(Seared Spot Prawns)

The other day I was shopping at Ranch 99 (Asian super market) and saw a line of people waiting for awful looking seafood and all I wanted to do was scream “RUN NOT WALK TO CATALINA OFFSHORE PRODUCTS”!!

I am guessing many of those people had never heard of Catalina Offshore Products, as many who read this blog may not be aware of them either. I have decided to make sure everyone knows about this place and just how amazing it is.

Catalina Offshore Products is a warehouse located just off Morena Blvd. There is no display cases or show rooms but what they do have is high-quality, sushi-grade fish, fresh seafood,lobster,and uni.

(Pank Parmesan Crusted Scallops)
(Grouper Seared in Rendered Lardo)
(New England Style Lobster and Shrimp Roll…from my Collaberation Kitchen event)

 Tommy Gommes says it best “ If your not sure about seafood, come see me and we can make it easy for you to understand. While we are NOT a full retail fish shop, we are a seafood wholesale house and prices go up and down with market value. Sometimes swordfish, while fresh is $5 a pound and other times its $11.00 or more. So its best to call in.”

(Bluefun Tuna Carpacio with Wasabi Yuzu Sauce and Radish Sprouts)

You can find more info in a great article from Caron Golden.

Catalina in also extremely eco-friendly (there building is 90% powered by solar power) and sustainable. I really think this is what makes them unique. You get the all the peace of mind and great quality without paying extra for it!

They’ve been around for more than 25 years, beginning when founder Dave Rudie, a professional sea urchin (uni) diver, and his wife Kathy started processing the uni and seaweed he caught.

Even if you have never heard of Catalina Offshore, you may have heard of Tommy Gommes. Tommy is the head of public relations, but I would say it is more like “6 degree of Tommy Gommes”. Everyone on in this city seems to know and love him (especially me)! You can read all about him in recent articles on Sign on San Diego or San Diego Magazines “Top 50 people to Watch”.

Gomes also started a tasting event with local chefs called Collaboration Kitchen at Catalina and partnering with Specialty Produce. The once-a-month program brings together the best chefs in the area for seafood cooking demonstrations and a 5- to 7-course tasting meal that raises money for the Monarch School for homeless and at-risk kids. And I am so proud to say I have been at part of these amazing events, I am already planning my return in 2011.

You can call them at (619) 297-9797, find them online , watch them on Youtube or find them on facebook and twitter.

Become a member!! Creating an account on the Catalina webaite takes a couple minutes and gets you access to discounts up to 20% on seafood, a monthly newsletter with specials, new products, recipes, cooking tips, and free Catalina merchandise with qualifying orders and more!

Catalina Offshore Products is located at 5202 Lovelock St. San Diego, CA 92110. Hours for walk-ins are from

8am to 2pm Monday thru Friday
8am to 12:00 noon on Saturdays

Best to call ahead and ask what is new, place your order for pick up, “YES” you can trust Tommy to pick good fish 🙂

More picture of some of my amazing meals from Catalina

(Octopus Ceviche)
(Spicy Tuna Roll with Masago)