Crustacean Restaurant, the iconic Beverly Hills establishment, is opening its doors this Sunday for a special Easter Brunch (from 12-3pm) and Dinner! Enjoy the patio overlooking Beverly Hills, or indoors above the koi pond aquarium floor, and dine on decadent dishes including the Sunchoke Egg with Keluga caviar and yuzu creme fraiche; Dungeness Crab Omelet with Meyer lemon aioli; and Lobster Eggs on Bao “Benedict” with garlic lime hollandaise and triple crisp potatoes. Other festive dishes with unexpected twists include the Saigon Braised Lamb Shank with garlic rice and spring vegetables; and Jidori Truffle Chicken Potstickers with chili oil ponzu!
Crustacean is the second restaurant of its name from the illustrious House of An Family, who made their original venture into the restaurant business in San Francisco in the 70s, under matriarch Chef Helene ‘Mama’ An, and now has expanded to 5 restaurants and a catering service. Including Crustacean San Francisco, Anqi Orange County, Thahn Long San Francisco, and Tiato Santa Monica, House of An is known for intriguing and thrilling dishes and impeccable service.
So often we fall into the humdrum of life, we eat at our favorite restaurants, grab a latte at our coffee spot, hit up happy our at the little bar around the corner, and we remain comfortable, forgetting to try something new that’s surprising and exquisite. When I made dinner reservations to try out the newly renovated Crustacean Restaurant, I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a fine dining experience. I wondered, after an expensive renovation reported to have cost $10 Million dollars, would the new and improved Crustacean live up to it’s former glory?
Above the restaurant’s koi pond aquarium floor and over the course of dinner complete with 4 appetizers, 4 entrees and dessert, I was eager to find out. Beginning the night with a mocktail-turned-cocktail (I went for the Cucumber Cooler and added Belverdere), the restaurant’s famous ‘Tuna Cigars’ appeared. Inventive as they are appetizing, Executive Chef Tony Nguyen blends tuna, Feuille De Brick, Avocado Silk, Vidalia Onion, and Tobiko Caviar and places it in a specialized cigar box, which is then pumped with instant smoke. The appearance and overall presentation is not only #instagramworthy, but surprising and exciting to consume.
As regulars dined around me discussing production costs on their latest films, runway shows they’d soon be walking in, and celebrating birthdays, Crustacean offers something for everyone that steps through the door.
The Garlic Roasted Dungeness Crab with a side of An’s famous garlic noodles was exactly what is to be expected of a dish that’s a restaurant favorite, the details are unique, exuberant and delicious in a manner that accentuate the roots of the Chef’s themselves.
Delightful wine pairings accentuated the delicious meat and fish dishes, including the Heart of Palms Vegan Crab Cakes, the Chilean Sea Bass with a side of Cauliflower Fried Rice, and the Filet Mignon Wok Green Bean Dish. Exceptional and delectable, each dish was intentional and perfectly timed throughout the course of the meal.
Whereas many, including myself in some moments, can become intimidated by a fine dining experience in Beverly Hills, Crustacean caters to a large demographic and that’s inviting for locals and tourists alike. Over the course of a divine dinner and impeccable service from the waitstaff, it’s much more than fine dining, but rather creatively executed dishes, exciting flavor pairings and melt-in-your-mouth desserts (the nitrogen ice-cream made table-side to accompany the Molten Chocolate Cake is absolute perfection). Come for Happy Hour, stay for dinner and you’ll always be entertained!