Review

Where to Buy Sashimi/Sushi-Grade Fish Used by Sushi Chefs and the Restaurant Industry

Featured image by TrueWorld Foods. Originally posted Nov 18th, ’21, Updated: Apr 21, ’22. and Nov 15, ’22

Reading Yelp reviews about somebody from Los Angeles or New York eating sushi in a landlocked state is obnoxious because they always tout “like, I’m from LA/NY, so I know quality fish.” Well, I doubt that, but I will agree that it is lot easier to find sashimi (raw fish) grade fish in large coastal cities.

Having lived the last two and a half decades in Los Angeles to the SF Bay Area, I have had “good to great” quality sashimi (raw fish) from a Japanese market or restaurant. Now that I am currently landlocked, with very few Japanese in the area, I only have a handful of non-Americanized sushi restaurants to get my fix. So with such lackluster local options, I have to go online, and if you are in the same boat, then you and I are now fellow shipmates, yaaargh.

Either brick-and-mortar or from dock to door, these seafood vendors will deliver frozen, “super frozen,” and fresh seafood to your next party. By the way, it is cool if it is just you, all by yourself, a party of one. That way, you get that last piece.

I also have listed Japanese markets that carry sashimi and sushi that are primarily located in CA, TX, and a few East Coast locations.

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission

Photo Description: Brandon of Riviera Seafood. He appears to be a fishmonger preparing cuts of bluefin tuna sashimi for sale.
“It’s Brandon” (yea, yea, yea, I know it says “Joe” on his apron) from Riviera Seafood. Image courtesy of Riviera Seafood.

The TL;DR (Summary aka “Too Long Didn’t Read”)

All of these links go to Riviera Seafood based out of Los Angeles, California, a 2nd generation fish-monger family, the Ito’s. Beyond the Ito’s I have every other competing seller listed further below.

The Usual Sashimi Suspects

Salmon, tuna, and yellowtail for “you people.”

Photo Description: a cross section of a tuna fillet (rich red hue)
Starting at $15+

Tuna Sashimi

Pacific bluefin, yellowfin, and bigeye tuna in a variety of cuts (fillet, belly, chunks).

The minimum product sizes for a variety of sushi grade fish from these four vendors are: $286 (3.0lbs)/Honolulu Fish, $15-$35 (4-8oz)/Riviera Seafood Club, $35 (1.0lb)/Catalina OP, $38 (7-9oz)/Fulton Fish Market.

As for the maximum, that all lies on you and your credit card.
Photo Description: a close-up shot of a salmon fillet, you can see the streak of fat and sinew running down the filet.
Starting at $17+

Salmon Sashimi

Farmed (ōra king, king) salmon filets, belly, and other cuts and types from around the world.

Photo Description: a yellowtail fillet with it's light hued purplish, pink, and red color.
Starting at $25+

Yellowtail Sashimi

Hamachi is what the Japanese call yellowtail (I won’t get into all the varying naming conventions based on the age and region), and can purchase “true” or hon-hamachi through Riviera Seafood Club.

Photo Description: this pic represents Riviera Seafood Clubs mixed seafood pack. In the picture, they have a white fish (shiromi), salmon fillet (shake), and what looks like tuna (an akami and a chu toro), set amongst a bunch of oba shiso leaves.
$99-$200+

Mixed Seafood/Sashimi Pack

Three pounds of three of RSC’s favorite seafood in one pack. This kit is packed full of delicious, sweet & buttery flavors which are perfect for parties of 6-7 and are great as sushi, sashimi, seared or grilled. Their biggest pack includes bluefin: akami and chu-toro, salmon, Hokkaido scallops (hotate), hon-hamachi, and sweet shrimp (amaebi).

It’s midnight as I skim through the Riviera Seafood Club website, and I just realized they have a pack with ikura (salmon roe) and salmon collars. Those collars are great under a broiler, and due to the fat content, all you need is salt and pepper or a ponzu (the citrus to cut the fat) with diced green onions, and you have dinner in minutes.

BTW, “Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids — good fats” via WebMD.

If You Like it Raw, You Want “Sushi-Grade” or “Sashimi Quality” Seafood

What the hell is “sushi-grade” or “sashimi quality,” you ask?, well according to Yama Seafood:

We label products as Sashimi Quality if they can be consumed raw. Of our Sashimi Quality products Salmon, and only salmon, is recommended to be cured before consuming raw. The easiest way is to freeze overnight or longer. You can also use a salt and vinegar cure. None of our fresh products have been frozen before unless otherwise specified in the product description.”

