Softshell Crab Shines On New Day Northwest

June 28, 2024

The Pacific Northwest sees its fair share of crabs. This week, they saw a seasonal treat from the East.

Kaelon Sparks, Executive Chef, Water Grill Bellevue, appeared on Seattle's NBC affiliate, KING5, to share Wild Maryland Softshell Crab from the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. During the segment, Chef K showcased our product knowledge, relationships with watermen and fishermen, and our seasonal offerings, preparing Softshell Crab on air and sharing information about Wild Pacific Bluefin Tuna.

"When the water starts to get warm, the crabs will start to molt - moving into a larger shell and growing. The watermen (which is what the fishermen for crabs on the East Coast in Maryland are called) will watch the crabs for signs of molting and move them to a little pen for even closer monitoring before it happens. As soon as the blue crabs molt and they're soft, the watermen will pull the crabs from the water to stop a shell from hardening. They’ll then package them up for us."

Chef K also spoke about how great summertime is for seafood, with the waters providing new products with warmer weather and water.

"Summertime is a really tough time to choose one thing that's delicious and coming into season. Just this last week, we got our first batch of Wild Pacific Bluefin Tuna from California. It's just a really delicious, meaty bite. We really love seeing this Bluefin on [the menu].”


Ready to explore what this summer has to offer for seafood lovers? Check out our menus where you can get Wild Maryland Softshell Crab and Wild Pacific Bluefin Tuna.

Wild Maryland Softshell Crab at Water Grill
Wild Pacific Bluefin Tuna at Water Grill

The Ghost of the Coast Appears at Water Grill

April 29, 2024

Show of hands: who wants a cool nickname? No matter how hard you try, it won’t hold a candle to white seabass.

Known as “the ghost of the coast”, the nickname for white seabass (Atractoscion nobilis) is a reference to the fish’s ability to stalk and haunt its prey while hiding in kelp beds. They’re voracious predators and exclusive to the West Coast. Starting this month, the California ghosts of the coast are making a seasonal appearance at Water Grill.

Local Legend

White seabass is a true local treasure, found from Central California through Baja California. However, it’s not actually a true bass. It’s a member – one of the largest, in fact – of the Croaker (Sciaenadae) family. And, while “croaker” may not be as cool of a nickname as “ghost of the coast”, it’s more descriptive, as this family of fish makes drumming noises by vibrating their air bladders.

Seasonal Catch

The commercial fishing season in California typically runs from June through March (and year-round in Mexico). White seabass is caught by gill-net and hook and line in many areas off the California coasts, including sandy and rocky bottoms, near- and offshore and, of course, in kelp beds.

They’rea Keeper

White seabass can range from 10-lbs. to 60-lbs.; however, most white seabass will be in the 20-lb. to 30-lb. range. You know it’s a keeper when it’s 28” long. Literally. That’s the length a white seabass must be to keep. It signals that the fish has had an opportunity to reproduce at least once before being pulled from the rotation. Spawning season typically occurs from March to early June.

Fisheries management is supported by NOAA Fisheries, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the White Seabass Fisheries Management Plan (USA) and CONAPESCA and INAPESCA in Mexico.

This is in addition to support from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. They operate a white seabass hatchery in San Diego, which contributes fish to the wild stock from grow-out pens up and down the Southern California coast.

White Seabass at King's Seafood Distribution


White seabass is known for its sweet flavor, firm texture and medium flakes. It’s a great fish for grilling, and its seasonal arrival is timed perfectly for enjoying in the summer months.

White Seabass Ratatouille at Water Grill

At Water Grill, we bring this all together in a preparation of rustic ratatouille, featuring Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, a garlic emulsion and basil oil. See our menus here.