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The Boiling Crab in Alhambra

I just received a message saying they opened YESTERDAY!!! July 8th! Please, did anyone go for the grand opening??

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  1. i dunno but i'm going today to find out

    2 Replies
      1. re: fishybear10

        Yippee!! Thanks for finding out for us.

    1. Please tell me more...I'm intrigued.

      Where is the Alhambra location? Do they serve beer/wine? How much is it?

      1 Reply
      1. re: socal

        Nuts, and I'm leaving down this week!


        Boiling Crab
        742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

      2. alrighty!!! i went, i ate, i saw!!!!!!! i went monday, the day after they opened, and i got there around 6:30-ish with 5ppl. by 7:30pm, it was packed! there was a 30min wait!!!!!! GEEZ!!! quality is just like the garden grove location, they had already run out of potatoes!!!!!!! it was great!!!!! see you all there! i need to invest in one of those metal bars to wash away the fish smell off of my hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        5 Replies
        1. re: caitybirdie

          Any piece of stainless steel does the trick. Smuggle a spoon or something to the rest room. Really, the most important thing with crab boils is to make sure not to where a white shirt.

          Whole Shebang, here I come!

          1. re: SauceSupreme

            i made sure to wear a grey crappy shirt. it was a great experience.......

            1. re: SauceSupreme

              que? what's this about stainless steel hand cleansing? i needs to know... this is the only thing standing between me, boiling crab, and eating el taurino tacos more often.

              1. re: rameniac

                Supposedly, if you rub your hands under running water with a soap-shaped bar of stainless steel - or sometimes, any bit of stainless steel - it eradicates the smell of garlic, onions, etc. Harold McGee has pretty much disproven the theory, though - the entire point of stainless is to be nonreactive, and the water essentially does all of the work. I'm a bigger fan of the lemon/warm-water approach, which also has no scientific basis, but at least leaves your fingers smelling nice.

                1. re: condiment

                  Or you could use a spoon from your utensils drawer. Still seems to work, to me.

          2. We checked out boiling crab Friday evening also. I must say we were very impressed! My only experience with crawfish has been with Crabulous in Rosemead never haven eaten at any of the many other places in OC.

            First thing, the wait staff was awesome. They had a sufficient number of people on the floor and everyone was very nice, friendly and helpful. The only complaint I have is that they don't offer any type of rice (except with the gumbo) or bread. The only 'carbs' they offer are potatoes or fries. That was a disappointment for my in-laws. My MIL jokingly asked if she could bring her own rice next time and the waiter replied in the affirmative. Draft beers are only $2.00 and everything was delicious!! We will be back often although I recommend going early as there was a wait by the time we left at 7:30pm

            8 Replies
            1. re: mikeyas

              So what did you order and what spice combination did you get? Did you try the sausages or the corn or anything?

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                We got 3lbs crawfish with 'the whole shebang-non-spicey', 3 lbs crawfish 'the whole shebang- medium', the crab was garlic butter, and the shrimp was 'the whole shebang - mild'.

                Everything was seasoned perfectly. The only basis of comparison I have is Crabulous. I can say that the non-spicey really was non-spicey. At Crabulous, my husband who can't tolerate anything even remotely spicey, still got numb lips from the non-spicey. The medium was actually more spicey than at Crabulous but not intolerable. The garlic butter on the crab was heavenly. We decided that next time we go back, we're each getting our own crab instead of sharing.

                Now that I think about it though, I don't think we actually got any corn with our crawfish. I don't know if they had run out of it or what, but I didn't notice although I should have. The sausage was there and was the same as at Crabulous, I believe. We ordered extra just because it was so good. I am going to have to go back soon and find out what happened to the corn!

                1. re: mikeyas

                  I will be there on Friday. I am glad to hear that their non-spicey is really non-spicey as my Dad can't eat anything spicey. I am laughing at their oyster warning on the website.

                  1. re: mikeyas

                    Did you have the dungeoness crab or the blue crabs? sounds so yummy...

                    1. re: vbabe

                      When I went to the Brookhurst location, they called them blue crabs, but they were definitely dungeness.

                      1. re: SauceSupreme

                        They had both blue crabs and dungeness crabs on their menu but not being too familar with blue crabs, my party opted for the dungeness.

                        1. re: mikeyas

                          blue crabs hardly have any meat and in my opinion not worth the time to get what little meat the blue crab had to offer. Always get the dungeness crab where it's more meatier.

