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Alaskan King Crab

Anyone know where to King Crab legs? I love the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach, but don't love the drive.

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  1. I would love to know the same thing. I lived in Seattle in the early 80s for several years, and now I think I should have been eating them every day :-)

    Also, I think this is pretty closely related, does anyone know why they don't sell frozen anymore, only frozen-then-thawed, someone at Costco told me they thought it was because of a CA law? I can't buy the qty at Costco for myself it's too much too fast but I used to buy it frozen there.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MaryT

      When Costco has their Seacood Show I notice the king crab legs are frozen. Probably ones in the case have thawed out . I'm sure if you want frozen they'll get them right out of the freezer for you. Few months ago they were down as low as $9.99/pound, now I see they're $14.99/pound.

      1. re: monku

        As a lover of crab I've done some digging. Apparently the "fresh" king crab season is short to non-existent, so you're pretty much stuck with frozen/defrosted. The good news is the Pavillions ones can be quite tasty. I've never heard of a California law, I think it's more of an availability question.

        1. re: PinotPlease

          Unless you are "on the crab boat" and cooking the crab after you bring it on board or getting one out of the live tank at the end of the "Spit" in Homer all King Crab bought down here in the lower 48 is previously frozen.

        2. re: monku

          I used to be able to do that, but the last couple times I asked, and I am a huge Costco fan, they told me they are not to sell them frozen anymore.

          That was why I was wondering about that, I don't seem to see them frozen anymore anywhere. But I see lots of other seafood frozen.

        3. re: MaryT

          I've bought frozen at Albertsons, but you have to ask for them

        4. Have never been, but still dream about the mythical AYCE King Crab Legs.


          1. Similar in style to the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach is Clancy's Crab Shack in Glendale. It's pretty decent.


            You also can get them at Fish King, the fish market in Glendale.

            Fish King Seafood & Poultry Co
            722 N Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91206

            3 Replies
            1. re: DanaB

              I was at Clancey's years ago and it was a little scary. It had that weird Lysol Cleaner smell. The Rusty Pelican off the 134 fwy use to have a great special, but that place is long gone.

              1. re: bosanova99

                Yeah, I agree, Clancy's is a little scary -- it's very old school, sort of like a Damon's or a Billingsley's, and certainly not gourmet/upscale. The crowd, especially, can be a little odd. However, it's the closest thing to the Crab Cooker this side of the South Bay/O.C., and they do have decent crab, King and otherwise, which is why I recommended it.

                1. re: DanaB

                  that's off i have never found Clancy's to be scary. But I just started going there inteh past year maybe they improved. And the crab legs are a deal

            2. I like Neptune's Net in Malibu (near the county line of Ventura county). It's also a bit of a drive, but really good---and very down-to-earth (picnic tables). It's definitely about the food. But you can't beat eating awesome (and relatively cheap) crab legs while watching the surfers at County Line beach across the street.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Emily227


                there's also ocean ave seafood in santa monica.

                1. re: Emily227

                  Second Neptune's Net. My friend and I go every Sunday in the summer for king crab legs, corn on the cob and a beer. I love Los Angeles.


                  Quality Seafood
                  130 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA

                  1. Captain Jack's in Sunset Beach

                    Captain Jack's Seafood & Prime Rib
                    16812 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

                    1. 10th and M Seafood will ship - at reasonable market price. High quality - I use them for my wholesale fish. http://www.10thandmseafoods.com/

                      1. Can I ask where you live? The reason being is that some Chinese restaurants have live King Crab and they are awesome!

                        18 Replies
                        1. re: jkao1817

                          Many Chinese restaurants are skilled at aquaculture, raising their own fish and seafood in tanks. Never seen king crab in a tank, though, just the smaller varieties.

                          1. re: BobtheBigPig

                            All the Chinese seafood restaurants in Rowland heights area have live King Crabs when in season and available. In addition some also have Australian lobsters, spot prawns, Crystal Crabs just to name a few items.