– Yama Seafood, Jersey City, NJ

So How Do You Decide Which Online Seafood Delivery is Best for You

Well, it all depends on these three factors:

Perishability is one major factor prior to buying, so have a plan in place on how to store the product (keeping it frozen to properly thawing your product). Planning this ahead of time will ensure optimum product quality.

Common sense is not necessarily common, so 1-2-3.
1-one icon

Party of 1 or a large sushi party:
Are you throwing down for yourself (this way, you don’t have to fight over that last piece), or are you hosting a large party? Whichever it is, unlike Costco, where 300 rolls of toilet paper would prepare you for the end of civilization, fish is perishable, especially when not properly handled (refrigeration to thawing). Also, some seafood you cannot freeze because it will degrade the quality, and you should consume it all as soon as possible.

two-2 icon

Types of fish/seafood you are looking for:
There are your standard offerings (Americanized sushi), and then there are your more Japanese offerings. The common offerings would be tuna (bigeye/yellowfin) and salmon, versus bluefin (akami, chu-toro, to ohtoro), to saba, and akamutsu. Depending on which category you fall into, determines if the 3-pack with tuna, ono, and salmon suits you or a vendor that caters to high-end Japanese restaurants is your best match.

3-three icon

Your sashimi budget:
There are often various grades and types that can help you manage your budget. Instead of a massive bluefin loin, you might opt for poke cubes/chunks to ground or nakaochi (tuna back meat scraped from the bones) to stretch your dollar. Although, on the other end, a massive bluefin loin will be the baller way to go to flex on friends and family.

Many of these businesses are B2B (Business-to-Business) supplying restaurants, although that does not mean they are proficient at selling online to you, B2C (Business-to-Customer). This article exists to help you find the best B2C.

You may see a lot of imagery by Riviera because they are very B2C focused (this is how involved they are, here is a an interview I had with Riviera Seafood about the documentary Seaspiracy).
Photo Description: a shot of somebody holding a tin full of ikura (salmon roe marinated in soy sauce). In the background looks like some salmon sashimi which is a popular combo in Japan (parent, plus roe).
I used to not be a fan as a kid and my sister was ahead of the “good taste” curve because she loved it, but I finally came around to loving ikura (salmon roe marinated in soy sauce). Image courtesy of Riviera Seafood.

Great Sushi is About the Details (Great Sushi Ingredients)

I get the details, so I prefer to go to a restaurant if I want sushi, although if I attempt to do it at home, this is what comes to mind:

Whether or not you are doing rolls to nigiri sushi, I have detailed lists of the best soy sauces to use for sushi, the best Japanese rice (for sushi), the best wasabi and sushi nori brands (seaweed), sauces that will complement your rolls (so that you can get compliments for your rolls), to the dinnerware and soy sauce dispenser, all at your fingertips.

Yea, I got you homie with the details on everything you need.

Sashimi/Chirashi/Poke
If you have never prepared sushi before, start with sashimi (also get yourself a good knife, a sujihiki). It can not get any simpler than taking a fillet and cutting it up into slices although there are a number of specifics in the way you cut it, but I won’t get into that.

Temaki/Makizushi
If you are going to prepare sushi, make sure to get your sushi rice down before you attempt to do either nigiri (fish over seasoned rice) or makizushi (rolls). Also, if you are going to do any style of sushi, temaki (handrolls), and then makizushi would be the path you will want to take, this is the way.

What is Good Sushi?
You can find that out in an older post, “What is Good Sushi.

On a sidenote: If you want to prepare hotaru ika, I highly suggest this blog that continues to throw down with amazing content, La Petit Noisette.

Photo Description: a fresh wasabi rhizome pic.
Fresh, tubed, or powdered wasabi.

Yea, I have every aspect of preparing sashimi/sushi at home with all the top brands and where to buy it all.

Photo Description: the infamous Japanese and Japanese American ingredient, Kikkoman soy sauce in the tin with it's iconic design.
5 types of Japanese soy sauce

If you ever wondered what sort of soy sauce they use in Japan for sushi or what goes into it, find out.

Photo Description: the best rice for a table rice and a sushi rice is the koshihikari varietal.
Koshihikari rice

The Best Places to Buy Sushi Grade Fish Online by the Top Fishmongers

I just had to look into the etymology of fishmonger, and according to these sources: 1. Now I know why I am thinking tyrannical because I am associating it to warmonger (“stirs up war”), via grammarphobia. 2. via PrinceHamlet, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, they have cited that the word fishmonger was a euphemism for a “fleshmonger,” or pimp.” So next time you walk in to your local fish market, you would not be wrong if said “what up pimp.”

