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killer shrimp

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  • ton casmo Feb 12, 2005 09:20 AM
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i've been reading alot about this place- what's it like? really wonderful?

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  1. This is one of those places you either love or hate. Warning, they serve one thing: shrimp. There are no alternative entrees, no appetizers, no salads, no sides to speak of, one dessert and a limited selection of beer and wine.

    SO everyone who goes MUST like shrimp.

    In addition, the shrimp is very hot/spicy. The way it works is that they make this quasi-caribeanish sort of brew and stick your shrimp in it to cook when you order it. I know people's tolerance for heat is highly idiosynchratic. Mine is about middling for a hound, which makes it perhaps a bit above average. But for the average human being it's too spicy. I find that the peel-it-yourself preparation is a tad less hot than the already-peeled before cooking preparation.

    SO everyone who goes MUST like hot food.

    After that the only coice is pasta, rice or bread -- what white starchy stuff do you want with your rice?

    I sort of like Killer Shrimp and could eat there once or twice a year. But I always have trouble finding someone to go with me.

    HTH!

    9 Replies
    1. re: Dorothy

      The Killer Shrimp in Studio City does serve a Ceasar salad, with or without cold shrimp on it. The Marina del Rey location doesn't have the salad.

      We go to Killer Shrimp about once a month. Worth a try if you like shrimp, but agree with previous poster, can be a bit spicy and since they just make huge vats of it, they can't really control that for you.

      oooh...got a craving right now....

      1. re: annalulu

        Love shrimp and love spicy, but once was enough for me. I was really disappointed. The shrimp are tiny and not the huge, high-quality succulent ones I was imagining. Borrrrring!

      2. re: Dorothy
        r
        rabo encendido

        Dorothy's comments are spot on.

        In addition to high spice levels, the food is actually quite buttery and heavy, so go hungry and bring Pepto.

        Killer Shrimp maybe twice a year for me, but I'm sort of a fan.

        1. re: Dorothy
          t
          Tha Groovin' Gourmet

          Count me as a fan. If you like shrimp and spicy food it is well worth a visit. You might get hooked like the rest of us!

          1. re: Dorothy

            I would add that if out of town guests are amenable to the spicy shrimp, it can be a fun and not horribly expensive place to take them for an LA experience. The waitstaff all dress in black and are moderately tattooed, etc, but are very friendly.

            1. re: Dorothy

              I do not believe all of the hype. My friend raved about it and I was very dissapointed. I think you can get more shrimp for 15.99 elsewhere and give yourself some better options. The house sauce (or broth) is an extremely unoriginal blend of pepper, garlic, and butter. BORING!

              1. re: Dorothy

                I am a fan. I love the spicy broth. I usually order it with the pasta on the side. And lotsa bread to sop up the tasty, spicy broth with. They will give you lemons, which according to them make it less spicy. However, I know that this is not a place to take my mom - or others who cannot tolerate any smidgen of spicyness - they would die. It is pricey for what you get - but where else do you get that broth?? I also believe that I saw them advertising shrimp cocktail at the one on Ventura Blvd.

                1. re: Dorothy

                  Just a warning, the food is delicious, BUT be aware, you're likely to be eating at least half a stick of butter even up to an entire stick per portion of killer shrimp. I found this out from a staff member a while back. I had deluded myself into thinking this was "healthy" food.

                  1. re: OC Mutt

                    The butter is what it tastes good, but the shrimp are marginal fwiw!!!

                2. Where have you been reading about it? Don't those sources tell what the shrimp is like or how wonderful it is?

                  Place is -- or at least used to be -- owned by Lee Michaels, the rock 'n' roll organ player/singer/songwriter.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: TE

                    Just a quick note, tonight, January 26th, is the last night of business for the Studio City location. I went for lunch and it was fantastic. I will miss it.
                    The Marina del Rey location will remain open.

                    And is this true about Lee Michaels???!!!

                    1. re: annalulu

                      Well, I went to Kung Pao Bistro in Studio City tonight, and had a great shrimp dish with some of the biggest shrimp you will get served in a restaurant these days, and they prepare them in about six or so different sauce preparations and of course combined with many different veggies. Always one of the best dishes on the menu, along with the scallops they do likewise very well, and the best part, it is only 2 or so blocks from the Killer Shrimp!

                      1. re: carter

                        thanks! I enjoy Kung Pao Bistro as well. I particularly like all the vegetarian options they offer since my dinner companions are often vegetarian.

                      2. re: annalulu

                        ARGGG!!! WHAT??!! I am supposed to meet friends there tomorrow night for dinner. Thank GOD you posted!! Shit, I was really looking forward to it... have not been in a couple of years. Now, where to go for dinner....

