Food & Drink

5 soft-shell crab dishes to eat this weekend, before they're gone

Danny Jensen Published On 05/15/2014 Published On 05/15/2014

Los Angeles There are the good crabs, and there are the BAD crabs. And then there are the fried, amazing, delicious soft-shell crabs, which don't require seeing a doctor OR using a cracker, making them maybe the best crabs of all. Here're five of the fried/amazing/delicious kind to down this weekend.

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Nest at WP24: The high-end (and up-high!) Wolfgang Puck Chinese spot's got a seasonal soft-shell, which's served with spicy Singapore noodles and one of the best views of the city. Continue Reading

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Napa Valley Grille: This Westwood date night/parents-are-visting favorite has an executive chef who was born in Maryland and raised in Louisiana, which means the badass-Bayou flavor he brings to his lightly fried soft-shells is super legit, thanks to house-made remoulade, Spanish olives, and heirloom tomatoes.

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jar: You might not guess that one of LA’s best steakhouses would also be your go-to for soft-shell goodness, but Chef Suzanne Tracht delivers plenty of surf with her turf, with pan-sautéed soft-shells that're done up with a roasted corn & Fava bean succotash and curry butter.

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Hungry Cat: The Hungry Cat is rotating its soft-shellies with delicious-sounding possibilities, like bacon-wrappers with cornbread, squash, cherry tomatoes, and romesco sauce, or maybe crusty crustaceans with ramp pasta, maitake ‘shrooms, and pancetta.

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Son of a Gun: No surprise here that the Animal dudes take on soft-shells: they're tempura-frying the little guys, then serving 'em with pork belly, cinnamon vinaigrette, and cucumbers. So, amazing.

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1. WP24 LA Live, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (Downtown)

Wolfgang Puck's 24th-floor fine dining room at the Ritz-Carlton is an ode to Asian cuisine, featuring fusion appetizers, sushi, dumplings, and wok-fried large plates. If the sophisticated mostly-Chinese eats and 400-plus wine selection doesn't impress you much, the panoramic view of Los Angeles surely will.

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2. Jar Restaurant 8225 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Top Chef Masters contestant Suzanne Tracht is the woman behind this Mid-Wilshire nouveau steakhouse. Jar is known for its beautiful cuts (including a 36oz porterhouse for two and a Wagyu NY prime) and modern comfort food, like the signature pot roast. The upscale dining room is classic mid-century LA with wood paneled walls and white tablecloths. If you didn't know, now you do: Jar has a special rotating bar menu filled with small bites like tacos and sliders.

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3. Hungry Cat 1555 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

This slick, beachy seafoodery serves up raw bites like oysters, along with cooked fishes, burgers, and artfully mixed 'tails. Whether for lunch, brunch, or dinner, The Hungry Cat has been the go-to for inventive, LA-style seafood dishes for over a decade. Do it up by starting with a 1-, 2-, or 3-tier seafood platter, and pair your meal with one of the market-fresh cocktails that complement basically everything on the menu.

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4. Son Of A Gun 8730 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

The menu at this nautical Melrose spot from chef superstars Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal and Jon & Vinny's) is seafood heaven with a fried chicken sandwich thrown in to remind you just how great turf can be, too. It's a hulking masterpiece with a spicy bread & butter pickle slaw and Sriracha aioli. If you're in the mood for surf, go for the trout or the octopus salad.

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5. Napa Valley Grille 1100 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood)

Located in Westwood Village, NVG boasts a creative menu featuring items made with seasonal ingredients, and they also offer a variety of regional wines.

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