Almost back to normal seafood foraging - San Francisco Bay Area

Beautiful ride down HWY 1 today. Plan was Santa Cruz Pier for some Clam Chowder, Fried Seafood/Chips and Sourdough.

Passed the American Abalone Farms just before the beach town of Santa Cruz, of course, we HAD to stop for a looksee. Its been some time, great to see them again.

Simple humble homey place on a dirt road just off the sea, with several outbuildings growing the abalone.

We made our wish list of the available seafoods of the day, and told the proprietor that we would be back after lunch to pick up dinner. He closes at 4pm (open only on Sat & Sun). Back on the road, headed for the date with our fish/chips lunch. A few miles down the road, the draw of the fresh live shellfish was too strong. Change in Plan!!
Had no difficulty convincing wife to make a u-turn back to the farm.

Picked up a dozen small abalone (only size they had) for sashimi, and two each of the six varieties of oysters.

Next stop, a stand at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific. 5 Avocados for a buck!!! Scored some avocados, white peaches, cherries to our dinner. (peaches will nicely complement the Poke already in the fridge)

Final stop, Half Moon Bay - Johnson Pier. Live Lingcod, Halibut and Rock Cod. Fresh Monterey Squid, Salmon, etc… per score board.

I’ve never paid money for Rock Crab before, since we can pull them out of the water for free since I was a kid. However, this boat had some huge rocks, so we picked three large ones.

A small rock cod for the oven. Life (almost normal) is good!!!


Wow. We visited a farmers stand a few days ago that sells fillets of our local Rockfish; in maryland, it refers to striped bass. Then, this morning, I went to the commercial fish market at 6AM to stock up. But your adventures are on a whole other level. Do you ever go on trips to other parts of the country and plan seafood “tours” like this one?

Hi @bmorecupcake

Hitting up markets is a favorite pastime of ours. We rarely have kitchen facilities when we travel, but we still enjoy the hunt. One of the best was a seafood emporium in Korea. Many restaurants on the second floor will clean and cook your “catch”. Definitely on our must return list.


Someone on CH alerted me to this directory:

Follow the “Find Seafood” link.

It’s available as a phone app, but the website works. I monitor it to see whether there’s anything available in my local marinas, Emeryville and Berkeley. After a flurry about a month ago that I missed, there hasn’t been anything.


Dinner was simple, cooking and presentation.

The Rock Crab was good. Dungies were going for $12+/lb during the season. This RC was only $5/lb. Will do again.

Oysters were fabulous. The farm held them in fresh seawater, and they were plump and briny. I do need much more practice with the knife though.

Abalone was a rare treat, but geoduck is my preference. Made a pot of satisfying abalone/chicken/shitake/Virginia ham/dried shrimp jook (congee) this morning. The abalone in jook was a notch better than last night’s sashimi.

Rock Cod baked with only S&P was nice, needed no embellishments.

Poke and Okra rounded out the meal. Wife’s poke game is strong, especially when we can get fresh ogo (seaweed). Sweet ripe peaches also worked with the poke.


We visited the abalone farm a week ago also. Abalone was delicious but oyster part disappointing - all imported from out of state. Tamales bay is our go to for oysters.


Beautiful weather forecast for our part of Californiia. The fishing boats at Half Moon Bay are fully stocked for what will surely be a gangbuster selling weekend.

We drove down Friday to beat the crowds. Great selection of tempting swimming and iced seafood.

Scored 7# live Kingfish, one of our favorite finfish. Kingfish are similar to Yellow Croaker. These were bright and lively, jigged up from pristine nearby waters mere hours before.

1st tranche braised with tofu for Friday dinner. Tonight’s will be steamed whole Asian with ginger, green onion, garlic, bird’s eye chile and finished with sizzling peanut oil.

VacPacked a few to enjoy at a later time. Enjoy your weekend!!


You mean the yellow croaker from decades ago that’s pretty much only available raised nowadays? I miss that old yellow croaker. I haven’t had that version for probably 30 years. The raised ones are quite a bit more ‘fishy’… Gotta get down to the pier some time. I was at HMB on a Wednesday a couple of weeks ago, but didn’t bother to go to the pier because its a Wednesday…