                        1. re: WildSwede

                          not exactly sure of their dinner hours, but the Gumbo Pot in the Farmer's Market has a similar shrimp dish that are pretty much a duplicate of KS, and even better, with plenty of bread to go with.

                          1. re: rancherostyl

                            Gumbo Pot is definitely on my list. Thanks!

                        2. re: annalulu

                          I just tried to go yesterday, and was devastated to find it closed. I love Killer shrimp, and while it is a bit pricy, it is delicious. I am glad I have a recipe that is very similiar that my mom gave me.

                          1. re: jonahlee

                            Are you referring to the Marina location or the Studio City one?

                            1. re: Servorg

                              The Studio City location has been closed for a while. The Marina location? Don't know...

                            2. re: jonahlee

                              Would you please post, hubby loves it. TIA

                              1. re: paprkutr

                                Since our "unclear" poster won't return to "clear" up the confusion I went ahead and called. The Marina KS is still in business. Open today from 11:30 AM to 11 PM.

                          2. re: TE

                            Killer shrimp is just ok. I live 5 minutes away, LOVE shrimp, but prob won't go back as it's a little pricey for just ok shrimp. God bless them for serving only shrimp, wish there were more like it, but the shrimp is nothing special.

                            For great shrimp go to Bossa Nova (multiple locations) and get the mexican white shrimp, or go to Uncle Moki's World's Greatest Shrimp on La Cienaga south of the 10 across from Target.

                            Great coconut shrimp - surprisingly, Outback Steakhouse

                            1. re: TE

                              Yes, I sold Lee and his wife Mary at the time a house in Venice back in 1980. I seem to recall at the time, when dining at the MdR location (post divorce and the only location at the time) he told me the restaurant was co-owned by his then girl friend with crazy hair and lots of piercings and himself.

                              Haven't been to KS in 13 yrs, so I have no idea of the ownership. I do remember that when I was still in high school seeing Lee in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, I think he opened for the Iron Butterfly...

                            2. For those who live east of Marina del Rey, you can find a similar dish to Killer Shrimp's in this tiny nondescript place called FantaSea Grill in South Pasadena, on the southeast corner of Fair Oaks and Mission. They call it Dynamite Stew -- very tasty!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chowchow12345678

                                I have had it and it is good. I actually talked them into giving me more broth if I happily gave up some of the shrimp. My friends just glared at me. I told them, you will never know if you don't ask!! However, it definitely does not beat Killer Shrimp. That dish is in a category of its own. I did find a copycat version of KS's recipe online last week. Have not tried it yet, tho.

                              2. My brother, sister-in-law and I went to the Studio City branch over 5 years ago. Despite the "spicy" reputation, all 3 of us felt that something was missing; we all thought it needed MORE spice.

                                I haven't been back.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Dogbite Williams

                                  I have been going to Killer Shrimp in Marina Del Rey for 20 years or so. I love the single ingredient restaurant idea, keeping over head down. I am a huge fan. I always order the "original" peel and eat with lots and lots of bread to soak up the broth so I go hungry and wear loose fitting pants. Never miss a chance to visit when I'm in LA.

                                2. it is no longer at the Ventura Blvd location.

                                  1. You either love Killer Shrimp or you don't. You go there for the Killer Shrimp experience and not because you are looking for fine dining, a bargain, some over-the-top plate-dripping gorge-fest. It's an acquired taste, but one you will never lose once you've acquired it. It's also apparently hard to replicate, as the owners' attempts to expand have all failed.

                                    Just as hard to replicate is the unique flavor that only KS has. There are dozens of (cloned) recipes on the web. Not one has any authenticity at all. The key is the richly yeasty undertone that makes me suspect the secret ingredient is Marmite.

                                    Don't take anyone to Killer Shrimp unless the person adores shrimp and has an open mind. They will be disappointed otherwise and so will you. If you do go, savor the shrimp (unpeeled traditional style) and the experience because who knows how much longer it will be around.

                                    For those who can't bestir themselves to escape the Orange Curtain: Jack Shrimp offers a decently tasty take on the traditional Cajun shrimp boil (PCH near Costa Mesa Freeway in Newport, and other locations).

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: marianc

                                      I wouldn't call the Studio City location a 'failure' as it was there for a good number of years.

                                      1. re: Josh90004

                                        I went to the Studio City KS for many years. I was told that it closed as their space was owned by CBS and they are consolidating their operations at the Studio City lot and took the building back. I am heading to the Marina tonight to get my KS fix...