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Nov 29, 2010 08:18 AM

Best crab dishes/best value in San Francisco and the East Bay?

To accompany the great thread on market prices for crab:
Last night was my first of the season restaurant crab, the roasted crab dish at Thanh Long on Judah, but the $37.50 a/q for a single crustacean is hard to swallow, even with all of that melted butter to help it go down. Other favorite restaurant crab dishes not to be missed? I'm particularly interested in a black bean/garlic preparation that doesn't overwhelm the delicate crab flavor.

Thanh Long
4101 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

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    1. re: DavidT

      Many thanks! Another reason to follow the Chowhound crab threads more carefully.

      1. re: dordogne

        If I might steal your thread for a moment, I have been following both those threads mentioned above. Except for the mention of two restaurants in San Francisco with specific crab prices noted (Woodhouse $10 for a whole crab and Buena Vista $15 for a half crab), I believe that all of the other restaurants listed with specific crab prices are outside of San Francisco proper (Berkeley, Oakland, etc). The recommendations re other restaurants in San Francisco with good crab preparations do not indicate prices. For instance, R&G was noted in one of those threads, but no price was mentioned. When you look at the R&G website, it just indicates that crab dishes are at market price. I will be a visitor to your city in December, and I was hoping that there might be restaurants in San Francisco proper serving crab that is under $30 or so for a whole crab for dinner. (I'm not a lunch eater.) Is that feasible? Would it be better for me to start a new thread on this issue? Should I add my question to one of those other threads mentioned?

        1. re: RCF

          RCF, I think you're in the right place. Let's hope we can get some specific prices in response to the "good value" part of my original post/request. The East Bay prices are helpful to me, but you're right, not many prices for the SF places listed in the threads. $10 at Woodhouse looks like an amazing bargain.

          1. re: dordogne

            Except that it's $9 for a half crab at Woodhouse, and $18 for a whole. (Which is what I posted in the other thread).

            1. re: Windy

              Whoops, Windy and Dordogne- I'm sorry. That was just a typo on my part. I meant to say $9 for a half crab at Woodhouse, but due to some last minute editing on my part, I ended up including the wrong information without realizing it. And sorry to you dordogne, didn't mean to get you so excited about the amazing bargain at Woodhouse, although $18 for a whole crab still sounds like a great bargain. But the rest of my post still stands. Does anyone have specific price information for crab dishes in San Francisco (for me) and for the East Bay (for dordogne)? Thanks.

    2. Vietnam 2 has a sign in the window advertising whole crab for $18:

      Vietnam 2 Seafood Restaurant
      701 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109-7116
      (415) 885-1274 () ‎

      1. PPQ Dungeness Island has a set menu that includes crab, starting at $52.95 for 2 people.

        They are located near Clement and 25th Avenue in the outer Richmond district.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pamf

          The PPQ set menu is 1 crab, shaking beef, garlic (?) noodle and dessert. It's really enough for 3 people...or you can order an extra crab and it's enough for 4. It's a lot of food.

          1. re: ML8000

            As a many-time veteran of PPQ, the "crab for two" menu includes a first course of imperial rolls and cabbage chicken salad, followed by one crab (there is a choice of several preparations, but I strongly prefer the garlic butter, followed by the peppercorn, though I have only ordered the peppercorn as a second crab, as I would be disappointed to go and not have the garlic/crab butter at the bottom of the garlic butter crab's platter), garlic noodles, followed by a dessert of ice cream and fried bananas. Their pricing scheme has always seemed odd to me, as the crab for two dinner is always ~$50, regardless of the season, while individual crabs are always listed as "market price" and the times we've gotten an individual crab separately it didn't seem like a great value. Though I can't recall the exact price, I'd guess it is similar to Thanh Long's $38.

            Thanh Long
            4101 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

            1. re:

              We paid $37.95 for a whole crab at PPQ last Thursday. Spot on,

              1. re:

                Forgot about the imperial rolls and chicken salad...that's really a pile of food. Way too much for just two.

          2. Whole salt & pepper crab at R&G Lounge is $38.

            1. I saw a sign at Little Hong Kong in El Cerrito offering crab fir $14.99 yesterday. I haven't eaten there.

              The salted egg yolk whole crab at SF's Hakka is epic. Not sure of the cost, might change daily, but probably less than $30.

              The mapo tofu crab at China Village is also stupendous. Call for current prices.

              China Village
              1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

              Little Hong Kong Restaurant
              10443 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530

              Hakka Restaurant
              4401 Cabrillo St, San Francisco, CA 94121

              3 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                LHK does pretty solid Cantonese food.

                Saigon Seafood Harbor has a banner that says $12.99 (or $13.99) cold crab special also

                Saigon Seafood Harbor Restaurant
                3150 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Second on the ma po tofu crab. The first two times I had the dish, it was especially delicious because of a preponderance of rich crab roe. I've since read that it's illegal to fish for female Dungeness crabs, so I wonder if those times were just a fluke, or if that's something that I could request at the restaurant.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    The very idea of mapo tofu crab thrills. Per phone call to China Village, the dish is $27.95 for a whole crab.