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Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI Seafood Find

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Ann Arbor, MI Seafood Find

Joe Saul | Oct 6, 2003 11:05 AM

(I've been lurking here for some years off and on, but this is my first post except for a reply to an old thread -- hi!)

My wife and I have had a couple great seafood meals at an unlikely place. If this turns out to be old news to the A^2 chowhound community, I apologize, but it was new to us and we know the restaurant scene pretty well, so it may be useful to someone.

Monahan's Fish Market in Kerrytown has a variety of soups (which we haven't tried), and they'll also pan-fry their salmon burgers. When we finally noticed the fact that you can get *prepared* salmon burgers on their sign, we got two of them, with an order of veggie tempura from Kosmo Deli across the aisle in lieu of french fries. Excellent, and almost enough to post about.

But... we also asked if they could cook anything else up. And it turns out that they can. They'll cook anything they have in the case, and can do a surprising number of things with it on the spot. They're limited on side dishes (we've had rice and spinach, and they can probably do other stuff as well, but it isn't their focus; they're a fish market).

The first time we were there, we had (in addition to the salmon burgers; a veritable orgy of seafood) a big piece of marlin encrusted with black sesame seeds and pan seared so it was very rare in the middle but browned on the sides (served with ponzu -- though the Kosmo Deli augmented soy sauce went well too), and black cod, perfectly pan-steamed and served with teriyaki sauce and spinach with garlic. The marlin was better than any tuna tataki I've ever had, and the cod made me finally understand why people sometimes describe the fish as "buttery". Wow.

They don't have a menu, so it's a matter of seeing what they have in the case and talking about it with their amazingly helpful staff (I'd name names, but when I told her I was going to post about this she said she'd be too embarrassed if I identified her). You talk about it, and then get to watch them cook whatever sounded good. We haven't had any bad experiences yet, and if you get the right seats it's sort of like being on a cooking show -- they have bar stools by the cooking area. You can geek out about fish together. I'm pretty ignorant about fish, but I'm learning a lot.

They don't post prices, and I have no idea how they calculate them, but the first time we did this (the meal above) it was $28, and when we brought a friend last weekend (several Hawaiian fish salads, another fish steak seared with black sesame that I unfortunately can't remember the name of because it's one of those Hawaiian varieties we don't see here often, and two beautiful rouget cooked whole... yum!) it was $34 for the three of us. Not bargain-basement, but very cheap for this quality of seafood in the Ann Arbor area.

We've also had lovely pan-seared scallops. Other dishes I've seen go by are an entire huge bowl full of steamed clams, and the best-looking salmon filet I've ever seen, pan-fried and served with a pureed bell pepper and caper sauce.

No affiliation, just a (new) regular.

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