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Food & Drink

BEST PLACE TO SUCK A SHRIMP HEAD Los Angeles 2009 

Boiling Crab

What's not to love about a nautical-themed Cajun seafood peel-it-yourself Vietnamese-owned restaurant in the heart of Little Saigon? The clientele at the Boiling Crab is mostly Asian, as are the servers, who bring you copious quantities of crawfish, shrimp, blue crab and catfish that you order by the pound. The food comes out steaming-hot in plastic bags, spiced with lemon pepper, garlic butter and a savory, red Cajun sauce. No fuss, plenty of muss. The hip-hop music blares as the shrimp heads and mudbug carcasses pile high on the table (no tablecloth, just waxed butcher paper) and you work your way through a roll of paper towels (also provided). You can get fries on the side, or corn on the cob, or raw oysters, or steamed rice to tame the heat. At the Garden Grove location, the sign on the front door that reads "No outside rice allowed" was recently changed to the more democratic "No outside food allowed." This is just slightly more genteel than the Boiling Crab's totally spot-on official slogans: "You gonna suck what?" and "The best tail in town."

—Gendy Alimurung

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