HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Let's talk boiling crab and its imitators

Butter Fight Oct 3, 2013 01:05 PM

Boiling crab is pretty popular and with popularity, a whole bunch of knock offs have appeared.

I was wondering if anyone could help to distinguish between these places in terms of offerings, sauces, quality, and/or price?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. blimpbinge RE: Butter Fight Oct 3, 2013 01:30 PM

    question: was boiling crab the first in socal?

    I remember going to a place called cajun corner in OC before there was boiling crab on valley.. memory is faint though..

    12 Replies
    1. re: blimpbinge
      ns1 RE: blimpbinge Oct 3, 2013 01:54 PM

      I remember in the 90's they used to have vans (think ford econolines) that drove around little saigon and sold crawfish by the pound.

      crawfish food trucks were way before their time.

      1. re: ns1
        linus RE: ns1 Oct 3, 2013 02:37 PM

        for us ignoramuses, is there a crawfish-like thing they eat in vietnam that made them so popular here in the u.s.?

        1. re: linus
          AAQjr RE: linus Oct 3, 2013 02:42 PM

          There is a good synopsis here:


          1. re: AAQjr
            blimpbinge RE: AAQjr Oct 3, 2013 03:17 PM

            thanks for the article! cleared things up

            1. re: blimpbinge
              Mr Taster RE: blimpbinge Oct 3, 2013 09:26 PM

              I'm happy to muddy the waters a bit.

              The first time I saw this type of restaurant was 2006 in Shanghai, where the particular crayfish place we went to was absurdly popular with locals. I had no indication that this type of restaurant had links to Vietnamese diaspora in the Gulf, as the trend was very firmly established in Shanghai at that time.

              It wasn't until I returned to LA several months later that I began to see the proliferation of these kinds of Chinese crab/crayfish boil places in the SGV that I started to realize that this was an international phenomenon.

              This article really makes me wonder if this trend came from VN diaspora as the article states, or if it came from China and somehow migrated back and forth.

              There's more to dig into here.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                blimpbinge RE: Mr Taster Oct 3, 2013 10:47 PM

                I need to go to china soon, haven't been back there in years!

                1. re: blimpbinge
                  Mr Taster RE: blimpbinge Oct 3, 2013 11:00 PM

                  I'm in Taiwan right now and will be here for the month. I'll keep an eye out to see if and how the trend has taken hold here. I'd be surprised if it hasn't, but I'm staying in my wife's little village of Daya, which is not exactly a bellwether for anything :-)

                  Mr Taster

            2. re: AAQjr
              linus RE: AAQjr Oct 3, 2013 05:27 PM

              thanks for that link, although i find the story a little disappointingly random.

              i wonder if it has anything to do with the substantial vietnamese community in the gulf states.

            3. re: linus
              hannahenenbach RE: linus Oct 4, 2013 10:29 PM

              Vietnam loves shellfish, full stop. Crab, lobster, mussels, snails, clams, etc. I'm sure if there are crawfish around, they're going to grill 'em up with the rest of it.

              That said, Cafe Artist is a great out-of-the-way Viet place in Little Saigon for crawfish a la Boiling Crab.

              1. re: hannahenenbach
                TonyC RE: hannahenenbach Oct 4, 2013 10:55 PM

                Same could be said for Thais, Chinese, Singaporeans, Japanese, <insert some country from Asia here>. It's a bit like saying Southerners love fried chicken.

                Who doesn't like fried chicken?

                1. re: TonyC
                  linus RE: TonyC Oct 5, 2013 05:18 AM

                  the chickens.

                  1. re: linus
                    Servorg RE: linus Oct 5, 2013 06:56 AM

                    On the other hand the cows are good with the idea https://www.google.com/search?q=eat+m...

        2. x
          Xan7hos RE: Butter Fight Oct 3, 2013 11:57 PM

          There's two reasons for me that would tempt me away from a BC, it's usually A) Less of a wait time or B) Live Ridgeback /rock shrimp (or any other non-traditional BC offerings)

          Ridgebacks can be a b**ch to peel as their name implies and you're more likely to cut or maim yourself, but the meat is so goshdarn sweet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Xan7hos
            Butter Fight RE: Xan7hos Oct 4, 2013 07:06 AM

            Any other places besides The Shack have ridgebacks?

          2. k
            Kalivs RE: Butter Fight Oct 5, 2013 02:07 PM

            There is a Kickin Kasian restaurant on Plummer at Reseda in the SFV. I haven't been there yet, but it seems similar. They seems to have both Asian and Creole spices.

            As far as I can remember, there is a relatively large community of Vietnamese involved in the shrimping and fishing industry in the gulf states. So, while many Asians may love seafood, these Vietnamese would have better access to cheaper seafood.

            Show Hidden Posts