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The Happiest Season of All

With local Dungeness still at their peak, a crowd-pleasing crab-abundant sequel is open in the Sunset.

Dungeoness crabs at Golden Crab House prior to being roasted.

 

There are a few certainties in this life—beyond, yes, death and taxes—but for Bay Area seafood lovers, there’s also each winter’s effort to eat as many fresh Dungeness crabs as possible before the local season peters out in the spring. Thankfully, Golden Crab House, a crabcentric Vietnamese spot from the folks behind PPQ Dungeness Island, arrived just in time. The Sunset district restaurant opened in November, only weeks before crab season kicked off, with a menu anchored by one of the West Coast’s most singular delicacies: whole Dungeness crabs ($48.95) roasted, in Vietnamese-French fusion style, in an unconscionable amount of butter and garlic.

This is crab with a pedigree. PPQ Dungeness Island wasn’t the first restaurant to make a name for itself selling garlic noodles and Vietnamese-style crabs in San Francisco (that distinction goes to Outer Sunset stalwart Thanh Long), but it might be the most popular. Like its sister restaurant, Golden Crab House offers other preparations as well—say, crab slathered in curry or deep-fried with an orange-tinted batter that’s infused with salted egg yolk. But there’s no beating that roasted crab. The smell alone, heady with all that garlic and butter, will get you weak in the knees, and the garlic-butter sauce, mixed with a healthy dose of umami-rich crab innards, is the ideal counterpart to the sweet, succulent meat and a big bowl of white rice. Golden Crab House, 1830 Irving St. (near 19th Avenue), 415.702.6685

 

Originally published in the January issue of San Francisco 

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