There's something fishy about my dream life. The other night I was blogging in my sleep (yes, I'm afraid that happens sometimes) about Seafood City, the Filipino supermarket in Eagle Rock mall with the killer selection of whole fish. In my dream, I had a famous seafood chef tour the market with me, picking out the best deals and showing me how to cook the unusual varieties of fish. After the dream, I felt strangely driven to buy a big fish so I went to Seafood City and took pictures of all the fish. There was no famous chef to be found, so I asked some of the ladies which ones they liked. People seemed to be buying an unnatural amount of tilapia, which I avoid, so in the end I bought a striped bass. The name was at least somewhat familiar, at $1.99 the price was right, and it said it was both from the United States and fresh. You bag your own fish from the ice-filled displays, and hand it over to the lady behind the counter for weighing and cleaning. Everything is sparkling clean and there's no fishy smell like some of the other fishmarkets suffer from.
Most of the other fish don't exactly involve eating locally -- they hail from everywhere from Ecuador to Vietnam to the Great Lakes, but they're almost all well under $5 a pound. Barely any of the varieties are recognizable as something you've ever seen a recipe for, so I just threw the bass on the grill and topped it with some charmoula. I also got one of those little red fishes in the bottom photo, called a redtail fusilier. The redtail was meaty with a good flavor, like a fresh sardine. The bass was mild with a firm, flaky texture, although it was hard to keep in one piece on the grill and didn't filet very easily. Here's some of the fishes at the market -- if you know which ones tend to be good or the best way to cook them, please let me know! Some of the other varieties found there include gasper goo, china bream yellowfin, sea bream, white perch, golden pompano, pony fish, mullet, round scad, yellow croaker (I know they fry these in Shanghai-style restaurants), moonfish or opah and the beautifully-colored parrot fish. Next, I think I'll try the big strawberry grouper, which Filipinos call lapu lapu.