One of the best things in life: finding a good sushi restaurant next to your loft, that has all day happy hour prices. What makes this spot awesome, is the fact they have conch!
The first time we ever had conch was in Jamaica: it was a giant oval muscle (kinda like abalone) which was breaded and fried. Definitely one of my favorite foods of all time!
When I moved to LA, I was determined to find it…but had no luck. One hot afternoon, I saw a little Mexican man in front of the Food 4 Less, sitting on his Datsun with a sign that said “conch”. I cut through 3 lanes of traffic on Olympic Blvd, flipped a bitch and made it to the Datsun. Dude did not speak English when I asked him the price, so he held up 5 fingers. I gave him $5 bucks in return for a pillowcase filled with shellfish. So excited about the idea of conch for dinner, I didn’t even process the stupidity of buying shellfish, on a super hot day, from a little Mexican, out of the back of a Datsun.
I got home with the dripping wet bag of delicacies, but remember we had a party to go to that night. I googled how to store or save them, and it was suggested to keep them in a wet pillowcasen stashed in a cool spot. I did the best I could considering how hot our little apartment was with no AC. When we came home that evening, the house smelled like ripe fish. That should have deterred me from eating it, but instead I rinsed the pillowcase, gave them fresh water …. and went to sleep thinking about tomorrow, when I would have conch in my mouth once again.
The next day I searched for recipes, and opted for a simple version, where I roast them in the oven with white wine,butter and shallots. They were amazing! Rich and creamy and full of flavor…I felt accomplished that I found these damned things, despite the sketchy source.
Not to go into detail, but that awesome meal was filled with 3 days of the worst food poisoning ever (super not cute) Sky asked me where I bought the conch and I was afraid to reveal my source. Once I did, he was silent, but gave me the look “I am not going to say anything, because I know, you know how stupid that was and will never happen again”
Friday night was the first time having conch again, since that horrible and painful weekend. it was delicious, and 50% off too! (I love those happy hour prices)
Culinary adventures rule #2: always get stuff from a reliable source. Trust me.
Mariko is now Serv-Safe certified, and knows only to buy seafood from a reputable supplier!