                            1. re: jkao1817

                              Live king crab??? I don't think so, not in a restaurant. Have you ever seen the live king crab at the Aquarium of the Pacific? There is no restaurant that could have a big enough aquarium to keep live king crab... too funny

                              1. re: janetms383

                                King Crab: I've seen them when in season at Full House Seafood in Chinatown, they aren't cheap...$20-$30/lb cooked any way you want. Several other Chinese restaurants in SGV will have them when they're in season.
                                There at more places than you think.

                                1. re: monku

                                  Monk, I didn't believe it so I called Full House 213-617-8382. She almost laughed. "We sometimes have live Dungeness, but never live King Crab." King Crabs can weigh well over 20 lbs and while I believe the $30/lb estimate, you'd have to buy a whole crab at $600 plus?? They can't just break off a leg as needed! And, what are they going to stock? Just one crab?? I'm telling you, the aquarium alone would need to be the size of the restaurant.

                                  1. re: janetms383

                                    I don't know how long she's been there, but I've seen them there. One time I was there and they had this huge white spider looking crab and they quoted me a price of $30/lb and they said it was about 8 lbs...it was a crystal crab.

                                    One of many CH live king crab experiences in LA

                                    1. re: monku

                                      ok, so the post you reference is over 2 years old, however, if I can find a live King Crab, I would pay the price to experience it fresh, I will continue my search

                                      1. re: janetms383

                                        Why don't you call NBC Seafood in MP and ask them when the live king crab season is...it isn't the season now.

                                        Maybe you can find a more recent post

                                    2. re: janetms383

                                      janet, believe it. What you were told applies today. Nobody has them in August, it's out of season.

                                      The live king crabs are about 5 pounds, and they sell for about $25-30 per pound. During the winter, the better Cantonese seafood restaurants and supermarkets have brown and red kings in their live tanks.

                                      Here's some we had in Irvine's China Garden.

                                      1. re: Professor Salt

                                        OMG Prof S.... I guess I only think of King Crab in terms of the 6 foot wide 25 lb variety, but I would totally did having a 5 pounder!! Still an expensive dinner, but worth the experience. I checked out the menu for China Garden. When are the King Crabs in season? I want one and will start saving my $$

                                        1. re: janetms383

                                          See I was serious about my post :)

                                          Where do you live so we can recommend a place to get live King Crabs?

                                          1. re: jkao1817

                                            I was able to have Live King Crab at China Garden as well, here's some photos of the bad boys in the tank, and the entire dinner


                                            1. re: kingkong5

                                              Wow your dinner looks good. Love the mirugai.

                                    3. re: monku

                                      Live King Crab. That's amazing.

                                      That sucker is scary looking! Get him in the boiler now!

                                      Like Janet, the one's I've seen are the size of a VW.

                                      We can dream though...

                                      1. re: SecretAsianMan

                                        I'm guess I'm understanding that there is a difference between the Alaskan King Crab that is the size of a VW and the King Crab you can have cooked from live at chinese restaurants. The crabs at the restaurants are about 5 lbs. The Alaskan King Crabs I've seen in aquariums are over 20 lbs.
                                        Now, I got to see about getting some live steam crab... how much is "expensive"??

                                    4. re: janetms383

                                      They do. I had it this weekend. It was amazing. And yes, it was expensive.

                                2. re: jkao1817

                                  I live in Van Nuys, but don't mind a little bit of a drive, just not to Newport Beach

                                3. i just returned from 8 days in alaska (with 45 lbs of salmon and 30 lbs of halibut!!!). ordered king crab three times on the trip and was very disappointed with the size and quality. a couple of the servers told us that ALL king crab is frozen after harvest and then distributed, and that the larger crabs go out-of-state because we are willing to pay more in california, new york, etc., than the alaskans are willing to pay in their back yard.

                                  generally i have been disappointed in restaurant crab in the la area, though i did once get a great plate at gladstone's (please: don't hit me, it was many years ago). all this being said, we buy our crab at either costco or albertsons. have also tried ralph's fresh faire, but were disappointed. it is very easy to stick them in a preheated oven for a few minutes and then eat with drawn butter and good bread. try it!

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                    If that's true, then what kind of crab is it that's kept live in most of the Chinese seafood restaurants and supermarkets (in season, of course)? I've ordered them and they bring them to the table, alive, for my approval.

