Boiling Crab was a pioneer. In the years since it opened, its success has inspired a dozen or more competing businesses, including Claws, also in Garden Grove. A pirate-themed restaurant owned by a Vietnamese family and decorated with life-size swashbuckler mannequins, Claws serves a sauce-smothered style of crayfish as well as nontraditional dishes like periwinkle snails simmered in coconut-basil sauce.
Mr. Pham, of Atlanta, is not a fan of margarine- or butter-slicked crayfish.
I want my flavor to be in the crawfish meat,” he said, sounding like a third-generation Cajun purist. “Not on the shell. You’re not supposed to get the flavor when you lick your fingers.”