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whos been to both boiling crab AND crabulous?

modernist Nov 8, 2007 12:12 PM

any thoughts?
crabulous takes reservations and one friend said it was better, but i'd like to hear other opinions. i think im gonna take my first plunge this weekend

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    peach48 RE: modernist Nov 9, 2007 05:54 PM

    I've been to both. Well the Boiling Crab in Westminster at least. I thought the spices and meat were juicier at Boiling Crab. The corn (if you cared) also tasted a lot fresher. However, Crabulous has NO WAIT, even on a Friday night! And their shrimp was pretty damn good.

    But if I were to choose, I'd go with Boiling Crab. Definitely.

    1. o
      omakase RE: modernist Nov 9, 2007 06:46 PM

      I love crab, but I've never heard of either of these restaurants. I live in the San Fernando Valley. The closest place I know of that features crab is Clancy's in Glendale. Where are these two places located. Please tell.

      3 Replies
      1. re: omakase
        Cicely RE: omakase Nov 9, 2007 07:24 PM

        they're both Cajun-style "seafood boil" restaurants. Run by Vietnamese (from the Louisiana area), which is why they started out in Little Saigon and expanded to SGV, but the food isn't fusion at all. You pick some shellfish (Dungeness/king crab, shrimp, crawfish etc) and spices and they boil it all in a bag together. Sausage and corn on the cob optional but recommended. Bib and many napkins (or just a roll of paper towels) recommended (you eat with your hands). Cold beer recommended. Hot lemon-scented bath or shower afterwards recommended. Romantic first date not recommended. Experience and food (though I can only speak for Alhambra's Boiling Crab) definitely recommended.

        http://www.theboilingcrab.com/
        http://www.crabulousrestaurant.com/

        1. re: Cicely
          o
          omakase RE: Cicely Nov 9, 2007 08:54 PM

          Thank you Cicely. Nice description. I'll try both places, but first The Boiling Crab. Sounds and looks awesome.

          1. re: omakase
            Hershey Bomar RE: omakase Nov 27, 2007 09:50 PM

            Run don't walk!

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        gsw RE: modernist Nov 10, 2007 06:42 PM

        Well, the reviews in this thread and the other one on this board were so intriguing that we got in the car and headed for Westminster and the Boiling Crab! Wow.

        We went to the place on Euclid, the original, and got there around 3 or 4 p.m. There were only 2 or 3 tables occupied, so we had no trouble getting in.

        The server was really helpful, told us how it all worked, and checked on us regularly. We asked what was fresh, and the prices, and he gave us honest, good info to help us make our choices.

        Crawfish are out of season now, but he said they had live ones in - I assume they were the Chinese ones someone on line had mentioned they serve while gulf ones are out of season. I don't know how to eat crawfish, and didn't want to learn on inferior ones. Although maybe my choice was a mistake - the guy at the table behind us mowed through a huge bag of crawfish, and looked extremely happy doing it.

        So we ordered shrimp, and after going back and forth about what kind of crab to get, we got a dungeness. For sides we each ordered corn, a basket of fries, and an order of sausages. We also had a dozen raw oysters.

        The oysters were good, fresh, meaty. I prefer Northwest oysters' flavor to gulf oysters, but these were like I remember getting in the past at The Pearl in NO, and they were good. They were served with a cocktail sauce that had a lot of heat, and - interestingly - wedges of lime, not lemon.

        The servers dumped a huge pile of lime wedges on our paper-covered table when they brought the oysters. The choice of lime over lemon was unusual for me, but it worked well with all the food, and it was nice to have them to wash my fingers when the meal was done.

        We got our seasonings "mild" after reading the posts here. I think it was the right choice. There was enough heat in the sausages and the cocktail sauce, plus a bottle of tabasco on the table. We got the shrimp in Cajun seasonings and the crab in Lemon Pepper.

        The shrimp were awesome! Huge - these must have been 18 ct. shrimp! They came with the heads on. We dug right in. So delicious, with a squeeze of lime!

        The corn was overcooked to my taste, but it was similar to what I've had in other Southern food joints, so it met my expectations. It was tasty, though, and comforting to sooth the heat.

        Can I just say the french fries were AWESOME!!!!! So crispy! delicious. We got them without the hot spicey seasoning, and they were a real treat! When I asked, the server brought a cup of tartar sauce, and it was perfect with the fries.

        The crab came, and it was impressive. We pulled off the legs and ate out the meat. It was clearly a fresh crab - the shell was not mushy. The meat was sweet. When it came time to eat the body, we were a little nonplussed because the crab hadn't been cleaned and I don't think I have ever had to take the shell off a crab. We asked the server to show us how, and she talked me through it - I think she was reluctant to get her hands in there and mine were already spicey and greasy - but when I was too tentative with the final step, she reached in and pulled off the top shell. The body meat was just as good as the legs and claws.

        With a couple of cold beers, this was heaven. It was really so much fun and so delicious. We had no problem getting a seat, and the servers were really great. The music was loudish and it was definitely a young person's choice (Britney Spears' "Gimme More" - barf!) but it wasn't too obnoxious.

        We'll go again. I'd like to try other branches and also try Crabulous, but this was a real winner!