                                    1. re: Professor Salt

                                      first of all, please understand that i am not an expert, i am just repeating what i was told and utilizing my own observations. i did, however, just spend a few minutes on google and found a wealth of information. i am attaching a link which states that it is not uncommon for alaskan king crabs to grow to a width of 6-8 feet. i've been to a lot of restaurants and have never seen anything like this live. i have had them in restaurants and from costco and albertsons where a single leg will hang over the sides of a large (14-15") platter. this would make the complete crab roughly 3-4 feet in width, and i have never seen anything even that big live in a restaurant.

                                      maybe i just don't where to go. so if you point me in the right direction, i'll be there soon! in the meantime, all this talk of crab has gotten to me. so i'm off to the burbank costco!


                                      1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                        I mentioned the Seafood Show at Costco Los Feliz on Friday, I'm assuming its for the weekend. The size I mentioned "6/12" and some of the legs I saw could have been close to 3 feet long. Albertsons never has anything close to that size.

                                        According to this website Super Jumbo size is 6/9 (6-9 legs per 10 lbs.) is the largest. The mail order price they're quoting is about $20/lb. for 10 lbs.

                                      2. re: Professor Salt

                                        You're most likely getting Dungeness if you are getting live crab. Dungeness come into season in October/November when the pacific turns cold. Markets in Little Saigon have live Dungeness and sometimes you can get as low as $2.99/lb with a limit. Average crab is about 3 lbs.

                                        1. re: janetms383

                                          In some parts of California the season starts November 15th and December 1st for the rest of the state.
                                          Live dungeness crab are available year round, if they don't come from California they come from Oregon and Washington and sometimes Alaska.

                                    2. Seafood show at Costco Los Feliz this morning had some big crab legs. Size 6/12 (6-12 legs/10 pounds) $14.99/lb. They looked like they were semi-frozen.

                                      1. On the recommendation of chowhounds, we had a great king crab dinner at seafood harbor in rosemead area off the 10. Live from tank, served two ways (but any way you like), first i think with a ginger butter sauces over the steam legs and second deep fried hunks with hot peppers etc. It was pricey 300 or maybe more for the 8lb crab but this totally blew away any other king crab -- always frozen thawed -- i had had before...try it!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: jessejames

                                          I guess I should look into the fresh, since I can't find the frozen-defrosted in smaller quantities at a good price except at the sales at the retail grocer sales.

                                          What I would like is to find 1. fresh 2. frozen not frozen then thawed.
                                          Sorry I was not very clear.

                                          1. re: MaryT

                                            If you're looking for frozen, you can also get those at Costco. Not at the roadshow but in the frozen food section. They have boxes with the star cut king crab. Star cut is great, makes it so much easier to eat.

                                            1. re: MaryT

                                              Mary, Try Dungeness. A little more work than King Crab legs, but the meat is sweet and tender. You can buy them live and steam them yourself. Look for best deals in Little Saigon

                                              1. re: MaryT

                                                Live King Crabs when in season can be had at 99 Ranch markets. I actually saw one there (Rowland Heights) a week ago.

                                                The frozen variety can be had at Costco and other seafood places and even stores like Albertson's. But just a warning....the ones at the grocery stores tend to be really salty and not as sweet as say Costco.

                                                Personally I would rather eat Live King Crab over any other types of crab (including dungeness, blues, and even Hairy crabs).

                                              1. re: bosanova99

                                                I've seen King Crab at Full House when in season and plenty of King Crab in San Gabriel restaurants. It's pretty common in Chinese restaurants.

                                              2. When it comes to King Crab, I say forget the restaurants and go to the markets. The best I've had is Santa Monica Seafood. They'll crack it for you to take home . King Crab is better cold than warm if you really love the flavor.

                                                1. I think if I could only eat one item for the rest of my life it would be king crab legs :0)

                                                  A butter-poached king crab dish that I had with the chef's tasting menu at Providence in March of 2007 was the single best thing I've ever had in my life. On my second visit to Providence I asked for the same dish but they could only do shrimp prepared the same way. It was good but not as good as the crab.