Riviera, Catalina OP, TrueWorld, Honolulu Fish Market, and Yama Seafood are the most sushi/sashimi centric. Also, if you scored high on your SAT’s, you would have picked up on that Hokkaido Uni is a dedicated uni vendor (sea urchin from Japan).

Hokkaido Uni is the only company not in the US, and they are located in Japan.

These are the best places to buy sushi grade fish.

COMPANYPRODUCT OFFERINGS
Catalina Offshore Productz
San Diego, CA
Note (5/10/22): I have revised the offerings based on what CatOP’z is citing: “farmed bluefin loin (maguro), Ahi saku, Ahi loin, California sea urchin, New Zealand Mt Cook Salmon, Japanese Hamachi and ikura, just to name a few.” This way, you know you won’t be disappointed.
Cameron’s
Seafood

Capitol Heights, MD
Yellowfin (ahi) tuna steak for sashimi or to cook. These are 1 lb. tuna steaks (2 pieces), $24.99. They ship flash frozen with dry ice.
Fulton Fish Market
New York, NY
3-pack (ahi/yellowfin tuna, ora king salmon, and ono), American unagi, Octopus (cooked and frozen), uni (a variety).
Hokkaido Uni
Hokkaido, JP
Uni, straight from the source.
Honolulu Fish Market
Honolulu, HI
Ahi (kihada) tuna, barramundi, black cod, hamachi, kanpachi, octopus (tako), ono, opah, salmon, sea bass, sweet crab.
Riviera Seafood Company
Los Angeles, CA
Bluefin tuna (akami, toro, chu-toro, otoro), caviar, gindara (black cod), hirame (olive flounder), hotare (scallops), salmon (wild, ora, king, Atlantic), shrimp, striped bass, yellowtail, unagi/kabayaki (grilled fresh water eel), uni
Seattle Fish Company
Denver, CO
Octopus, salmon (Norwegian), saku tuna, tobiko, tuna (ground, loin, nakaochi, poke cubes, tataki), unagi (smoked fresh water eel).
True World Foods
New York, NY
Akamutsu (nodoguro), caviar, fresh wasabi, kinmedai (alfonsino), mentaiko (ago-otoshi), salmon (Japanese/Aomori, roe/shoyu, smoked Atlantic), zuwaigani (jumbo snow crab). All order must meet a $100 minimum.
Yama Seafood
Jersey City, NJ
Yama is able to source almost any type of fish from Japan. Yama has direct partnerships with Toyosu Fish Market and various vendors in Japan so we can import fish four times a week.
Order fresh or super frozen seafood online from any of these websites.

WTF, Seafood on Amazon?!

Oh contraire mon frere, since Amazon owns Whole Foods, you can buy seafood from Whole Foods through Amazon. Except, if are not wanting buy from Whole Foods on Amazon, you have these other vendors to buy from:

Giovanni’s Fish MarketYellowfinKey West Shrimp Co
1449 49th St S, Gulfport, FL
33707-4353, US
New York’s Delicacy Store
(Fresh2YourDoor)
Smoked salmon
Chilean sea bass
Sword fish
Yellowfin tuna steaks
Fresh2yourdoor (Andean group LLC)
10101 Fondren Rd. Ste 400, Houston, TX
77096-5122, US
Riviera Seafood ClubTuna
Salmon
Yellowtail
Scallops
Uni
Riviera Seafood Club
Los Angeles, CA
Whole Foods Market Seafood DepartmentYellowfinWhole Foods Market Seafood Department
As usual, price and availability are subject to change.

Honolulu Fish Company is the only direct distributor in the United States that offers more than 14 species of sashimi grade fish. Especially your favorites: maguro, yellowtail, and salmon sashimi.

Let’s see if I can name all 14: 1. Hawaiian ahi, 2. ono, 3. swordfish, 4. opah, 5. shrimp, 6. crab, 7. snapper, 8. sea bass, 9. salmon, 10. monchong? 11. coral cod, 12. sunfish? 13. Hawaiian kanpachi? 14. ??

Which Japanese Markets Carry Sashimi/Sushi

My previous goto for sashimi and pre-made sushi was 3-4 Japanese markets all within like a 5-6 block radius from where I lived:

Photo Description: this is why I love Japanese markets, the in-house made sushi is legit, like this Bluefina tuna nigiri sushi.
$13-22! Bluefiná tuna is the Leading global purveyor of fresh, bait-fed, sustainable bluefin, and you can find it at Marukai in San Diego. Image courtesy of Bluefiná.