                          1. re: fishybear10

                            I remember havng blue crabs in Maryland, and the meat was a lot sweeter and more delicate than dungeness. But I can understand that it's more of a pain to eat :)

              2. I was there last week, they were out of the blue crabs, dungenous crabs, and potatoes! yikes. We got the king crab legs, shrimp, and crawfish, all with the whole sh'bang. Also got corn, plus a slice of sausage fell into one of our bags, which was a nice accident because it was delicious, next time I'll get some of that sausage too.
                We also got some fries--wow! those were some of the best fries I've ever had. Those fries were actually more memorable to me than the seafood, although everything was excellent. Plus the staff was very friendly. Can't wait to go back.

                1. Tried this place several weeks ago. This restaurant is small and the servers were inexperienced. More importantly, the food is simply awful. There are many places in the Midwest, Southwest and the South that are authentic and a lot better.

                  Why would anyone go to Alhambra (predominately an Asian community) to have psuedo cajun food? You are much better off going next door to Noodle World.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: keithlca

                    What made the food awful? What makes you say it's pseudo Cajun? Where do you like that's better in terms of Cajun food?

                    1. re: SauceSupreme

                      The "hot wings" were not your typical hot wings or cajun. It tasted more like fried hot wings with five-spice powder. I like my red bugs (crawfish) with lots of heat, and spices (garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, hot sauce...).

                      Aw Shucks in Dallas -- Just massive amount of food and get dress to get dirty. Razzoo's is also not bad. In New Orleans, you can go to Mulate's or Cajun Cabin. Of course, you should also stop by Delmonico's.

                      1. re: keithlca

                        Swell, but in the LA area, where would you go?

                        1. re: mc michael

                          Don't know any good ones in L.A. I hope someone opens an "Aw Shucks" in L.A. It should be a big success. It would also be fun to have a cajun joint with Dick's Last Resort's atmosphere.

                        2. re: keithlca

                          So are you saying that the Boiling Crab in Alhambra was devoid of garlic, onion, cayenne pepper and hot sauce? I take it you didn't order "the whole shebang" then...

                      2. re: keithlca

                        so did you try the crawdads or only the hot wings? it isn't clear in your post.

                        1. re: keithlca

                          the vietnamese community is huge in the new orleans/houston area. that they've co-opted a cajun/creole food form and brought something even remotely close to it to southern california, where it had never before existed, is a fact that i appreciate, regardless of whether it's "authentic" or not.

                          "There are many places in the Midwest, Southwest and the South that are authentic and a lot better."

                          yeah but that'd be a bit of a drive, even on a friday night.

                          by the way, you would most definitely not be better off going to Noodle World. that'd be like living in new orleans and going out for, i don't know, beignets made of rubber tires. just because it's asian food made by asian people don't necessarily make it good lol...

                          1. re: rameniac

                            You're right, rameniac! I have to agree with you on Noodle World...Oops!

                          2. re: keithlca

                            My understanding is the owners are Vietnamese people who come from the fishing industry in the Texas/Louisiana Gulf coast, and the restaurants are typical of the ones they knew in that area. Interesting second-generation mingling of cuisines that seems worth a try.

                            While I imagine there are great places - the original versions of this - in the Gulf Coast area, I would be surprised to hear of great crab joints in the Midwest and Southwest (New Mexico and Arizona?).

                            I haven't tried Boiling Crab yet but I plan to.

                          3. Sounds delicious! How are the prices?

                            1. BOILING CRAB OVERPRICED.

                              I would be careful what you order in this place and make sure that the prices are what it states on the menu. If you are unsure make sure that the waitress gives you the answer you want to hear, particularly on the price of the Dungeness Crab. Overall the place
                              is really overpriced. I mean how hard is it to throw a bunch of garlic, chili, onions and mix it with seafood and boil it. This ain't French cooking but they charge Michelin prices. Beer is affordable. Food is authentic. I've been to New Orleans numerous times. The prices however in New Orleans are much more reasonable. If I could recommend one thing to the restaraunt owners. Please change the music. Hearing 50 cents blast away doesn't really help my appetite.

                              WHAT TO ORDER.

                              I would not order too much crawfish. The meat is little and you are paying for mostly shell. Go with the shrimp if possible. Order mild. It is still spicy but won't burn a hole through your stomach. The whole shebang is what you should probably order, just to get a sampling of everything. The Gumbo is pricy. If you do order it, order it with the rice. It has better texture and tastes better. The Corn is also done very well. I would recommend ordering a number of these. It's cheaper on your pocketbook and filling.
                              The Dungeness crab...just be aware of the pricing. They are rather shady at most and
                              very unclear at the least.


