Known for incredibly cheap Cajun seafood served in an informal atmosphere -- so informal that slip-and-slide runners are rolled over the tables and the food is served almost entirely in plastic bags -- The Boiling Crab was opened by a Vietnamese family from southeast Texas and caters to a predominantly Chinese clientele in the San Gabriel Valley.
Don't let the informality fool you. As Jonathan Gold pointed out back in 2007, the food "is unprecedented in the complexity of its resonances: Southeast Asian seafood culture colliding head-on with Franco-Acadian cuisine, Tabasco running into the bird pepper, spicy Vietnamese-Chinese crabstyles bleeding into the swamp cooking of the American South."
That's why the wait at a typical Boiling Crab locale can often exceed an hour at dinner time on Friday and Saturday. We're expecting this one to be mobbed ASAP.
The Boiling Crab: in the Brown Derby Plaza, 3377 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 115, Los Angeles; (213) 389-2722; www.theboilingcrab.com.