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Dungeness Crab!! Recommendations on where to buy??

Looking for Dungeness Crab to take home and eat.... I think the season is coming to an end. Any low priced ideas to get my crab eats on?? Preferably the west side.....

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  1. season is coming to an end?

    just saw it at ranch 99 in artesia (pioneer blvd) for $3.99 a pound for mediums and $4.99 for large ones.

    1. Where do you live? The Chinese markets are usually pretty cheap. 99 Ranch is a good choice, but the really cheap places may be Shunfat on Valley and San Gabriel Blvd., or the Food Warehouse on Rosemead Blvd. and Garvey.

      1. Fresh and live.... you just CAN'T BEAT 99 ranch... but when we want lump meat, we suck it up and go to Santa Monica Seafood. Theirs is always TOP notch...


        1. I think the season just started about three weeks ago. Do you want live crabs to take home and cook yourself, or ones that have already been steamed and chilled with the option of having them cleaned and cracked-to-go? I got an excellent, meaty delicious steamed, chilled one at the seafood market (Tusquellas Seafoods) at the Farmer's Market on Fairfax about two weeks ago. They also had them in abundance at Whole Foods for a slightly cheaper price (although still nowhere near as cheap as 99 Ranch and the like). My favorite place to get them steamed, chilled, cracked and ready to take home and eat, though is Fish King in Glendale. They are always great from there.

          1. I've never bought shellfish from 99 Ranch. Will they boil (or fry) them for you?



            1 Reply
            1. re: Just Cid

              They will fry... but NOT boil... and I'm not sure if they will fry Crabs....


            2. I never even heard of live dungeness crab sold. Does it even exist? I always get it frozen....

              2 Replies
              1. re: Schweinhaxen

                jump in your car and head over to ranch 99. they sell them live, straight out of the tank.

                1. re: Schweinhaxen

                  Yes, live dungeness crabs are sold at almost all Chinese supermarkets. Also, if you go to the piers in Ventura or Long Beach, fresh ones are also sold.

                2. Just make sure to check the cleaniless of the tanks before buying live in the Chinese markets. It's easy to cook the crab at home. A little Old Bay or other crab boil in water (make certain the water is seasoned) is all that is required. If you don't want to boil it alive, then pierce it between the eyes with a chef's knife. Whole Foods cooks their crabs and can clean it for you as well if you are not inclined to enjoy the crab 'butter'.

                  BTW, don't panic, DanaB is right - the season just began. You have a few months to enjoy as long as the crabs hold out.


                    If you take live crabs home- Be Very Careful. Do not underestimate the arms & Claws of a live Dungeness Crab !
                    I got "bit" even though I was being very careful trying to get them out of the bag. Sharp & very strong pincers, deceivingly quick. You don't want to personally find out. Unlike horses and restaurants, crabs should be approached from the back. Wife helped unpry the claw (at risk to herself- which might be a painful way to test your partner's love for you based on how & how fast they react.) otherwise that sucker wouldn't have let go w/o a hammer to the head. I spent some time yelping in pain and laughing that it happened. Woody Allen was right to be very afraid in "Annie Hall".
                    I kept em in tap water filled sink for few hrs till steaming, they stayed alive. I've researched humane ways to kill them and it seems there's no evidence that crustaceans feel pain.
                    Steamed 2 for about 20 minutes over 4 cups boiling water. I’ve also tried combo of water, vinegar, and Old Bay. Both good.
                    IMO Dungeness Crab w/ the right tools, a little lemon, melted butter, cole slaw, potatoes and good beer is 1 of The Great American Meals.

                    Ranch 99 is a good deal at $3.99/lb but they really overfill the tanks w/ crabs. Be sure to get lively ones on top. Since they’ll cook their fish for you, I assume they’ll steam the crab. Anybody who can confirm that?

                    Dungeness Crab season began 1 month ago today, I believe it lasts thru Feb to March, w/ peak (best price, abundance) being thru Jan, though this season is predicted to have above average yield.

