Liwei Liao is 'conditioning' some of LA's most coveted fish

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Fish is cut to order at The Joint in Sherman Oaks. Photo by Evan Robinson.

Born in Taiwan but raised in Queens, Liwei Liao remembers fishing along the shore of Long Island and upstate New York. Liao operates The Joint on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, where he is "conditioning" fish. He thinks the term "dry-aging" is a misnomer and explains that he is,"conditioning fish in a dry environment. Our goal is to make it better than it was fresh."

When he was growing up, his catch was often so large he couldn't just throw it in the freezer so he had to figure out ways to preserve it. His self-taught methods include removing components such as blood, slime, and excess moisture to purge impurities. The texture of conditioned fish is firm and dense, with a concentrated flavor. He sources both aquacultured and wild fish from as far as New Zealand and Europe, which he receives within 36 hours of it being harvested.

Along with fish, The Joint offers crustaceans, dry-aged wagyu, gourmet coffee, and fresh baked goods, Tuesday through Sunday.

Liwei Liao developed methods of preserving fish by removing impurities and excess moisture, resulting in a firmer product with a concentrated flavor. Photo by Evan Robinson.

The Joint sources fish from as far as New Zealand and Europe and it's received within 36 hours of being harvested. Photo by Evan Robinson.