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What to order at Crustacean

b
bite bite Feb 28, 2007 08:49 AM

Know I'm in for it asking this -- but going Crustacean for dinner. Never been. Wondering if anyone has any recs.

  1. j
    jkao1817 Feb 28, 2007 08:51 AM

    GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!!

    But if you must go, they are know for their galic crab and noodles.

    GO SOMWHERE ELSE!!!!!

    1. c
      chowmominLA Feb 28, 2007 08:55 AM

      I liked it when I went there in the early 90s, but I've never heard a single restaurant be so reviled on these boards.

      If you do go, get the Ahn's garlic noodles. They were good, at least they were 13 years ago.

      1. ttriche Feb 28, 2007 08:56 AM

        a taxicab to somewhere else

        1 Reply
        1. re: ttriche
          s
          sel Feb 28, 2007 04:21 PM

          That's exactly what I was gonna say!

        2. kingkong5 Feb 28, 2007 08:57 AM

          GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!

          If you have to go anyway, I would also recommend the garlic crab and garlic noodles. If someone else is paying, go ahead and have them crack the crab for you, along with the extra charge (they just bash it with a hammer in a few places).

          The other recommendation is if multiple people are going to have crab at the table, I suggest ordering them one at a time. I hate eating half a cold crab, because it takes a while for one person to go through a crab. So if 2 people are going to eat 2 crabs, just order one to start, and tell your server to put in the order for the 2nd crab once you receive the first one. Then, you and your partner eat half of each crab. This way, you'll always be eating hot crab! This only works if you're dating, or related, or really good friends. If it's your boss, I would probably not suggest this (unless you're dating, related or really good friends! )

          1 Reply
          1. re: kingkong5
            b
            bite bite Feb 28, 2007 09:11 AM

            Thanks. Brilliant suggestion on the crab. Backing out not an option so trying to make the best of it by at least ordering well.

          2. c
            chowmominLA Feb 28, 2007 09:19 AM

            At least after you've heard "run away run away" so many times you'll be nothing but pleasantly surprised.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowmominLA
              b
              bite bite Feb 28, 2007 09:58 AM

              Hopefully ...

            2. ipsedixit Feb 28, 2007 09:26 AM

              Dessert.

              Everything else is just vile.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit
                b
                bite bite Feb 28, 2007 02:14 PM

                Any particular?

              2. s
                slacker Feb 28, 2007 02:11 PM

                A drink. Perhaps many drinks. You may find that you get a desire to throw--I mean spill, one of those drinks on the host, Mr. Attitude.

                The crab is dry. The garlic noodles do nothing for me. I had these three of the four times I went there because there's nothing else on the menu to order. The fourth time I finally did order something else and have no recollection of it at all.

                1 Reply
                1. re: slacker
                  b
                  bite bite Feb 28, 2007 02:13 PM

                  Guess that speaks the benefit of having enough drinks...

                2. q
                  Queequeg Feb 28, 2007 07:05 PM

                  Seeing as how you have no choice in the matter, my advice would be to order food off of the regular menu, as opposed to the horrifically overpriced entrees off of the "secret kitchen" menu. (The "secret kitchen" is so super secret that, according to our waiter the one time I also was forced to go, it is closed off to all but those in the absolute-must-know. Right.). You can't alleviate the damage to your foodie conscience, but at least you can minimize the damage to your wallet.

                  1. b
                    bite bite Mar 1, 2007 09:46 AM

                    So ate there last night. Thanks for the suggestions/warnings/etc. Must say was not quite the trainwreck I feared (not that you want to pay $400 for "not-quite-a-trainwreck"). Atmosphere kind of 90s cheesy and definitely a lot of sharky, well-dressed types at the bar and a freaky cyborg chick with a leopard-spotted headband and some weird clip-on cell-phone permanently screwed onto her ear. The food was stricly middle of the road. The tapas plate appetizer was okay but that's it. The secret-recipe garlic crab was well cooked but the sauce was nothing special and nothing that's going to make me break into their hallowed "secret kitchen". I've had tastier just with lemon and butter. On the yummier side, did enjoy the meltingly buttery garlic noodles and the coconut cake for desert was nothing shocking but a nice refreshing finish after all the garlic.

                    Another small check in the plus column found the hostesses and wait staff friendly and attentive even tying the bib around one of my dinner companions when he got ahead of the game and started tearing into his crab pre-bib.

                    That said, no plans to return any time soon.

                    1. s
                      slacker Mar 1, 2007 10:14 AM

                      Good to hear they've learned some lessons about hosting.
                      That whole secret locked kitchen thing had been their draw-in gimmick since they opened. My understanding is the mother cooks the crab behind a completely shuttered and locked small kitchen, behind another locked door. Give me a break. You can get much better garlic crab at a fraction of the price in the SGV.

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