Friday, September 29, 2023

Where Do Chefs Go for Seafood in San Diego?

Catalina Offshore Products Fresh Fish Market.

Do you wonder where chefs go for their seafood?

Look no further than Catalina Offshore Products. Chefs and restaurants buy their fish there, and so can you; they gladly welcome the public. Not only do they sell fantastic seafood, but Catalina also has a small but thoughtfully planned out market. Definitely bridgeworthy.

Bluegrass Soy Sauce company, soy sauce and ponzu.

The market feels like a chef’s pantry. You’ll find bourbon barrel-aged soy and ponzu sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods; Kewpie mayonnaise from Japan which contains no egg whites, only yolks and a touch of MSG, giving it a rich, umami taste; and Crunchy Garlic with Chili Oil and Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce – two condiments every pantry should stock. 

Market items at Catalina Offshore Products.

Also, cedar planks for cooking fish on the grill and all the things you need for rolling sushi: bamboo mats, nori, sushi rice, wasabi, and ginger.

Wednesday through Saturday they offer sushi, and on Friday’s poke – all made in house. I have had lunch in the parking lot more than once.  

Eating freshly rolled sushi in the parking lot.

Catalina offshore is a hidden gem tucked away in an industrial area right off Morena Boulevard. A short drive will pay dividends in the quality of the fish you buy and the time you spend shopping. 

When I’m not writing mouth-watering food articles, I’m busy with my Olive Avenue Supper Club, which has been offering culinary experiences here in Coronado for several years. Many of our specialties involve fresh fish and shellfish. Low-country seafood boils, oyster roasts, paella, and cedar-planked sides of salmon have made Olive Avenue a regular customer at Catalina Offshore.  

Oysters topped the charts this past summer. We shucked four hundred for a Safe Harbor Coronado event. We served oysters raw on the half shell with a simple mignonette as well as roasted topped with chipotle bourbon butter; guests couldn’t get enough. Catalina has always had my back, no matter how big the order. They even sell my favorite New Haven-style oyster shuckers with a slightly bent tip. 

Oysters roasted with chipotle bourbon butter.

I often have a fair amount of stops when preparing for a paella party. Picking up the shrimp, mussels, and clams the day of the event is one of those stops. I don’t have time to worry about finding parking or competing with a fish market’s lunch rush because they also run a restaurant. I need to grab it and go. I love the convenience of the Catalina’s location and its focus on selling seafood. 

Shellfish for our paella party.

I have purchased fresh fish from the docks and love to dine at various fish markets, but my go-to is Catalina Offshore Products. The crew is friendly and knowledgeable. They care about you and their products. For a no-nonsense in-and-out experience, it’s worth the drive over the bridge to give them a try. Tip them accordingly.

Store hours at Catalina Offshore Products. 5202 Lovelock Street, San Diego 92110

See you in the parking lot for lunch.


Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde Van Arsdall
Clyde is a trained chef that has worked in hospitality for nearly 40 years. In addition to cooking, he is a freelance food writer and storyteller. Clyde is a third-generation Coronado local, CHS graduate, and father of three. He owns and operates Olive Avenue Supper Club, a boutique catering company specializing in culinary experiences. You can follow his culinary journey on Instagram @oliveavenuesupper.Have a story for The Coronado Times to cover? Send news tips or story ideas to: [email protected]