What San Diegans Eat — Local fisherman Johnny Law

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Johnny LawJohnny Law is the definition of San Diegan. He makes his living from the Pacific Ocean. He has vast knowledge on the Pacific and sustainable fishing practices. He gardens, and he cooks. He likes Mexican food and sushi. If you’ve had live shallow water rockfish from Zenbu, or deep water rockfish from Zenbu, Rimel’s or El Pescador, then you might have dined on his catch. He also fishes for rock crab, spider crab and whelks for Asian supermarkets. Then, during lobster season, he supplies local restaurants with spiny lobster.

List everything that you consumed in the past 24 hours:

Last night, 9 pm — Linguini with diced chicken, red sauce, roma tomatoes, Anaheim chilies, garlic, onions. These were all vegetables from the garden. Three Coors Light beers.

This morning 5 am — One cup of coffee. 10 am — Huevos rancheros with rice, beans and flour tortillas.

This evening — BBQ at the neighbors: Hamburger, Fritos with veggie bean dip, three rice “pillows”, small bowl of olives, three Coors Light beers.

List your top 5 restaurants, or favorite meals to cook, or your “rotation”:

JV’s Mexican Food on Morena Blvd. — Excellent food, large portions, low price, fast service. I can eat my huevos rancheros, read the Reader, and listen to ranchero music coming from the kitchen (unless there’s a soccer game on TV).  It always the same and it’s nice to be welcomed by the owner and staff.

Cass Street Bar and Grill in Pacific Beach — Oriental chicken salad washed down with a cold bottle of beer. The atmosphere is local and there’s lots of room to move around.

El Pescador on Pearl Street in La Jolla — When tourists come to San Diego this is the seafood restaurant that they are hoping to find. Johnny Cash or the Safaris playing in the background and guys who go surfing on their lunch break grilling your fish sandwich. Take a date, split a sandwich and have some chowder. The best fish in San Diego.

Nobu in Solana Beach — Sushi has to be perfect or not at all. Zenbu in La Jolla and Cardiff is as good as it gets, but I don’t fit in with the crowd. Nobu is well lighted and has great food. Last time I went there I had black cod that was unreal!

China Max on Convoy in Kearny Mesa — If you are going to eat Chinese food you might as well eat where the Chinese people eat.

Open your fridge and list the first 5 things that you see:

  • Coors light beer
  • A gallon of non-fat milk
  • Teriyaki, soy sauce, sweet & sour sauce, etc.
  • A big bag of Roma tomatoes
  • Large bowl of steamed rice

Your favorite grocery store:

I shop at Food 4 Less and Henry’s.

Your favorite meal you’ve eaten in the past month:

I had my girlfriend visiting me last week. I made a big Chinese dinner with Stir-fry chicken, veggies, and rice. I don’t know if it was my favorite but it’s the one that I remember.

What is one food item you could not bare to live without?

Anything that I can eat with chopsticks.

What do you want the readers to know about yourself?

I’m a lifetime San Diegan. Mom and dad moved me here in 1964. I started working on the ocean in 1975 and I’ve been stuck there ever since. I’m an independent commercial fisherman and I self-market my catch to local restaurants. I enjoy cooking and eating good low-fat food. I don’t eat out as often as I would like so I try to create restaurant style dinners at home. Like everyone I’m on a budget these days. I love to work in my garden and I’m enjoying a good crop of mild Jalapeno peppers this year.

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