How good is the sushi and sashimi at a Japanese market? Check out my top ranking article on the best sushi bars in Orange County and where Japanese supermarket sushi ranks.

If you are not familiar with these markets, I am (surprise, surprise), and I have the specifics of which market has the best selection of sashimi/sushi to the best food court (FYI: a Mitsuwa just opened at Del Amo, the mall in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown).

Two of them are owned by the same company, Marukai and Tokyo Central (DonQi).

My favorite Japanese market is Mitsuwa for pre-made sushi and sashimi, and Tokyo Central has no clue what to do (they had to figure it out over time). So if your Marukai got converted to a Tokyo Central, that is a step backward. As for Seiwa, they are a “me too” business, and they added bento, onigiri, sushi, and donburi (teriyaki) because everybody else had it. The last of the bunch is Nijiya, and they are all about “natural/organic,” but if you are not Japanese speaking (a business operating in the US for upwards of four decades), good luck.

MARKETSOUTHERN CALIFORNIAOUTSIDE OF SOCAL
Marukai
#2
Just like Tokyo Central (well, they are), they have everything you are potentially looking for.
Gardena, Costa Mesa, Torrance, West Covina, Yorba Linda.
N/A
Mitsuwa
#1
Known for their food courts and pre-made sushi.
Del Amo, Irvine, Costa Mesa, SGV, Santa Monica, San Diego.
San Ho, Chicago, New Jersey, Plano, Waikiki.
Nijiya
#3 (tie)
Organic and natural for Japanese speakers.
San Diego, Rolling Hills (South Bay), West LA, Torrance, Puente Hills, Little Tokyo.
Mountain View, San Francisco, San Mateo, San Jose.

Seiwa
#3 (tie)
The noob of the bunch.
Torrance, Costa Mesa.
Houston
Tokyo Central
#3 (tie)
The best market for Americans and first time visitors to a Japanese market.
Gardena, Costa Mesa, Torrance, West Covina, Yorba Linda, Little Tokyo (Weller Court), San Diego, West LA, Pacific (SD), and San Diego.
Cupertino
Why Texas/Plano, TX? It is because Toyota motor company moved their headquarters from Torrance, CA to Plano, Texas.

Who is Biggest of The Online Sashimi/Fish Sellers

I thought these websites would get more web traffic, although they are not all that big, unlike Alaskan King crab websites, which garner a ton of web traffic. I had initially assumed they had massive sales online since many of these companies are big players when it comes to $$$$$ supplying restaurants.

The largest of them all in terms of guesstimate web traffic is
1). Fulton Fish Market (they pay to play with a lot of online ads) with 2). CatalinaOP, and 3). Riviera Seafood Club being in the TOP three.

Catalina Offshore Products and Riviera Seafood are more focused on sashimi.
COMPANY
WEBSITE
APPROX. WEB TRAFFIC
# OF PAID ADS
NOV ’22
Catalina
OP.com
#2
24k
105 paid ads
24k
Fulton
Fish
Market.com
#1
48k
5,319k paid ads
47k
Hokkaido
Uni.com
#8
613
0 paid ads
1.7k
📈
Honolulu
Fish
Market.com
#7
835
10 paid ads
500
Riviera
Seafood
Club.com
#3
6.8k
72 paid ads
3.7k
*Seattle
Fish.com
#5
2.9k
0 paid ads
3.1k
TrueWorld
FoodsNY.com
#6
1.1k
0 paid ads
1.3k
Yama
Seafood.com
#4
4.1k
0 paid ads
4.7k
The more traffic, the better (it’s a popularity contest).

*Seattle Fish based in Denver cannot respond to an email to save their life, so they are far from being customer focused or a recommended online vendor.

How Much is Tuna Sashimi Sushi aka Raw Fish

Something I think about a lot.

Photo Description: Yellowfin, bluefin, to bigeye tuna are some of the popular types of tuna used in sushi and sashimi. Many of these online sellers sell tuna which is one of the most popular fish.
The fresh bluefin tuna from Riviera Seafood is traceable and sustainable. Image courtesy of Riviera Seafood.

I have aggregated a range of the tuna offerings in one spot so that you do not have to click on each site, although this is not fully comprehensive. I do not intend it to be because almost everybody offers a tuna steak, so I have included a variety of product offerings. They range from chunks for poke and handrolls (you like affordable, don’t you?) to bigeye and ahi/yellowfin from Hawaii or bluefin (maguro from Baja to Toyosu fish market in Japan).

