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Aug 9, 2007 09:28 AM

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!

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  1. 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?

    1. I noticed crab in the tanks at a Vietnamese place in Oakland this week, so it is possible. I agree with Susan that you should go by (or call) some places and check.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Thanks--I guess I wanted to see whether or not it was a possibility at all before I started driving around... (and if someone had seen them somewhere recently, so much the better.)

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I used to frequent Thann Long out on 46th & Judah. Vietnamese Roast Crab and Garlic Noodles to die for. That said, it's been quite a while since I've made it out there. They have a sister restaurant Crustations at California & Polk that has the same dishes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: trhirsh

            Thanh Long and Crustacean went downhill, but some recent reports suggest that they might be back on track, e.g.:


            They've got a third restaurant in LA and are opening a fourth in SF.

          2. 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.