The Location: Beverly Hills
The Vibes: Upscale
When-to-Go: Highlights of the week include a weekday 4-7p.m. happy hour, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday dinner
With-Whom-to-Go: Dates, friends, alone…
The $ Factor: Worth every $100 bill you’ll shell out
The 4-1-1: Hidden in the restaurant’s kitchen is yet another kitchen: the AN Family’s Secret Kitchen (pictured above left). It’s here where widely popular dishes like the “AN’s Famous Garlic Noodles” are created. Rumor has it, only the three generation of AN family members and a few hand-picked individuals are allowed in.
I’ll Be Back…: For those Famous Garlic Noodles!
If you’re in Hollywood, go see the Hollywood sign. If you’re in Santa Monica, go to the beach. But if you’re in Beverly Hills? Forget Rodeo Dr.
Go to Crustacean Beverly Hills.
Mostly everyone knows about Crustacean. It’s been seen on reality shows, as one of the premier dining destinations for LA’s socialites. And on any given evening in real life, it’s constantly overflowing with Hollywood powerhouses, the rich and famous… and people like me who love really good (sea)food.
The cuisine is coined Euro-Asian, and it seems like the appetizers – i.e., the Crispy Rice Paper Rolls, the Satays, etc. – have more of an Asian flair to them, while the main entrees – i.e., the Herb Roasted Halibut and the Grilled Rack of Lamb – are more on the traditionally continental side. And of course, there’s a fusion of the two to create completely novel dishes, such as the Hawaiian Ahi Tuna sashimi.
I highly recommend starting off with the Sampler Appetizer (pictured below), which comes with pairs of Coconut Shrimp, Grilled Steak Skewers, Dumplings and Shrimp-filled Wontons. It’s a great way to get a taste of Crustacean’s varied appetizers and it’s also perfect for sharing.
The AN’s Famous Garlic Noodles are a must. They’re one of Crustacean’s most popular dishes and after one bite, you’ll see why. But definitely don’t eat them all on the spot; take some home. Let those bad boys continue to marinate in their flavors in your fridge, heat them up the next day and then eat the rest. I’m telling you – they taste even better than the day before. I don’t know how it’s possible, but it is.
Another absolute to order is the Drunken Crab from the Secret Kitchen (pictured below). You haven’t had crab until you’ve had Crustacean’s crab. It’s seething with buttery flavors and so much meat. Plus it’s easy to enjoy, as you can request to have it shelled and waiters will even do the honors of tying a bib around your neck so that you won’t dirty your super fly outfit.
Yet as amazing as the food is, the ambiance is just as spectacular. It’s subtly refined, with an airy and gorgeous feel to it. I appreciate that there are great views no matter where you sit…at the bar by the entrance and the fish-filled stream embedded into the ground…on the patio watching the bustling activity on Little Santa Monica Blvd…in the main dining room underneath the colorful lanterns and fans…or upstairs on the balcony, watching all of the action below.
In a city where more restaurants close in a year than Nicki Minaj changes her hair color in a week, the fact that Crustacean has confidently claimed the corner of Little Santa Monica Blvd. and Bedford Dr. for the past 15 years, says a lot about the stellar service, décor and fantastic food it has to offer. May it stay another 15 more years with us, because really, I can’t get enough of those noodles and crab.
See you there soon!