This should not come as a surprise, but chunks of ahi (yellowfin) that can be used for poke (recipe via Hawaii Magazine) or temaki handrolls (recipe via Just One Cookbook) are your most affordable option.

Whereas bluefin fillets of akami to otoro are Beyonce and Jay-Z money.

In ascending order by price per pound

This what varying tuna product costs the most per pound and what will cost you the most for.

WEBSITE/PRODUCTPRICE PER
POUND
TOTAL UNIT
PRICE/SIZE
Catalina Offshore Product
Ahi Poke Chunks
$24.99 per lb.$24.99 per lb.
1 lb.
Catalina Offshore Product
Bluefin Sushi Chunks
$32.99 per lb.$32.99 per lb.
1 lb.
TrueWorld Foods
Fresh Bluefin Tuna Steak Cut (Sushi)
$44.95 per lb.
$44.95 per lb.
1 lb. (1-1.25 lb)
Fulton Fish Market
Wild Ahi Tuna Loin
(2 lbs. minimum)
($44.99/1.0lb.)$89.98 total
2 lbs. total
($44.99/lb.)
Honolulu Fish Market
Hawaiian Ahi Select Cut
Bigeye Tuna
($64.50/1.0lb.)$129.00
2 lbs.
($64.50/lb.)
Bluefin Tuna Akami
By Bluefiná (traceable & sustainable)
($66.98/1.0lb.)$33.49
8 oz. (1/2 lb)
($66.98/lb.)
Honolulu Fish Market
Hawaiian Ahi Ultra Fillet
Bigeye Tuna
($76.33/1.0lb.)$229.00
3 lbs.
($76.33/lb.)
Riviera Seafood
Pacific Bluefin Tuna Chu-toro
By Bluefiná (traceable & sustainable)
($92.98/1.0lb.)$46.49
8 oz. (1/2 lb)
($92.98/lb.)
Riviera Seafood
Pacific Bluefin Tuna Toro
By Bluefiná (traceable & sustainable)
($98.98/1.0lb.)$49.49
8 oz. (1/2 lb)
($98.98/lb.)
TrueWorld Foods
Bluefin Tuna Saku (Otoro) Sushi
($239.80/1.0lb.)$119.90 total
0.5 lb. total
($239.80/lb.)
For comparison, I have provided per pound prices BUT prices and availability are subject to change.

Also, if you are wondering what the difference is between ahi/yellowfin vs. bluefin (maguro), the FishingBooker.com has a great article “Bluefin vs. Yellowfin Tuna: Looks, Taste, and More” to answer all your questions.

Photo Description: Riviera Seafood Club offers Pacific Bluefin Tuna toro for $49.99/8 ounces.
Riviera is a family-run operation, the Ito’s.

The Wholesale Only Fishmonger Who is Slang’n It to Restaurants

Yea, I know, I only have one listing, but it is a good one (quality, not quantity and he’s a cool dude).

Photo Description: a picture of Seiichi Yokota of Yokose Seafood. He is holding a fish for a pic he took to appear in the LA Mag.
Check out LA Mag’s article.

Yokose Seafood
(Instagram): this seafood wholesaler specializes is ikejime fish (LA Mag article about Seiichi Yokota).

I intend on constantly updating this post, so what you see now will continue to change because this is a mammoth industry and undertaking (updated 4/21/22). TODAY is Nov 15th, 22 and again on the 22nd.

If you are looking at this page on/after Apr 21st or Nov 15th, 2022, this page has dramatically change with more detailed information.

Ultimately, I really want to utilize my network in Japan, Los Angeles, and New York to help create the ultimate resource for fresh fish and sashimi/sushi grade seafood for restaurants or sellers online. #fishsquadgoals

Specialization in Only Uni (Sea Urchin)

Photo Description: a box of uni.

The Uni Shop

I have listed every major sashimi and sushi grade business, but I have also highlighted a few businesses like Riviera Seafood Club and the Uni Shop because they are standouts (now, if only a few trays of uni and slabs of otoro appeared on my doorstep).

Photo Description: a tray of fresh sea urchin from Hokkaido, Japan. The gold/brownish orange hue almost looks like the texture of a dogs nose.
A tray of fresh Hokkaido Uni by the Uni Shop. Image courtesy of the Uni Shop.

Looking for uni (sea urchin)? I have the full list of where to buy Bafun uni from Hokkaido to Red Sea urchin from Santa Barbarba.

Sashimi icons created by photo3idea_studio – Flaticon
Temaki icons created by Freepik – Flaticon

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