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The Oceanaire - great or overrated & Vietnamese style Crab places

Dapuma Oct 22, 2011 06:38 AM

Hello AZ Ch'er needing some help for San Diego

I will be in SD around mid December and will be looking for some great seafood

Reading the forums it seems Oceanaire seems to be regarded with some distain, is there a reason for this? From what i have heard it is really good, but didnt want to throw down the cash if it is all hype

Also where around SD has the best Vietnamese style crab / crawfish place where we can get buckets of the stuff? Am I better off looking for this in LA?

San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

  1. c
    Cathy Oct 22, 2011 08:00 AM

    Crab Hut is the best for Vietnamese crab/crawfish. http://www.crabhutsd.com/

    Crab Hut
    4646 Convoy St # 106A, San Diego, CA

    6 Replies
    1. re: Cathy
      DiningDiva Oct 22, 2011 08:42 AM

      No Oceanaire is not awful at all. We tend to be a rather critical group on this board, sometimes moreso than necessary. One of the reasons for the disdain was the former executive chef who was extremely good at self-promotion, while admitting that he wasn't the best or most creative chef at the same time.

      Yes, Oceanaire is expensive, but for the most part the food lives up to the price. Stick with the more simply prepared dishes than the more elaborate concoctions.

      San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

      1. re: Fake Name
        DiningDiva Oct 22, 2011 04:42 PM

        Moi? Tasteless? You must have me confused with someone from Berlin

        1. re: DiningDiva
          cgfan Oct 22, 2011 10:30 AM

          ...and their crab cakes! They're incredible; I like to have them with nothing but a pinch of salt...

          1. re: cgfan
            Dapuma Oct 22, 2011 10:49 AM

            ok thanks for confirming that the place is good

            seemed like no one liked the guy from Top Chef on the forum - he was kind of cheesy in the show (Brian was it?)

            Now i have a prefered option and a cheaper seafood option as well

            thanks a bunch

            1. re: Dapuma
              daantaat Oct 23, 2011 08:13 PM

              yeah, Brian Malarkey gets a lot of flack on the board, but don't let it completely dissuade you from going. as DD said, we tend to be a hypercritical group of locals around here...

              1. re: Dapuma
                royaljester Oct 23, 2011 10:02 PM

                It's funny, I've never seen Malarky on Top Chef or even heard of him until Chowhound. Tried out his new place Burlap twice and loved their phramen, liked their ribeye bahn mi. It's "not perfect but worth trying", and by chowhound standards that means it's awful. ;-)

        2. c
          cstr Oct 22, 2011 09:30 AM

          If you've heard good things about Oceanaire, go with the info you have and your sense of judgement. If you want some alternatives, try a Mex Marisco's place for some of the best marinated and grilled seafood around.

          1. foodiechick Oct 22, 2011 11:14 AM

            I would like to offer an alternative to Oceanaire (although I think their food is very good) - Eddie V's in La Jolla. Beautiful, new restaurant with stunning ocean/cliffs views. They offer a wide variety of seafood appetizers and entrees, as well as perfectly cooked prime steaks. We have enjoyed oysters, jumbo crab meat with remoulade, wild salmon crudo, firecracker shrimp, lobster tacos and Baja swordfish. Last night we tried the grouper and the lemon sole, both were excellent, some of the best preparation in San Diego. Portions are generous and the service is very professional. I will even venture to say that their crab cake rivals Oceanaire's. Live jazz every night in the upstairs bar to enjoy with a nightcap and dessert (the bananas foster cake is decadent). Prices are slightly less than Oceanaire's, and the view is priceless.


            1 Reply
            1. re: foodiechick
              Dapuma Oct 22, 2011 11:45 AM

              We have an Eddie V's in Phoenix / Scottsdale area already, although thank you for the alternative

            2. scottca075 Oct 22, 2011 12:18 PM

              There are probably better Vietnamese crab places in Orange County (in Garden Grove and Westminster like The Boiling Crab) or Los Angeles (like Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant), but the Los Angeles ones will be in the San Gabriel Valley, a good distance from the main tourist areas of Los Angeles.

              Oceanaire is good, I like Roy's better.

              San DIego, CA, San DIego, CA

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