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Let's talk boiling crab and its imitators

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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?

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          There is a good synopsis here:

          http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-...

          1. re: AAQjr

            thanks for the article! cleared things up

            1. re: blimpbinge

              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

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

                1. re: blimpbinge

                  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

              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

              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

                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

                  the chickens.

                  1. re: linus

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

        2. 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

            Any other places besides The Shack have ridgebacks?

          2. 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.