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Mar 30, 2012 04:27 PM

Live King Crab in the Bay Area?

So it sounds like King Crab season kicked off a few weeks back in Vancouver, with prices per pound dipping to $12 in markets and around $20 at restaurants.

I recall that in the Bay Area, we start seeing (Alaskan, not Russian) King Crab a little later than they do up in Vancouver. Have they started appearing here yet at the usual suspects (Koi, Zen, Asian Pearl, etc.) and at what price points are we talking about? (they're teasing about it but no price points given


It's probably going to be a little higher this year because the catch was slashed a bit but hopefully nothing north of $25 - $30 a pound...

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  1. I had lunch at Zen Peninsula yesterday. It has a poster up with a picture of a king crab and $25 in red. Don't know if that's per pound or what, but you could easily confirm with a phone call.

    1. i saw one or two in the tanks at mayflower on geary st earlier this week. don't know what the price was.

      1. The season is upon us again. Did you find any great preparations last year?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I didn't partake in it last year, but I'd like to give it a try this year when the time and price are right. I haven't seen any of them yet in the usual haunts in the South Bay.

          1. re: Jon914

            Last night at Cooking Papa Foster City I saw one in the tank, it pretty much occupied its own section, and I suspect it was being held for a pre-order (they normally don't stock this so I found it odd there was a mondo giant one). Didn't ask about the price. I think I saw one or two at Koi Palace on Saturday in the tanks towards the wall.

            1. re: K K

              Interesting. I was just at the FC Cooking Papa on Sunday and checked out the tank. I believe it's a pre-order, since their "secret" menu (now printed on 2 pages at the back of the regular menu) had King Crab as an option if I recall correctly.

              Koi regularly stocks King Crab, but if it's $50/lb and up, it's the Russian variety rather than the Alaskan ones.

              1. re: Jon914

                Dropped by Zen Peninsula for lunch, and they are now advertising $25/lb for Alaskan King Crab. Available preps are steamed garlic (legs), Steamed egg/custard (carapace), and the rest stewed with lo mein like thick noodles. I suspect that if someone wants it done 3 ways I'm curious if they add on a surcharge for the preps...

                It must have been at least 10 years ago since I last feasted on this beast, I think it was at Hunan Garden Palo Alto for a former coworker's farewell (when it was perfectly acceptable to expense the lunch, good times!).

                Cooking Papa (FC) basically has only dungeoness crab and lobster in stock, sometimes coral or sesame grouper. Other exotic sealife need to be pre-ordered for the special dishes like geoduck, "crystal" crab and King crab. The "dai pai dong" style lobster is pretty fabulous (stir fried with minced soft pork and chilis and other spices), but if you end up with a 3+ pounder the meat could get a wee bit more muscular and a tad too chewy. From the seafood menu, it looks like CP does steamed prep for the King crab (plain steamed or with garlic).

                I'd be open to hearing about other restaurants (not just Cantonese seafood) that carry this and what preps are available.