First Look: De La Mer, a new west-end location for a popular fishmonger
By Karolyne Ellacott
Seafood on Roncy (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)
While some may think De La Mer is the west end’s answer to Hooked, co-owner Blake Edwards is quick to note that this is not the case. “We were open long before them,” he points out, referring to the fishmonger’s original Bayview location, which has been going strong for three years.
Now, however, west-end fish fiends need not trek to the opposite side of the city to get goods from the sea. Beckoning customers with its bubble-filled window, this Roncy joint has been garnering much ’hood affection since its May opening: already, De La Mer has been providing seafood to such local eateries as Barque, The Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub and Pizzera Defina. Also, a jar reserved for quarters is tucked away in the back of the store; every time a customer announces how badly the store was needed, a coin is lobbed into it. So far it’s up to about $15.
Joined by David Owen, Edwards tells us that the focus is fresh fish, which is displayed for no more than two to three days. The two main suppliers are part of the Marine Stewardship Council — meaning the product is sustainable — while certain goods also carry the Ocean Wise stamp of approval.
A rotating counter selection is based on what’s fresh and available, though customers can count on regularly finding salmon, tilapia, rainbow trout and halibut. Most of the goods are procured from North America’s three main seafood arteries: Vancouver, Boston and Florida. More exotic picks include Irish salmon, Icelandic cod and New Zealand toothfish.
Keen on giving cooking tips to customers, Edwards is currently loving the red snapper. He recommends breading it for a bit of a guilty pleasure, or serving it up with some mango avocado salsa.
For those who don’t have the time to whip up a meal, prepared foods are also on offer, with the crab cakes being a specialty ($3.99/ea).
“People go nuts for them!” Edwards laughs.
De La Mer Fresh Fish Market, 291 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-748-3474