        3 Replies
        1. re: gsw
          Cicely RE: gsw Nov 16, 2007 07:24 PM

          glad you enjoyed... it's probably just as well you didn't get the crawfish... not that I think they're bad or anything, just... confusing. We got some and had no idea how to eat them. Shrimp are familiar, Dungeness really good, king crab the most expensive but also the easiest to access.

          1. re: Cicely
            d
            Diana RE: Cicely Nov 16, 2007 07:51 PM

            You bite tail and suck head/ Sorta twist, pull apart, squeeze the tail and bite out the meat, then suck the goo outta the head.. YUM!

          2. re: gsw
            bigtums RE: gsw Nov 16, 2007 08:33 PM

            I say get the crab legs next time. So good! Plus it sounds like it's much easier to eat. I go to the Boiling Crab in Alhambra once a week, if not every other. Mr. Tums and I try to take a new friend each time to get them hooked. So between three people we usually get 2 orders of crab legs, 1-2 orders of shrimp, 1 order of crawfish, the catfish and fried shrimp which come with fries. Oh yeah and a few corn.

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            rameniac RE: modernist Nov 16, 2007 09:29 PM

            i've been to both. after the occasional trek to the OC for boiling crab (and crawfish house), i started going to crabulous when they first opened in the SGV as it was much closer. it was good stuff, the sauce is a little mellower than BC and they have pretty a unique cajun rice (which BC lacks), as well as clams that you can throw in the mix. BC does have king crab legs, which i never noticed on crabulous' menu in the past, which may or may not mean they don't serve it.

            but then crabulous either underwent a change in ownership or had some sort of problems, as started to get sloppy (closing at random times, running out of things, etc). around the same time, boiling crab was preparing to open, so i just started going there instead. BC is much closer for me anyway. i haven't been back to crabulous since.

            however, if crabulous has gotten their act together, i'd be more than willing to go back. it's like coke and pepsi, sure they're not entirely the same, but both are fine. sometimes you want a coke. sometimes you want a pepsi to change things up.

            1. notmartha RE: modernist Nov 27, 2007 07:08 AM

              Went to Crabulous a while back before all the negative reports started showing, and just went to Boiling Crab at Alhambra this past weekend.

              Impression is that while both are tasty, Boiling Crab seems to have more robust flavors.

              We ordered medium all-whole-shebang. Boiling Crab has noticeably more garlic and more buttery flavor in the sauce. Crabulous' medium is a lot spicier than Boiling Crab's.

              Boiling Crab's fries were better (we ordered no spice - just plain), and they have hot wings (didn't sample, but looked good). Dungeness crabs were good at both, but Crabulous' king crab legs seems a tad fresher.

              1. Will Owen RE: modernist Nov 27, 2007 11:08 AM

                The BC website is cute, the SGV location is really close, and the food looks really good...but a menu without prices is no menu at all! So what can someone tell me about that part?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen
                  notmartha RE: Will Owen Nov 27, 2007 11:32 AM

                  Like most fresh seafood, the price changes.

                  When we went I think the dungeness crab was $12.99 a pound, and the king crab was like $14.99 a pound.

                  We had a ~2.5 lb of dungeness, 1.5 lbs king crab, 1 fries. Total was $70 or so without tip.

                  Seems to remember Crabulous being a tad cheaper, but I think the crabs didn't weight so much and we got some crawfish ($6/pound or so).

                  1. re: Will Owen
                    bigtums RE: Will Owen Nov 27, 2007 12:18 PM

                    I went to BC about a week ago and they didn't have any fresh crawfish so they were selling some frozen ones for 5.99/pound. They are very upfront about it. Corn is .50 cents each and the 6 pieces of sausage are $1.25. I recommend the shrimp, and the shrimp is the only thing there you can get in half pound increments. Beer is pretty cheap I think like $3 a cup. I love BC, but I'm planning on visiting Crabulous this weekend to check it out and compare.

                    1. re: Will Owen
                      g
                      get ur grub on RE: Will Owen Nov 27, 2007 12:47 PM

                      I had called BC to see if we could bring our own bread or rice, and they said it would be fine. So when my family and I go to BC, we stop by Lee's Sandwich for a few (more like 6, it's BOGO so we're only paying for 3) baguettes to accompany our meal. The bread is good to soak up the sauce. We like getting the whole-shebang. We've even brought rice balls (onigiri) once. The carbs really help to cut down the heat. They've run out of potatoes on three of my visits, so bringing in my own carbs is the way to go for us.

                      1. re: get ur grub on
                        r
                        rameniac RE: get ur grub on Nov 27, 2007 01:04 PM

                        ooh, i'ma have to try that. the baguettes, not the onigiri lol...

                        1. re: get ur grub on
                          notmartha RE: get ur grub on Nov 27, 2007 02:33 PM

                          I use the plain fries to soak up the juice, but that's one advantage Crabulous has - they served rice.

                      2. n
                        ns1 RE: modernist Nov 27, 2007 02:56 PM

                        Any tips for going to BC w/o or before the crowd? I swear it's the new hip in thing for asians =X

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ns1
                          notmartha RE: ns1 Nov 27, 2007 07:10 PM

                          Even 6PM is too late at BC. We ended up waiting about an hour. Noticed though a lot of cars pulled out from the tiny parking lot behind the restaurant (Alhambra branch) around 7PM, so guessing that anytime before 5PM is probably safe. They are open at 3PM, so you can either go for a late lunch or early dinner.

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