                              The service is poor. Make sure you obtain adequate no. of towel rolls. You'll need them because it is messy. The waitresses are overwhelmed both from too many patrons and lack of experience, so make sure you get extras of everything...water, towels, utensils etc. If you want refills on your drinks, you'll have to be persistent. Perhaps request a pitcher of water at your table. The food is spicy.

                              COME EARLY

                              It gets crowded very quickly, so get there as soon as possible. Most of the patrons
                              are young and Asian. Restaraunt was founded by ex-Katrina Vietnamese New Orleans residents. Tough to bring kids. Occasionally the restaraunt lapses into loud Club music,
                              or some type of rap routine, enough to bloody your eardrum. Bring some earplugs.
                              The food is very spicy so I don't know how the kids would take it.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: spongiform

                                i agree about turning down the gangsta rap, but hey, it's what them youfs like, and that's pretty much their clientele lol..

                                as for overpriced? BC seems like a deal to me. although i wouldn't typically order the dungeness (i'm guessing it's listed at "market price" or something). i'd stick to blue crab (if they have it) and crawfish. those suckers are small and a lot of work but the meat has a completely different flavor from shrimp, which is the main selling point. it's a matter of taste, i'd say, either you like crawfish or you don't. but if i wanted just shrimp, i'd probably go to killer shrimp or elsewhere.

                                1. re: rameniac

                                  It seems like the crawdads are out of season now. About a month ago, I ordered the crawfish and the meat in those suckers was close to nil. This past Spring, those mudbugs were succulent.

                                  1. re: rameniac


                                    I agree with you in thinking BC crab is a great deal. I took some friends to the Euclid one in OC and they absolutely loved it! They were in shock how cheap it was in comparison to King's Fish. They said the prices were half of what they are used to paying for Crab and Oysters. I always get a dozen of oysters just for myself.. at $14 .. come on! And the flavor.. to die for. I don't really understand why people would say it's over priced.. it is indeed Seafood...

                                  2. re: spongiform

                                    Sounds like this is not the place for you. I had an entirely different experience there.

                                    Overpriced: I disagree. It came out to $15pp for us, which included the King Crab legs and beer. We were very satisfied. Also, the menu clearly states that it's Market Price for most of the seafood, which completely makes sense. They were very clear about prices.

                                    What to Order: I think we all know what crawfish is, and if that's not your thing in terms of price/value, then that's probably not what you'd want to order. I have a pretty low tolerance for spicy, and I didn't think any of it was too spicy, not anywhere near. Obviously a very individualized tastebud thing.

                                    Service: Very friendly and helpful. We had to ask for a couple of things, but they brought them right out, no big deal.

                                    As to the rest: They market to the young Asian crowd, have you seen their website? So I guess their marketing strategy is working. The music is a bit loud for me too, but again, they have a targeted clientele.
                                    When I was there, there were several kids in the restaurant, including a young one at my table. Uh, all you do is order non-spicy items for them. The darling at my table thought the music was too loud, but then again, the restaurant is not aimed at four year-olds.

                                    1. re: spongiform

                                      We must second this, Spongi.

                                      My son and I ate there for the first time this week, quite excited because we haven't been back to New Orleans in a few years. The crawfish were pretty good -- ("Not as good as New Orleans" said my kid) -- but pretty pricey at $8.99/pound.

                                      They oysters were typical California oysters: Big, rather bland and creamy. We just got back from Seattle, so we are a little spoiled by the small, salty ones local to the Puget Sound.

                                      Sadly, the biggest disappointment was the Dungeness crab. We are regular fresh crab eaters. We pick them up at Shun Fat or 99 Ranch alive and boil 'em up at home. Simple and divine.

                                      So we were quite taken aback to be charged $20 for a boiled FROZEN crab. Clearly prefrozen. The meat was grainy and fell apart. We know our fresh crab because we never eat it unless it's tried to take my finger off first! I am still pissed off about the crab. I'll never order it here again, not when I can just eat a humongous crab at home for $6!

                                      Still, we'll probably go back on occasion. The beer is cheap and the shrimp looked good. The gangsta rap was tres obnoxious, but I'm hoping enough people will complain and they'll fix this. Our service was a bit slow, but it got busy fast. Do go early. We had the place to ourselves at 5:30 and by 6 p.m. it was full.

                                      1. re: Reeter1

                                        Thanks Reeter. It appears that much of the audience isn't as well-travelled
                                        and got swallowed up by all the hype. It's a decent restaraunt, but hardly the seafood mecca people are bragging about.

