Friday, July 15, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Places: Kona Jack's Fish Market

Continuing along with the series on a few of my favorite Indy places (food and drink type places I frequent on a regular basis), I thought I would talk about Kona Jack’s fish market.  Honestly, this is an easy segment for me to write because literally you are just along on the ride with me on some of my regular errands…
Anyway, when I want fresh fish, and seafood in general, one of a very few places I will buy it to cook at home is Kona Jack’s.  And if I want sushi grade anything to make a ceviche or something along those lines, this is one of only two places I would trust.  For me, I have to have a little extra time, because it isn’t super close to my house, but I can always count on it being really fresh.
The nice thing about the market is that because it is also a restaurant and sushi bar, so you know their turnover is very high.  You can just go in and look in the case (my picture is of the main fish section, there is another case that contains mostly shellfish and freshwater fish) and you can tell that this stuff is good quality.  The regular fish mongers there know about seafood and can order just about anything you want—usually with just a day or two notice.
The only downside (besides it sort of being an out of the way location for me) is that it isn’t cheap.  But when you really want a good quality piece of fish, in my opinion, you can’t skimp too much or you may as well just eat something else.
I also like that I often run into friends at this fish market—even though it is a restaurant too, it feels  familiar to me and somewhat like a little neighborhood shop inside a restaurant.  So on this day, I walked in, on my way to pick up my kids, without knowing what I wanted. I just looked around until something jumped out at me. On this day it happened to be the grouper that caught my eye, which I took home and grilled with a version of a blackening type rub.  Turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself.
The grouper--after

Kona Jack’s Fish Market
9419 North Meridian Street
Indy   46260


  1. Only figuratively are we along on your errands - otherwise we would actually be there in person that would make us literally there. Just an FYI. No need to post this.

  2. Joe in Montgomery OHJuly 15, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Erin, thanks for this post. We're always on the lookout for good fish restaurants in the landlocked Midwest. Yes, it's pricey, but so is the, in general, inferior fish at our "showcase" Kroger's at Harpers Pointe here in suburban Montgomery. Can't wait to try on our next Indianapolis trip.

    For all of you coming to Cincinnati, I'd respectfully suggest you check out A Tavola in the Over-the-Rhine. It's all the buzz right now with great pizza and other items. Here's the link.

    Thanks again Erin!

  3. Anon: I figured I would go ahead and post your comment--I mean, who doesn't love a grammar correction? ;)

    Joe: I haven't actually eaten a lot at Kona jack's the restaurant, but I do love the fish market! A Tavola looks good.

  4. David Chang (Indianapolis)July 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Your fish looks great -- beyond the blackening spice, how did you make it?

  5. david: Here is the recipe I grabbed online. I pretty much followed it, using my own blackening mix that I use for all kinds of grilling. It is very similar to the recipe here though... it turned out well.

  6. Agreed - this is a great place to buy some fresh seafood to cook at home, but it can be pricey. As it is right down the street from me, it is convenient and easy. Only eaten there twice and it was decent, but my preference is to shop and cook at home.

  7. Jessica in NoblesvilleJuly 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    I stopped eating in at Kona's a few years ago. Their regular entrees were only ok, and their sushi took a dramatic turn downhill. The final straw was when we went with our best friends for sushi, ordered 4 rolls which came out no bigger than cigars and were not rolled well. We ate what we could, then left and went up the road to Maneki Neko to satiate our sushi cravings. Haven't been back since. But might be willing to buy fresh fish there ... I wonder if their prices are better than the Fresh Market?

  8. citynomnoms and Jessica- I have to say, I agree that Kona Jack's isn't my favorite restaurant in town (I have had servicable, but not amazing meals), but it is certainly one of the best fish markets.

  9. I love Kona Jacks as a fish market. After 56th Street Fish Market closed, it has been my favorite place to buy fish-mostly if we are having dinner guests. Never eaten at the resturant, but as far as fish markets go--it's pretty much the best we have in this city (which seriously lacks good fish markets). Not convenient in any way, but worth the trip.

  10. I recently stopped at the market for some shrimp and it was some of the freshest I've had in town. It's pricier-- but totally worth it. I know their fish and shrimp is flown in daily so it's always super fresh.

    As far as the resto- I highly recommend going for lunch and ordering the fried shrimp. It's a large portion and enough to share.