I am a lover of crawfish and understand that Hot and Juicy is the place to go. Will be in the area early August. When I went on a search I see that there are two Hot and Juicy's in LV. Which is better. Is there a better place for crayfish?I have a car so distance doesn't matter,
re: James Cristinian
Thanks for the heads up. Now I need to fill a slot that was going to be a crawfish feast. We are doing
Texas De Brazil
Lotus of Siam ( Actually got a reservation)
What else can you recommend. We have a car so distance isn't an issue(within reason). Doesn't have to be fancy-but has to be good quality food. No Italian please.
Just because crawfish is out of season doesn't mean you shouldn't try Boiling Crab or Hot N Juicy if you've never tried the Asian Cajun seafood places. It's an experience and a flavor you can't get elsewhere. I guess the copycat proliferation of these places during that craze was limited to a few cities (those with high density of Asians).
The mainstay of Boiling Crab and Hot N Juicy is really the shrimp. We're Asian. Crawfish has a poor weight:meat ratio. King crab actually has the best weight:meat ratio. The shells are surprisingly light, unless you get a claw.
For some reason, Las Vegas seems to love Hot and Juicy even though the original "Asians open a cajun seafood boil place", Boiling Crab from Southern California, has a location in town. I do mention this often because it seems like most people who come here think Hot N Juicy is doing something novel.
Those of us from Southern California tend to all prefer Boiling Crab. I don't know if it's because they were the original and we're used to their specific taste, but I have yet to meet someone not born-and-raised in Vegas who tried Hot N Juicy and preferred it over Boiling Crab. One caveat is that the few Vegas locals I know prefer Hot N Juicy (or they refuse to try Boiling Crab).
To me, Hot N Juicy is not very good. Their sauce a bit off-balanced and, as seen on Man vs Food, the owner puts the spices in AFTER the seafood is cooked. I'm not sure why he doesn't cook the seafood in the sauce. The result is that the seafood itself is bland, but the bite as a whole is flavorful (sort of like if you make pasta and stir sauce on right before serving...you get the taste of plain pasta covered in a flavored sauce).
Item for item, I find Boiling Crab's seafood to be better cooked. Their shrimp (which is the staple of all these sorts of places) is better cooked. Hot N Juicy's tends to be a bit mealy. I've been to Hot N Juicy twice. Both times, many shrimp heads came detached from the bodies and felt mealy, an indication that the shrimp has been sitting around. Other items like the amazing crawfish basket with cajun fries are also better at Boiling Crab.
I understand that Hot N Juicy made a name for itself in Vegas, but Boiling Crab is the originator of the "Asian people open a cajun seafood boil" craze that spread the nation years ago. Just get everything Whole Sha'bang Medium (shrimp and/or crawfish with corn and sausage) and you'll be eating as well as the Southern California residents. We only go to one of Boiling Crab's competitors if the wait at Boiling Crab is too long (often 2-3 hours).
Oh, whatever you do, don't order gumbo at either place. Guaranteed terrible. Stick to the boiled seafood, the fries, sweet potato fries, and the fried catfish basket, which I love more than any other fried catfish in Vegas.
Last tip: either place you go will give you little plastic cups with salt/pepper inside and then dump a bunch of lemons onto your table. The correct Asian way is to squeeze some lemon into the salt/pepper mix and dip your seafood into it with each bite.
And the fried catfish basket! The breading they use is a much finer cornmeal (maybe even half flour half cornmeal), allowing for a very thin layer of breading, which I find superior to the normal breading for fried catfish (like what Catfish Alley does). You get 4-5 very large pieces of tender fish per order. And it comes over a bed of Cajun fries, so you wouldn't have to order the side of fries.