                                        1. re: Reeter1

                                          Crawfish are out of season, Dungeness are out of season, prices reflect those facts.
                                          You can get fresh Louisiana net caught shrimp, Olympic oysters....and pay for the airfreight to SoCal on your check.

                                          1. re: jimtak

                                            Just out of curiosity, when is crawfish in season?

                                      2. If waiting for a table and the crowds get you down, I would highly recommend getting takeout from Boiling Crab. They pack everything up pretty nicely, and if you have an outdoor patio table within a few minutes drive from one of their shops, it's an ideal setup. We had the blue crabs (they were out of dungeness), shrimp with corn and sausage, fries, and a couple dozen oysters. We got enough to feed 8 and more (there were plenty of leftovers). Because there were a few in the group who can't handle the spice, we got our order with no spice (below mild level), and it was still pretty red and flavorful. I was also surprised with the oysters. Pretty flavorful for being early in the oyster season. These oysters were more flavorful than the Quilcenes I had at Quality Seafood at the Redondo Beach Pier. My friends are regulars at BC and I wouldn't be surprised if their photos appear on the website. And their recommendation to me is to not go beyond mild spicy (you can't taste the seafood if you go beyond that), and get some bread from one of the Vietnamese baguette bakeries (if you're in the OC location), so you can dip it into the spicy seafood broth. It's better than dessert.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: E Eto

                                          Across the street and within walking distance from the Alhambra location is Banh Mi Che Cali, a Vietnamese sandwiches, deserts (and many other wonderful things) where baguettes can be picked up also.

                                          1. re: mikeyas

                                            My wife and I really like going to Boiling Crab. It's a lot of fun and the food is good. Service isn't very attentive, but the people in Alhambra were very friendly.

                                            I agree about Banh Mi Che Cali. Some of that "whole she-bang" sauce would go good on a baguette. Or some Che for dessert to cut the spice of the crawfish/shrimp.

                                          2. re: E Eto

                                            great idea with the bread idea from a local vietnamese-french bakery.

                                            1. re: E Eto

                                              Do they mind if you bring in bread?

                                            2. I've tried to find this information everywhere and I'm having no luck. I don't even know if I'm asking this in the right section.

                                              Does anyone know what's in their original cajun rub? I know there's butter in there, but I can't figure out the rest. I've seen recipes for crab boils, but that doesn't sound like the same spices. My brother wants to try to attempt to recreate this delicious food at home.

                                              1. My father is a diabetic and when he takes his medicine, he has to eat within the hour or else he gets a mean temper. So as a result, I always call ahead of time to check what the wait time is. When I called, the hostess told me 20 to 30 minutes. So naturally, I add +/- 15 minutes to see if thats where we should go there for food. When we get there, I made sure my dad had some food to hold him over at the bar. During this time (its about 7pm at this point) the host tells everyone that they're out of dungeonese and blue crab. First sign that the night is going to be miserable. Then after 30 minutes, I ask the hostess how long the wait is going to be and she tells me 10 more minutes. By looking at the number of people there, its obvious that shes just blatantly lying to me by this point, but I figured it'll be another 30 minutes at most and it would be quicker just to eat here than to go somewhere else.

                                                An hour later, (1.5 hour total wait) we finally got seated. The wait staff was rude the entire time and the food was just passable and they got our orders wrong. I was about to send the food back but we had waited 20 minutes already to get our food and its apparent by now that the staff doesn't give a crap about their customers. I desperately wanted to like the place when we got there because I love crab but there was no crab and the king crab, crawfish were just soso. My advice is to just go to the supermarket, dump some creole seasoning in a bag with the shellfish and boil it for 15 minutes. That experience will be much better.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: justincredible

                                                  Went this afternoon. Got the Ragin Cajun spice version with 2 pounds of Crawfish, and the Gumbo with rice.

                                                  Total came to $25. I loved every bit of it!! Just awesome. Lots of bugs, the Gumbo rocks, seriously.


                                                2. I'm new to this board, we are dying for real blue crabs, did anyone actully eat blue crabs at the boiling crab? Did they cook them with Old Bay?? We live pretty far, but I'd go if they have um!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: cindybkorn

                                                    Old Bay? I would imagine they use some kind of spicy crab boil.

                                                    1. re: cindybkorn

                                                      Always call ahead to see if they have blue crabs and they still might run out. They are cooked in BC's own spices but as close as Old Bay Crabs as we will get over here.

                                                      The crabs are not great if you've recently had the real thing but if it's been a while then they are superb.