Eatery - Dang! Crabs (CA)

  Dang! Crabs on Urbanspoon

13030 Harbor Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - Cajun, Seafood

After getting a Groupon deal, Duc and I decided that we'd hit up this place that was pretty close to my house. We got there about 6pm on a Friday night and were told our wait would be able 45 minutes. Though the line wasn't long in terms of people, it made sense that the wait time was so long considering that the restaurant only had a maximum occupancy of 49 (and people take forever to eat at one of these places - keep that in mind before you start complaining and then take an hour to eat yourself!). We were fine with it and decided to read some Yelp reviews as we waited. The reviews proved to be quite negative (for the most part) to our dismay but we also began to notice a pattern in the negative reviews; the people were going in expecting the restaurant to be some other type of establishment, constantly comparing it to Boiling Crab and that like, instead of taking it for what it is - a New Orleans inspired restaurant.

Where does this restaurant flaunt that type of style? It's a small place with a fairly small kitchen that just tries to provide good food. It didn't seem presumptuous in any way but rather a humble small restaurant. I found that going into a place with a good attitude makes a big difference. The wait staff was pretty friendly, and I saw the chef/owner going around to check how people were enjoying his food. Pretty neat stuff. Our waitress was quite cool too. The food came out in good time and nicely presented.

We got bread to start with some roasted garlic. I wish that the bread had come out warm and toasty but it was okay. The garlic was good. We also had some beer typical of NOLA area (Abita); the Purple Haze one was great.

The first thing to come out was our two pounds of shrimp boil with the "all of it" sauce at medium level. I'm usually a wimp when it comes to spiciness but this one was manageable. As a sauce itself, it was nice and subtly spicy but for a Cajun sauce, it didn't stand up to par with flavor. The shrimp definitely needed more time soaking in the sauce because most of the flavor was lost when I peeled it. However, I'm not hard to please and since the serving came in a bowl, I just happily dipped my shrimp into the sauce at the bottom and squeezed some lemon on it too. Andouille sausage was great as was the corn & potatoes.

We also got the Dungeness crab boil but when we got our plate of it, we both realized that we didn't know how to properly take a crab apart. You should figure that out before you decide to go crazy and get a whole crab. You could also ask the chef; I heard that he goes around and shows customers occasionally. Awesome. So the crab meat was very sweet. I thoroughly enjoyed it and after we both picked out all the meat we could (and brutishly tore apart the crab), we felt satisfied with the order. Great crab.

Per Yelp reviews, we also snagged a half dozen order of the charbroiled oysters. So delicious. They had a good smoky taste to them amidst the garlic and Parmesan. I loved the taste of the oysters and would definitely get some more again.

Though we thought that we were going to be done, we saw that the couple on the table near us were practically in ecstasy while eating the bread pudding so we flagged down our waitress for the dessert. It came out in its glory and was delicious. Sometimes when I have bread pudding, it isn't consistent throughout with some pieces of bread or crust distinguishable from the whole. This one was not like that at all - it was moist and smooth throughout. The white sauce on top and the walnuts added tremendously to the experience so we paid our compliments to the chef; apparently his wife is the one who bakes it every morning and brings it in. Very nice.

Also, a random cool note about this place: they don't waste paper on receipts! The billing is done via electronic tablet so you get emailed your receipt within a few minutes of signing/accepting. It was pretty awesome and a great way not to waste paper.