                                                  I used to get my king crab legs from the Fish Co. off Main Street in the Santa Monica / Venice area. Sometimes thery are sublime, sometimes they are off. The last time I had them there (last March) they were off (their lobster special on M and Tues is much more consistently good.) So I bought some jumbo-sized king crab legs from Vons when they were on sale (this was last April or so) and steamed them myself: turns out that, except for that Providence dish, these were the best I had had in as long as I could remember!

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: chowmominLA

                                                    Second the Vons tip when they are in season and advertised in their weekly. As an aside.. Watch Deadliest Catch on TV...

                                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                                      Third. I always keep an eye out for the weekly specials at Ralph's and Vons for their king crab legs. Occasionally they will have the colossal (6-9 size) for $9.99/lb.

                                                      1. re: MeowMixx

                                                        What was even more amazing is that the guy behind the fish counter got confused, I think.... He sold me the colossol legs at the regular-size sale price ($8.99/lb.) I think they were supposed to be more like $14.99 per pound. So of course I bought 10 lbs of colossol legs, went home and ate crab until I felt ill. karma is a bitch.

                                                        1. re: chowmominLA

                                                          lol. Great story. FYI - Ralph's is selling the colossal king crab legs for $12.99 from 8/13 - 8/19

                                                    2. re: chowmominLA

                                                      This has been really helpful. Except I need to look again more closely at Costco for the star cut king crab, because I have not seen it. (When I've asked at Costco a couple times, they told me they only sell them thawed now, something about a CA law?) I thought I was a pretty thorough Costco shopper, is it possible it is dependent on which Costco?

                                                      I too love king crab better than other crabs and lobster and scallops, but the suggestion re the dungeness is good. And I totally know what you mean when they are "off" vs "sublime". That live restaurant option sounds wonderful, but a few visits at $300 a pop would start affecting my retirement account :-)

                                                      1. re: MaryT

                                                        It is in the freezer section. Was there the other day in the San Dimas location.

                                                        As a side note. The live Kings crabs are usually $20/lb and can feed a bunch of people, especially at Chinese restaurants since you will order other stuff.

                                                        1. re: jkao1817

                                                          I'm unfortunately not only an empty nester but moved here from the OC about 5 years ago and I confess I don't have any friends or family in the west at all, everyone I know has moved either down toward SD county or out of state, e,g, I have loads of friends in CO but pretty much none here! This is the reason for my request. I will look again at the Costco in Azusa. Don't mean to sound pathetic just reality!

                                                          1. re: MaryT

                                                            Every so ofthern a bunch of chowhounds get together to have dinner at the next best place. Sounds perfect for empty-nesters.

                                                            BTW the San Dimas location is pretty close to the one in Irwindale (Azusa) location. It is on Lone Hill...

                                                    3. At this very moment, I'm heating up some legs I bought at Pavilions for 14.99/lb. They smell delicious.

                                                      Okay...now eating them. How amazing they are!!

                                                      I highly recommend buying them and cooking them yourselves.

                                                      We wrapped the legs in wet paper towels and microwaved them for 4 minutes (about 11/2 lbs worth). They came out warm, not hot (better tasting that way...)

                                                      That's it! Save yourself a bundle!

                                                      Butter and lemon juice on the side accentuates the sweet.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: SecretAsianMan

                                                        The ones at Costco are better IMHO.....

                                                        BUT NOTHING BEATS THE LIVE KIND!!!!!!!!

                                                      2. Anyone have problems with salty legs? No, this is a food question, so get your mind out of. . . oh well. I've been buying the crab legs from Ralph's and Von's, and find that some of them are incredibly salty, from when they are cooked at the source. One of the time I bought them, the crab was in two-pound bags, and the label said the crabs were caught wild in Russia and packaged in China, and had a huge sodium amount listed in the nutrition info- - -my guests complained that the crab was so salty they could hardly eat it. Sometimes the ones I buy in bulk from the fish counter have little salt.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Outerspace

                                                          I wouldn't waste the time or money on what you're purchasing.
                                                          A friend used to get them fresh off the plane from Alaska for me and I've never found anything quite like them anywhere.