Going through a long wait to be seated at a restaurant is agonising, especially when your stomach is rumbling and the weather is cold.

I was almost tempted to pop into a nearby barbecue joint after hearing that it would take an hour – but E insisted that we should try LA’s famous Boiling Crab in Koreatown.

So, wait we did.

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The Boiling Crab is a famous restaurant specializing in seafood done Cajun-style. It was a weekday evening and we had not anticipated such a crowd. We were lucky as some people left the line and we were moved forward, popping in after a mere 40 minutes.

Back in Malaysia, I wouldn’t have waited that long for any restaurant, no matter how good it is. But hey. It’s LA!

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Service is prompt and friendly for such a busy establishment. The decorations are sea-themed, with wooden paneling done to resemble a fisherman’s shack or dock. There was a giant shark mounted on the wall, and scribbles all over from previous patrons.

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You can choose to go with crab (their specialty), lobster, crawfish, shrimp and a variety of seafood. We went with shrimp because the crabs were too expensive.

The waitress expertly laid out a large piece of paper to act as our tablecloth, and loaded it with lemon wedges. It’s a genius idea. No worries about tablecloth stains and cleaning up the mess. And trust me, it got messy real fast.

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For appetisers, we had fried calamari, which came with a tangy tomato/chilli dip. This was awesome – fresh, springy squid with a crispy batter and seasoned just right. By far one of the best calamari dishes I have tasted.

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Then came the mains. We each got a pound of shrimp with a sauce of our choice. There are three types to choose from: lemon, cajun and garlic. If you can’t make up your mind, then go for the whole she-bang (mix of three).

The seafood is served in messy, sauce-splattered bags. It looks gross, but once you chomp into the big, meaty shrimps, you’ll forget all decency and just lick sauce off your greasy hands. You’ll have sauce running down your arms and face and not give a fk.

To avoid ruined shirts and a trip to the laundromat, they provide plastic bibs to tuck down the front of your clothes.

Now, dig in!

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I had the garlic sauce. It was a little salty, but otherwise the shrimp was large and well-seasoned. (I can’t be the only one who loves sucking out roe from the shrimp head!) The garlic sauce was addictive. It would be great to go with rice, but I was worried that I would be too full, so.

No such thing as forks and knives. Get dirty!

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Overall, I was satisfied with the dining experience and the fast & friendly service, even though the wait is long. I’ve read reviews of people waiting 2.5 hours on holidays and weekends. But I think what keeps people coming back is simple – good food, and good service. A must visit if you’re in LA.

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I forgot to mention that they also have takeout. There’s a small lot next to the main restaurant where people can place their orders. I would recommend dining at the restaurant at least once though. For the experience. 🙂

Boiling Crab @ Koreatown
3377 Wilshire Blvd #115, Los Angeles, CA 90010, United States

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We wandered around downtown for a bit.

Since arriving in LA, it was the first time I had visited the city centre. The demographic is diverse, and there are many tall, modern-looking buildings as compared to LA’s grungy suburbs.

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Waiting for the bus ride to our hostel while enjoying sunset on Wilshire Boulevard.

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A girl rushed past us and dropped what we thought was paper at first – but turned out to be two dollars.

E wanted to go after her but she was already disappearing around the corner: that was how much of a hurry she was in.

So E, holding his drink precariously, decided to pick it up and keep the 2 bucks (free money, right?) but guess what? His drink slipped out and went flying all over the sidewalk. I laughed til I cried at this instant karma.

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