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Cajun House / Red Crawfish / Swamp / Rockin' Crawfish / Craw Station - What's the best?? [San Francisco]

OliverB Mar 15, 2013 06:10 PM

This past summer I was renting an apt. on Hayes and used to walk to the Richmond daily for asian food... one evening, I stopped outside of Cajun House and peered in through the windows. I waited around 40mins (walked through the neighborhood) but couldn't get seating for one without a table, so I added it to my "to try" list and haven't been back since. I'm really craving cajun style seafood tonight and had instantly thought of trying Cajun House, however I'm discovering a few more options closer to my new 'hood (Pac Heights/Nob Hill) and wonder which is the best. I'll go out of my way if there's something worthwhile... can anyone suggest the best of the above mentioned restaurants please?


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    OliverB RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 01:06 PM

    No thoughts on any of the above?

    Red Crawfish gets the best reviews across the board but are any of the others worthwhile? Someone just posted about Craw Station... which is the best in SF proper?

    1. s
      sugartoof RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 01:29 PM

      I don't have much to report, but Craw Station is frequently posting "Out of..." signs on the front door early in the day.

      It looks like they serve crabs and crawfish on white butcher paper, and you leave behind a pile of shells there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sugartoof
        Cynsa RE: sugartoof Jun 9, 2013 01:33 PM

        or, fill the red metal buckets on the tables with the shells and your server will empty as it fills...
        children at the table can also draw on the white butcher paper with the crayons provided

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        OliverB RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 01:39 PM

        Thanks, I've made dinner reservations at Red Crawfish for next Sat. night and will try out Craw Station next to compare. It doesn't sound like any of the others are favored highly 'round here as nobody seems to mention them, so I'll start with these two.

        2 Replies
        1. re: OliverB
          dimsumgirl RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 03:23 PM

          If you are able to plan to arrive early, you may not have to wait for a table as the place was pretty much empty when we arrived at 5:30.

          Don't miss the catfish-- really moist and tastes so fresh. I loved the gumbo too and the mussels were in this garlic butter that I could have drank from a soup bowl!

          Parking was a challenge but I'm told that there's a metered lot somewhere on 8th between Irving and Judah if you get desperate.

          1. re: dimsumgirl
            OliverB RE: dimsumgirl Jun 9, 2013 05:04 PM

            Thanks! It's the first restaurant we'll hit when we get back from NYC. Meanwhile, we've got reservations at Red Crawfish for the Saturday after next. It'll be interesting to compare.

        2. Robert Lauriston RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 06:19 PM

          I wasn't impressed enough by Red Crawfish to want to go back.

          More generally, I think serving shellfish in a plastic bag is gross. I'd be happy never to see that again.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            OliverB RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 9, 2013 06:27 PM

            Isn't that how they do it at all of these places?

            From what I've seen on Yelp, it sure looks like it... I just assumed it was a San Francisco thing.

            Do you just find it messy or unsanitary or what? I don't have any experience with it to know why it would be gross, unless you're just talking about the presentation.

            1. re: OliverB
              Robert Lauriston RE: OliverB Jun 9, 2013 06:43 PM

              I've read that Vietnamese immigrants to the Gulf Coast came up with the plastic bag business.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Cynsa RE: Robert Lauriston Jun 11, 2013 04:11 AM


                times have changed since this 2010 article:

                copycat recipe here:

                Isleton Crawdad Festival 2013
                June 15 - 16

          2. smatbrat RE: OliverB Jun 11, 2013 11:55 AM


            I think it depends what you are looking for.
            I like my crawfish done Cajun, and I do not feel that most of the "Asian crawfish " places do it right. They use siracha and some other not so yummy sauces. In addition I have found that the other items offered are awful.

            Reds: I think they are the closest to what I am looking for, however they serve it in a bag, and the bugs overcook on the way to the table.

            Crawstation is my second.

            However, Boxing room is really the only place I feel nails it. (call ahead, they dont always have them)

            so I think it depends on what kind of crawfish you are looking for. I look forward to your report back

            1. smatbrat RE: OliverB Jun 17, 2013 05:16 PM

              There is a Groupon:

              1. m
                MonsieurTrent RE: OliverB Jun 17, 2013 06:21 PM

                Although lots have given it the thumbs down, for Viet style I think Red Crawfish is unbeatable. My girlfriend and I actually froze the remaining sauce and used it on shrimp months later and it totally did the trick. If you like Cajun style however, no Viet style will work. :)

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