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Seafood/Shellfish Restaurant for Mom's 70th Birthday - will drive almost anywhere in So Cal for her favorite food.

Hi everyone!
I've found so many great recommendations from all of you for past events that I've had and now I'm stumped. Can any of you recommend a GREAT seafood/shellfish restaurant somewhere here in SoCal? My mother is celebrating her 70th birthday and she loves fresh seafood/shellfish. If you could place a bucket of shellfish in front of her she would be in heaven! So, please help me to surprise her on her birthday (3/21/09) and make her brithday wish come true.
Thanks ahead of time!

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  1. The Boiling Crab is really good. It's really hard to find a place that has bucket's of shellfish like you were in Seattle or Portland. But I did see the commercial for Joe's Crab Shack and they have these new Steampots. Looks pretty good.

    Boiling Crab
    742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

    Boiling Crab
    13892 Brookhurst St, Garden Grove, CA 92843

    Joe's Crab Shack
    2607 W Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jaytizzle

      Thanks for the suggestions - will look into it...

    2. Plateau de fruits de mer at Anisette (not Comme Ca) or Hungry Cat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Porthos

        Thanks Porthos - will look into it...

      2. it's fancier than a bucket kind of place, but water grill has an extensive seafood selection. personally, i find the decor cruise shippy, but i think it would appeal to a 70 year old woman. the waiters all dress very old fashioned, too.downtown los angeles.

        1 Reply
        1. I would say Hungry Cat. They have one of the biggest shellfish/seafood selection overall and the ambiance is nice but not too pretentious. Boiling crab is good but its too down and dirty especially for a 70th bday.
          Another option is Water Grill but their not as extensive as Hungry Cat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sumo3175

            Thanks sumo3175 - will look into all the recommendations you CH's have made!

          2. if ambiance does not matter.....head out to quality seafood on the redondo pier. heck, any of the joints on the redondo pier will work for that matter.

            3 Replies
            1. re: wilafur

              I was thinking Quality Seafood too! My only hesitation was that a 70-yo may find the concrete seats & tables uncomfortable. However, for freshness and quality, I think QS is the location to beat of all the places mentioned on this thread.

              Quality Seafood
              130 International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA

              1. re: OCAnn

                hehe, i took my grandma there (she was 85yo at the time) and she loved it! =)

                1. re: wilafur

                  Hey, I thought 50 was the new 40, etc. 70 is hardly ancient anymore, unless there are major health issues. Cher, Goldie and Bette are all in their 60's and I would be happy to squire them anyplace they wanted to go. I say go for the MOST fun you can have. I took my 80 year old neighbor to the closing of the drag show at the Boom in Laguna (prior to dinner at French 75) and her only comment was "Thank God I didn't know you when I was younger or there would have been trouble!!!"

            2. There are a couple options I'm familiar with in the Coastal OC area. First would be The Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. Small, and crowded, but reminiscent of a 1930's cafeteria. Don't go for a quiet evening, they bustle here. But she might enjoy the atmosphere. Parking can be difficult. Best clam chowder in So Cal, and prices are more than reasonable. http://crabcooker.com/

              Second would be Market Broiler in Huntington Beach. Nice, open dining area, plenty of parking. I would say this is "mid-scale" in price. Have amazing fish choices and a daily menu of their freshest fish and chef's recommendations. Can have your fish prepared a variety of ways, just let the waitress know (options are in the menu), however if you don't specify, be prepared for a lot of paprika.... on everything. Also have "heart-healthy" cooking options. Also a full bar here. www.marketbroiler.com

              No buckets at either place, but great seafood and shellfish at both!

              If mobility for your mom is an issue, I would recommend Market Broiler above The Crab Cooker by a mile, but still keep The Crab Cooker on your "must do" list.

              Bountiful Birthday Blessings & have a wonderful Celebration!!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: twnstar92708

                Hey TWNSTAR --- Crab Cooker has a second location in Tustin (off of the 55 fwy, 17th St exit)... just as fresh, just as tasty, much easier parking... and, I agree... the best manhattan chowder, not just in so cal. Also, I'm pretty sure their cole slaw recipe was swiped from heaven.

                I loooove their king crab and drawn butter.... (making that Homer Simpson drooling sound).


                1. re: twnstar92708

                  Hi twnstar92708!
                  Thanks for those recommendations and the birthday bleesings for my mom!
                  Both sound wonderful...will look into them...
                  Hope you have a wonderful day!

                2. I love the Crab Pot in Long Beach. They steam alaskan king crab, dungeness crab, and snow crab with mussels and clams in a spiced broth that's been used to cook the red potatoes, andouille sausage, and corn cobs that served with the seafood. I went this weekend with the hubby for a friend's birthday, and it was FAB! They also give a complimentary strawberry-rhubarb pound cake if it's a birthday celebration. By no means is this a clean dinner, but it is way tasty!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: attran99

                    Thanks attran99!
                    Crab Pot sounds yummy! Might have to check that out...I'm torn between Hungry Cat and Crab Pot.....

                  2. I tried Joes Crab Shack for the first this past weekend in Long Beach. Nothing special, sort of like a noisy TGI-Fridays. We tried the crab cakes, shrimp salad, fish & chips. Nobody tried the steam pots. I was hoping for oysters, but if isn't steamed or fried, this place isn't going to have it. I also made one new dining rule while I was there... never expect good food from a restaurant that has a gift shop.
                    It did have a nice view of the channel & docks, however.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hlehmann

                      Concur w/Joe's Crab Shack being like TGIFridays. I went once in San Diego, not likely to enter into another again since there are so many other, fresher, tastier options.