                    My best Dungeness Crab meals out were at McCormick & Kuleto’s on the bay in San Francisco and Clancy’s Crab Shack in Glendale. Can anybody match or beat them in LA?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: ilikefood

                      Will Ranch 99 Crack and clean them, too? ;-)

                      I have to admit, that when I want crab, I want it cooked and ready to go, from a place that I KNOW will only give me a good crab. A crab that is lush and clean, tender, sweet and meaty. A perfect crab. Two places have done that, Food King in Glendale, and the place I sited aboved at the Farmer's Market. Gelson's (made the mistake of doing that once, in season), gave me a watery, not tasty, but not happy, crab. I wouldn't repeat.

                      1. re: DanaB

                        No, they don't have steamers, just friers. They also won't crack and clean them either... Quality Seafood will steam, but I think they steam for too long. Again, that is why we are willing to pay $$$ for the picked and cleaned crab meat at Santa Monica Seafood... it's hard for places to do it JUST right... Since you have found your places near you, I would stick to them. :)


                        1. re: Dommy

                          this is incorrect, some (not all) 99 Ranch stores do have steamers for crab and lobster. you have to pay first and then go back and ask them to steam it. the store near me does a good job. however they don't crack and clean since the clientele like to do it themselves.

                      2. re: ilikefood

                        Hmm... if crustaceans don't feel pain, then why do they want to get out of that pot of boiling water so badly?

                        Another method that I have used, is to place the crab in the freezer for a half hour before you cook them. This supposedly puts them into a deep sleep, so that they won't feel the hot water as much.

                        The best way is still to dispatch them quickly with a knife, but I still don't know where their nerve centers are located.

                      3. i 11th the Ranch 99 rec. Beware of trickery, however. I've received dungeness from there that looked mighty frisky when being picked up by the counter man, but upon coming home were found to be fully dead. So make sure they're lively ones!

                        Also, the easiest method i've found for cooking them (with very little chance of being bitten) is by putting them in a large pot full of salted room temperature water. The crab won't budge. THEN, cruel as it may sound, you SLOWLY bring the water to a boil. By the time they realize it is hot, you already have the lid on your pot and they can't get at you! :) Be on your toes, people!

                        Ranch 99 is not the place to get picked, clean crab, though. You get what you pay for.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sirlancie

                          You should ask or bring your own ice pack to put on top of the crab inside the bag. Crabs died usually of heat and Southern Cal temperatures do not help. Oxygen is usually not a problem. Without the ice and inside a car, the crab can easily died within half to one hour.

                        2. I have never attempted to cook crabs at home but I am now fully tempted. Could anyone tell me what kind of tools I must have on hand, in order to crack, clean and enjoy?


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pongstress

                            The only tools you'll need are kitchen shears (for cleaning before & after cooking. crab/lobster crackers (similar to nut crackers, which can also be used but aren't as good), seafood picks (long narrow w/ very small spoon/paddle on one end and itty bitty fork on other. I got mine at Crate & Barrel at a good price (about $7-$8 set). Of course the more violent afficionados may say all you need is a hammer, a table outside and paper tablecloths, but I think the seafood picks are a must to get every last mosel no matter how small.
                            As for cleaning- do a Google search for "crab cleaning", you'll find a bunch of helpful sites, including some w/ step by step photos.

                          2. There is a great supermarket on Western, 1/2 block south of Beverly Blvd which wells Live Dungenous Crab. Becareful when you you get them home. They are very aggressive and will draw blood if you don't have long sturdy tongs...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: ligorner

                              Yea- long sturdy tongs are the ticket. I learned the hard way, but after that exp I handled them w/ tongs and respect.

                              1. re: ligorner

                                Crabs will always try to play dead. Be sure to remember the lessons learned from the Karate Kid movie, i.e. always look eyes. The crab's eyes, that is. I have a thick pair of leather garden glove that I only use in the kitchen to minimize damages. And yes, treat them with respects.

                              2. shun fat market on atlantic in monterey park will beat Ranch 99's prices. I believe they were about 2.59 a pound or something a few weeks ago I was there. Went home and steamed them and they were delish!

