99 Ranch has some amazing prices on their fish (particularly whole fish) this week. A cursory inspection of the fish counter at the store on Walnut and Jeffrey in Irvine on Saturday yielded four varieties for under $2 a pound; the red cod in the (hysterical) picture to the right was $4.99 a pound, $3 a pound off the normal price.
Also, after a few minutes of observation of the fish counter, I noticed something strange and wonderful: smiling countermen. Evidently, renewed emphasis is being put on friendliness, because while the fish counter at 99 Ranch is known for good service (they will prepare your fish any way you like), it's not known for smiling, friendly service.
Standard 99 Ranch fish purchase procedures apply, however:
- Inspect your fish before purchase. While the vast majority of the fish is pristine, I have had more than one "long time no sea" problem. Whole fish should have clear eyes and no offensively fishy smell.
- Only buy fish that is on top of ice, as opposed to on top of other fish. (This, too, has gotten better.)
- Bring your own ice; it can be a hassle trying to get ice to keep the fish cold, particularly if the store is very busy.
- If you want the fish as-is, say so very firmly. Most customers want some level of cutting (beheading, filleting, making into steaks, etc.) so you may get a strange look if you want it whole.
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