The Crustacean: Restaurant Review
Can we just avoid writing any words and let you eat with your eyes for a moment? As you can tell from all the pictures below, the food here is beautiful and a considerable amount of extra time is spent on presentation, which we appreciate, because it’s a testament to their high standards. The elephant in the room is that The Crustacean, owned and operated by the House of An from Vietnam, is a little on the expensive side, impossible to get a reservation, and requires you to dress up like you’re heading to a wedding, right? Wrong and none of these are necessarily true.
While you can’t walk in off the streets on a Friday night wearing sandals and a fitted cap, expecting to be seated quickly and fill your stomach with a $10 bill, The Crustacean is a lot more than a “fancy restaurant” in the heart of Beverly Hills. Its atmosphere can be magical with the elaborate indoor setup that makes you feel like you’re in the Vietnamese equivalent of a castle grand dining hall. As the host walks you through the entry into the two-level main room, passing over bridges made from beautiful wood, it’s impossible to ignore the glass-covered river underneath the floor filled with large koi. You’ve been successfully transported into a different part of the world and then you eat.
As we sat there eating $40-70 entrees with the highest quality proteins, our attention was always brought back to the side dishes including various vegetables and their signature garlic noodles. The food here is rich in flavor and the dishes are well-balanced. The quality of their ingredients is top-tier and their preparation is spot on, having cooked our wagyu to the perfect rare/medium rare, as requested. The sear on the ahi tuna was flawlessly executed and all of the salads were perfectly dressed. The wine selection is vast and while there were bottles that were as expensive as a small automobile, there is always a more affordable option here.
While the dishes from the Secret Kitchen aren’t in everyone’s budget, you can enjoy a delicious meal and experience here for far less than $50 a person. The desserts are priced the same as any other restaurant in LA and you have to give the highest praise to their pastry team for providing you with a sweet treat at the end of the meal that can stand up to the bold flavors and diverse textures of your previous courses. The plating on the desserts is second to none and it is the perfect way to end a delicious meal.
While you might not feel inclined to try their garlic noodles, we must tell you to order at least one serving per person at your table. It’s a mistake you won’t make twice and a favor you’ll be doing yourself. No matter what your selection is, and the servers will take all the time in the world to guide you to the right choice, you will be pleased. Allow yourself the time and freedom to enjoy what can be a nearly magical dining experience. And please, share this with someone, don’t go alone. Stay hungry and fit!