Help--Vietnamese-style Dungeness (This Far Out of Season?)
I have a friend who's in town from the East Coast for one more night who would like to try dungeness crab. I know, I know, that it is about as far out of season as you can get, and I'm not even sure if they fish it at this time of year up north. BUT, she has never had it, and not only is she returning to the East Coast tomorrow, there's a chance she'll be leaving the country in the not too distant future. So. This is it. The problem is, I've never looked for crab at this time of year, and I'm never really paying attention to whether or not it's around in the tanks.
So, my question is this: are there restaurants around, preferably good Vietnamese restaurants that serve the traditional roast crab and garlic noodles (but Chinese might be OK too), who actually have live, kicking crabs in the tank at this time of year from some far-off locale? I was thinking of La Vie or PPQ (we live in the Richmond), but, like I said, I have no idea if the crab would be live, which would a least give her a sense of the real thing, or frozen, which is unacceptable. (As a backup, we're thinking about Tadich, for a dose of old-school SF and cioppino, but I'm not sure, for her, that it will be as much fun.)
Thanks for your help!
I know that the crab tank at Lotus Garden is empty (or at least it was on my last visit two weeks or so ago), so no help there. Have you thought about driving by one of your choices to see if there are crabs in the tanks?
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Our standard is R&G Lounge in (near?) Chinatown. It specializes in Cantonese seafood, which means if they have it, it won't be frozen. Try their salt and pepper crab if they have it.