                                1. I've never gone wrong with live dungeness from 99 Ranch. In the Valley, they go from as low as 3.99 a pound up to about 10.99 per lb. (depending if it's on sale). I've even asked for the big ones at the bottom of the tank; and here's the unbelievable thing. I've had them (in their plastic bags) in the trunk (w/ no air cond.) for a GOOD 1 to 2 hours before dropping them into the boiling pot (still barely alive). Perhaps I'm playing with fire as the bacteria could take over starting the second they die. But, on every single occasion so far; they've been barely still alive (moving s-l-i-g-h-t-l-y) easily after around 2 hours. Absolutely no jive. I've also been very lucky in that none of them has fought hardly at all when placed in the slightly boiling water. (But that's prob. because they're not so alive and kicking.) I boil each for gosh, maybe as much as 20 minutes; and voila! With melted butter, and some Chardonnay or even beer; WOW. ^__^ Everyone knows that live Dungeness crab is quite better than frozen. And take your pick on which sauce to mix in with real melted butter (my favorite is McCormick's Lemon Butter Dill); and folks, what a slice of heaven. Enjoy!

                                  99 Ranch
                                  17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Craig33

                                    I'm slightly confused- which crabs do you want to pick from 99 Ranch, the ones on the top or the ones on the bottom? What else do you look for in a live dungess crab? Is there an ideal size?

                                    And, if buy them during the morning, how do you keep them alive till dinner?

                                    99 Ranch
                                    17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

                                    1. re: Craig33

                                      $14.99 a lb for the dungeness today at 99 ranch. Ouch. Top or bottom of the tank. It don't matter at that price.

                                      1. re: eder

                                        That seems kind of odd. Almost like a typo.

                                        Are you sure?

                                        Cuz it's $8.99 for the cooked DG clusters at markets now, the whole crabs (fresh or frozen) are usually MUCH cheaper than the clusters...

                                        1. re: happybaker

                                          with my own eyes. i too was astounded.

                                          1. re: eder

                                            Just wait another month or so. DC will be back in season.

                                            Here in San Pedro, they sell them for anywhere from 2.99-3.99 per pound, right out of the tanks.

                                            1. re: Novelli

                                              Do you know the address because I want to go San Pedro to get the fresh crab and Lobster.

                                              1. re: jsaroeuth

                                                Ports O' Call Village
                                                Berth 75 - 79
                                                San Pedro, CA 90731
                                                (310) 548-8076

                                                Haven't been down to the docks in a couple weeks, so I don't know if they got their crabs in yet or what price they'll be selling them at. Give em a call.

                                                You can also check out Berth 55 just across the Vincent Thomas Bridge in LB on the waterfront. They also have tanks of lobster and crabs when in season.

                                                Berth 55 Fish Market
                                                555 Pico Ave
                                                Long Beach, CA 90802
                                                (562) 435-8366

                                                1. re: Novelli

                                                  any locations near Manhattan Beach? Want to get crab and oysters

                                                  1. re: bythebayov

                                                    Not sure about Manhattan Beach, but there's quite a selection at Quality Seafood at the Redondo Beach Pier boardwalk. They carry a number of various crabs, lobsters, and have at least 20 different varieties of fresh oysters.


                                                  2. re: Novelli

                                                    most places that do "local" are selling rock crab right now. the dungeness season doesn't start for another week or so, and given teh ritual strike over pricing, won't really get going until early december. you can get dungies at 99 ranch (the gardena store is close to SP and MB), but dang are they expensive -- like $12 a pound last weekend when maine lobster was $7 (and local spinies were $11)

                                                    1. re: FED

                                                      what is a good price for them? I have not clue! thanks!!

                                                      1. re: bythebayov

                                                        Granada Market on Sawtelle. Call first.

                                      2. Saw them at Shun Fat in Monterey Park the other day for $4.99 a pound. Dead Dungeness on ice for $2.39 a pound

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Clinton

                                          ohhhhh great! too bad MP is so far away :(

                                        2. This is an old thread that will probably only require regular updating on current prices at mostly markets that cater to the general Chinese/Asian Communities. They probably get the lion's share of the catch for retail and reataurants.

                                          99 Ranch prices are $4.99/lb and $5.99/lb for specimens graded as, "Large."