at places like 99 Ranch Market and even many Japanese Markets (where I get my fish that I consume raw) are bringing in their seafood from other countries. By the time the seafood is cooked and consumed, it could have been sitting around for a week or so. The freshness of the products I've experienced at Pearson's is incomparable.

While the prawns were certainly tasty, the quality, freshness and overall taste was inferior to what I've experienced at Pearsons. As far as the live spot prawns that 99 Ranch sells, it's not that much cheaper than what you'd pay at Pearson's, and as 6ppc mentioned earlier, you are directly supporting the people that catch the stuff.

YMMV, but if I can buy these same prawns at Ranch 99 for about three or four dollars less, or about 25% less than what Pearson's prices, than I call it that 'much cheaper'.

I thought these spot prawns were found mostly on the West Coast and so I don't buy the argument that the asian supermarkets spot prawns must not be local and less fresh because they're shipped in from other countries. And, none of this matters if there isn't the customer base and turnover to continously buy all these spot prawns at Pearson's. If anything, a customer should welcome larger crowds at Pearson's.

As to the perceived difference in quality if both sources are catching the same prawns from the same area, I'm frankly skeptical given all the documented cases where people can be misled into judging the quality of something if they are misled about the quality and price of that product.

Sure, you tell somebody that I got these prawns from small, local family owned shop and they cost a small fortune and compare them to some other cheaper prawns from a souless, dirty asian chain supermarket, most people are going to pick the former even if they're eating the same exact prawn.

Just for the record, I never said I was against crowds at Pearsons. To the contrary, I feel that the more the merrier, as long as they are able to sustain their business.

As far as the quality of 99 Ranch and others seafood, specifically spot prawns, I would be very interested if anyone could tell me exactly where they get them. When I was at 99 Ranch Market last time, I specifically asked where they got the spot prawns and after a few seconds of blank stares, all I got was a couple of shrugs and I don't know's.

I am not opposed to "Asian Markets" in the least. I have and will continue to buy meat, seafood and other ingredients from them. My point is about choosing what I feel is a superior product and supporting local resources directly. In much the same way that certain folks can taste a difference between organic and non-organic produce, I feel I can taste a difference between Pearson's and everyone else's seafood.

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Speaking of 99 ranch market, the one on Walnut/Jeffrey has lobsters are on sale for 6.99 a pound. Run, don't walk. They also had spot prawn, which were big and beautiful, but weren't on sale and were costly at about $23/lb. I bought a few, and the guy behind the counter was exasperated and annoyed that I wanted the spot prawn. He was also annoyed at the couple in front of me who asked for a few as well. What was that about?

Way in the back, behind the lobster tank they had tanks with these HUGE, big faced fish. If anyone has been there lately, what were those?

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I am not opposed to "Asian Markets" in the least. I have and will continue to buy meat, seafood and other ingredients from them. My point is about choosing what I feel is a superior product and supporting local resources directly. In much the same way that certain folks can taste a difference between organic and non-organic produce, I feel I can taste a difference between Pearson's and everyone else's seafood.

With asian supermarkets, I feel that they're best at obviously asian goods and seafood. In the LATimes, there was just an article about how asians' standards for seafood and how fresh it has to be.

For spot prawns, if both Ranch 99 and Pearson's are fishing the same area and catching the same product, I'm still skeptical how much of a difference there really can be. Maybe, if we were talking about something else where there the vendor might have a bigger influence on it by the way they grow that product, I might be inclined to believe such a difference in quality.

I've read a number of studies where people's perception of the quality of something to ate or drank could be easily manipulated if they were misled about the price or the quality. When you were eating Pearson's seafood, you probably really wanted it to be better because you wanted to support this small, local family owned shop and that could have easily influenced your perception about the quality. Not that there's necessairly wrong with wanting to support local, but my quibble is that's a different matter whether or not something is better in quality.

I propose a more scientific test where you buy something from Pearson's and Ranch 99 and eat them without knowing which is which and see if you can still taste the difference.

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For spot prawns, if both Ranch 99 and Pearson's are fishing the same area and catching the same product, I'm still skeptical how much of a difference there really can be. Maybe, if we were talking about something else where there the vendor might have a bigger influence on it by the way they grow that product, I might be inclined to believe such a difference in quality.

I was at one of the larger Asian Supermarkets in little Saigon the other day (off of Beach IIRC).

They did have Spot Prawns for $18.95 /lb (same price as at Pearson's) but they had been caught in Canada. I'll stick with Pearson's. In any case I was there to purchase ducks.

I stopped in @ Pearson's Port today and picked up some lovely Yellowtail. Very fresh, locally caught and fairly inexpensive at less than $5 /lb. I filleted one side for sashimi the rest will be hitting the grill shortly.

The stray bits I ate while prepping the sashimi (gotta have QC) were sublime.

--post dinner edit - both the grilled fish and the sashmi were outstanding.


Edited by 6ppc (log)

Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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Got a pound of smelt there on the way home from work butterflied them, dredged in a little flour and spices.... Tasty dinner for two for about 3 bucks.

gallery_52440_5738_6916.jpg


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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