We were completely set on eating sandwiches made with San Luis Obispo County meat at J&R Natural Meats, which we eventually did, but a blackboard that read “Ventura Spot Prawns” changed our mission. We’d been to neighboring Pier 46 Seafood before, but the handwritten sign gave us no choice but to return.
A knowledgeable Pier 46 employee (and possible co-owner) led us to the tank and showed us large shrimp with white spots on the side. They splashed when plucked from the water, a good sign. He offered us three different preparations and we ordered Ventura Spot Prawns 2 Ways, which cost $23 at $27.99/lb + $5 cooking charge.
The day’s blackboard menu also advertised Morro Bay live Dungeness crabs, beau soleil and Chicoteague oysters, and live Maine lobster. Ventura spot prawns aren’t always in season, which is part of what makes them so special, but at least they’ve got other great options.