Still evolving after 22 years in Beverly Hills, Helene An is paying homage to famed Asian American actress Anna May Wong with the reopening of Crustacean’s bar now christened The Anna May Bar.

Considered the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood, Wong was born to second-generation Taishanese Chinese-American parents on Flower Street near Chinatown in 1905 and grew up on Bunker Hill. She was discovered at Hollywood’s Ville de Paris department store by Metro Pictures and appeared in Alla Nazimova’s film The Red Lantern in 1919 at the age of 14. She went on to appear in a supporting role opposite Douglas Fairbanks in The Thief of Bagdad in 1924, and more than 60 films including silent pictures after that.  

Anna May Wong

Crab legs (Courtesy Crustacean Beverly Hills)

Tired of being both typecast and passed over for lead Asian character roles in favor of non-Asian actresses, Wong left Hollywood in 1928 for Europe. In 1930 she returned to Hollywood, and continued to struggle for leading roles until her death in Santa Monica at the age of 56 of a heart attack. In October, her visage was issued on the Anna May Wong quarter by the U.S. Mint, as part of its American Women Quarters Program that also includes trailblazers like Maya Angelou and Dr. Sally Ride.

The Crustacean Beverly Hills bar, which had been closed since the pandemic, has reopened as the Anna May Bar, features a new menu composed of Crustacean classics as small plates, including An’s famous garlic noodles and tuna cigars, as well as new tapas like portions of salmon sashimi, crab toast, crab legs and steamed vegan dumplings. There’s also filet mignon satay, spicy chicken meatballs and a Jenga-style plate of eggplant fries, an invention to help get more vegetables into her grandson. Both the bar and the dining room menus lean vegan-forward, with the beet tartare in a yuzu vinaigrette and avocado, a special delight.

Anna May Wong

Filet mignon satay (Courtesy Crustacean Beverly Hills)

The signature Anna May cocktail is a blush of Dos Hombres mezcal, Aperol, Peychaud’s bitters and champagne yuzu foam crowned with gold leaf. Another new cocktail that toasts the woman who increased positive representation and more multi-dimensional roles of the Asian community is the Midnight Caller, made of Song Cai Vietnamese gin, sake, Butterfly Tea and lavender bitters.

The upstairs Da Lat Rose space is still open for private parties with plans to reopen the dining room in the near future.

Anna May Wong

Helene An,left, and daughter Elizabeth (Michele Stueven)












































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