In the spirit of “Know Your Fishmonger,” I’d like to introduce you to mine: Tommy Gomes, aka Tommy the Fishmonger, is a 4th generation fisherman in San Diego, and a passionate voice for all things sustainable seafood. You may know him from his show The Fishmonger on The Outdoor Channel and Amazon Prime.
In 2022, Tommy opened Tunaville Market & Grocery with longtime friend Mitch Conniff, owner of Mitch’s Seafood; there you’ll find fish plates and tacos made with the same fresh-caught seafood you’d see in the market, just a five minute walk away. On the wall behind the fresh fish case hangs a list of fishing vessels and what they’ve hauled in for the week—Tunaville specializes in local fish and supporting sustainable fishing practices. And, for me, it is also the seafood version of Disneyland.
If you are lucky enough to catch Tommy at the shop, you’ll find yourself in front of one of his signature “seacuterie” boards—that’s charcuterie but make it all seafood. On my last visit, he cracked open a side of smoked monchong (aka pomfret) ribs, scraped the firm, creamy flesh away from the bone and proudly presented it to me on a fork (video proof below). He grated dry-aged bigeye tuna like Parmesan cheese; I had a spoonful of dry-aged tuna marrow. Fish marrow! I had slices of dry-aged tuna and salmon, topped with Tommy's special blend of smoked soy and citrus.
I like to close my eyes and pretend I didn’t just eat a piece of 45-day-old fish and think about what it tastes like, what the texture gives now that it’s lost 25% of its moisture. It doesn’t taste like fish.