Franky & Johnny’s: Value Seafood in Elysian Valley [CLOSED]

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Seafood Market Los Angeles

Franky & Johnny's promises to deliver a “seafood value revolution” to a former gas station.

Franky Atallah and Johnny Nalbandian opened Franky & Johnny’s Fisherman’s Seafood Outlet on September 25 in Elysian Valley, promising Angelenos a “seafood value revolution.”

Nalbandian was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and has since gained a reputation for being a “well-seasoned salt-rubbed seafood monger.” His grandfather was a freshwater fisherman in Armenia, and Nalbandian started fishing at age 11. He founded J&J Seafood Company in 1974 and built it into “the Tiffany of the seafood industry.” He disbanded the company in 2002 and became a consultant, advising import-export companies. Three years ago, he decided to return to seafood. “90% of people who leave the seafood industry come back,” says Nalbandian. “It’s the saltwater in our veins.”

Franky Atallah’s family has been supplying European, Latin, Mediterranean and natural foods to grocery stores for over 30 years.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Elysian Valley, it’s over the hill from Echo Park and a short walk from Dodger Stadium. For 30 years, the Riverside Drive lot housed an abandoned gas station. Nalbandian and Atallah saw promise and decided to transform it into a seafood market, a process that Nalbandian described as unprecedented and “history making.”

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Franky and Johnny designed the space to resemble a wharf and feature cartoon fish avatars.

Nalbandian welcomes any and all charity events to the shaded wooden patio. He anticipates fundraisers for organizations like City of Hope and Autism International, with plenty of barbecued seafood.

Seafood Market Los Angeles

The owners fly over 100 flags, which symbolize all the different nations that supply the outlet with seafood. “There’s no other industry in the world as international as seafood,” Nalbandian said.

Nalbandian respects a company like Costco, which “does a great job with seafood, but they’re limited.” Costco features 50 SKUs [Stock Keeping Units].

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At Franky & Johnny’s, you’ll find 250 different kinds of seafood, with everything sold at wholesale prices.

Franky & Johnny’s fish has no preservatives. Instead, Nalbandian opted to invest in a Cryovac machine. Since the bags of fish are vacuum-sealed, they carry an extra three days of shelf life. The selection shifts with the seasons, but Nalbandian is currently especially excited about Catalina swordfish ($13.40/lb), Canadian Ling Cod, San Diego Yellowtail and Mexican Sea Bass from the Sea of Cortez ($13.40/lb), known in Spanish as baquetta.

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Franky & Johnny’s hosts a separate fridge for shellfish.

A 5-pound bag of Carlsbad Aquafarm oysters (Lunas or Blondes) sells for $20. It’s $15 for an equal weight of Carlsbad Aquafarm mussels. You’ll also find a 5-pound bag of East Coast cherrystone clams for $15.

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Nalbandian promises “the biggest selection of smoked fish in town.”

The freezers contain rarely seen products like tobiko, frog legs, seaweed salad, Mozambique shrimp – “a very sweet cold water shrimp,” and Monterey sardines. “Three quarters of this stuff, you can’t find anywhere else,” claims Nalbandian.

Seafood Market Los Angeles

Twin Grab ‘N Go cases near the entrance feature low-priced sushi, salads, sandwiches, juices and sodas.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

called today–place is closed, indefinitely. so sad.


Unfortunately, Franky & Johnny’s was unsustainable. They were counting on high volume, and I guess it didn’t reach the right level. Too bad, I liked it too.

had an incredible fish burrito 2 months ago. they were grilling/cooking outside on the weekend day I stopped by…the pleasant and rich aromas made me turn around and check it out (rarely drive through this area).
another burrito is due this week.

[…] Park the Milagro Allegro Community Garden will hold an eat-in. In Elysian Park our friend Jennie …Food GPS Franky & Johnny’s: Value Seafood in Elysian ValleyFranky Atallah and Johnny Nalbandian opened Franky & Johnny’s Fisherman’s Seafood Outlet on […]

i’m into the smoked fish and cheap shellfish. oyster bake anyone?

Wow, possibly no more having to drive out to Rowland Heights for good cheap seafood? I’m in!

And that smoked fish look wonderful…

This store is wonderful. The owner really cares about his customers. There is a large variety of seafood items. There are also great seafood items that are frozen that are low priced and fantastic.

Wish you all the best!! My family loves seafood, we will be stopping by alot. Thanks for choosing Frogtown.

Everything I have tryed is fabulous at Franky and Johnnys. Can’t wait to go back!

Love the store!! Can’t wait to eat some crab legs

Awesome prices!!!!!

this is one place i will frequent, great concept.

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