It was two years ago when the first Kickin' Crab opened in a Santa Ana storefront that previously saw two other concepts fail. I wondered then whether this Boiling Crab aspirant would buck the trend.
Cut to two years later and it seems that not only did that original location flourish, it multiplied. They opened two more locations in Westminster and just this week, an Irvine store debuted at Diamond Jamboree where Itriya Cafe used to be.
Here's what I said about the original:
Every entrepreneur wants to cash in on a craze. When it comes to Cajun-Vietnamese, it doesn't get any crazier than the Boiling Crab. It didn't invent the concept; it just made it popular–a two-hour-wait kind of popular. The formula for the food is simple, and thus easy to replicate. Take all manner of sea creatures, but particularly crawfish and shrimp, boil, then let marinate in a bag with melted butter, garlic and Cajun spices. When customers come in to eat this messy feast, tie a plastic lobster bib around their necks and ply them with beer. So far, among the many recent Boiling Crab imitators, only one has come close. The Kickin' Crab is a clone that talks and walks so much like the Boiling Crab it's close to infringement. If there is one difference, it's the one that matters: There is no wait.