If you are looking for more than just a Sunday drive I recommend giving a fish collar a chance. Collars are typically a cheaper cut of protein. They usually will have a bone still attached to them that adds a ton of flavor and is easy to remove. Some of my favorites that we sell at BlackSalt are snapper, rockfish, and tilefish collars. If you want the ultimate experience I suggest trying a swordfish collar. There is really nothing like it. It is oily and rich and bold and nothing like the rest of the fish. It only needs a little salt and pepper, a quick sear, then 20 minutes in the oven. Most collars are easy to cook. Just add some seasoning and roast. What you end up with is a beautiful cut full of flavor that will have your dinner guests wondering when you had the time for cooking lessons.
Cheeks, well let's put it this way, when I am sharing a whole fish with friends, the cheeks usually go to the guest of honor. Sometimes there is no such designated person and when this situation occurs there is usually a small scuffle and the cheeks will go to the fastest fork. The cheeks on a fish are meaty bites that can best be described as everything flavorful and good about that fish packed into a exquisite morsel that delivers a surprise complexity of savoriness. The secret about cheeks is slowly getting out and combined with their relative scarcity (only two per fish), they are not the 'steals' they used to be. However, if you happen to be at BlackSalt when the market has halibut, opah, monk, skate, or really any cheeks, you should be inclined to try them. Look at it this way, you're getting the filet mignon without buying the cow!
So the next time you are shopping at the market for dinner, ask about what collars might be available. Buy a belly cut and do some quick searing or pan frying. Take some cheeks, live a little. There's a lot of flavor out there and it isn't all wrapped in pretty packages. Sometimes you have to dig around some bone or opt for a thin belly cut to discover everything delicious a fish has to offer. Life's too short to waste good food and willing taste buds.