Watch CBS News

What You're Eating - Best Soft-Shell Crab Dishes

610 restaurant food L.P. Soft Shell Crabs - E.P. & L.P.
(Credit: E.P. & L.P.)

The soft-shell crab-eating season is upon us. As the temperatures rise, those little crabs are harvested before their new exoskeleton can harden, producing an almost entirely edible delicacy that you don't have to crack open. If the odds are in our favor, the supply will last through the latter part of the summer months. Here are a few places you can get your softie fix, but be sure to get them before they're gone.

The District by Hannah An_Soft Shell Crab Benedict_ Credit Elise Freimuth
(credit Elise Freimuth)

The District by Hannah An
8722 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 278-2345

Turn up the volume on your usual Benedict with this fried soft-shell crab and lemongrass hollandaise sauce on a bao bun, along with chunky potatoes and Fresno chili coulis. The District by Hannah An serves this twist on a classic for brunch every Sunday, along with a number of Vietnamese-inspired breakfast dishes.

Cornmeal Soft Shell - The Hungry Cat
(Credit: The Hungry Cat)

The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462-2155

The Hungry Cat has served soft-shell crab dishes for the last few years, and this summer, they're serving it two ways. At the Hollywood location, you can have blue cornmeal-crusted soft-shell with fingerling potatoes, braised kale, roasted summer squash, haricots verts and a spicy Creole sauce. And, for all of you Westsiders, Santa Monica's The Hungry Cat will be serving their soft-shells in tempura batter with black rice, cashews, pickled ramps and Singapore chili sauce.

Little Sister Soft Shell Crab Banh Mi - Little Sister
(Credit: Little Sister)

Little Sister
1131 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-2096

When Little Sister opened nearly two years ago in Manhattan Beach, its Singapore Chili Soft-Shell Crab Bánh Mì was a massive hit. The sandwich is back with a vengeance thanks to public demand, and it's served with spiced tomato relish and pickled garlic. Make sure to stop by this eatery today and order yours before it disappears again.

Honey Walnut Soft shell - Animal
(Credit: Animal)

435 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Animal's Honey Walnut Soft-Shell Crab has been on the menu for a few weeks, and it continues to be a popular request from customers. The restaurant's glazed, tempura-fried crustacean sits on a pool of black sriracha sauce, and it's covered with thinly sliced scallions. This dish is right in line with Animal's typical creative spin on ingredients.

Soft-shell Crab Po Boy 5 - Fishing with Dynamite
(Credit: Fishing with Dynamite)

Fishing with Dynamite
1148 Manhattan Avenue
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 893-6299

Manhattan Beach's Fishing with Dynamite knows it's seafood. Serving up a Po' Boy with soft-shell crab and cajun remoulade stuffed into a soft, warm bun, you'll savor each bite. The po' boy, which is only available for lunch, also comes complete with crispy Weiser chips on the side. If you happen to be at Fishing with Dynamite for dinner, the restaurant is currently working on a standout dish to serve the evening crowd.

L.P. Soft Shell Crab Bun - E.P. & L.P.
(Credit: E.P. & L.P.)

E.P. & L.P.
603 North La Cienega Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 855-9955

E.P. & L.P., this city's new restaurant and rooftop lounge, recently opened its doors, and the summer is starting off just right with a Soft-Shell Crab Bun. Fried crab is served with cilantro, pickled carrots and daikon and a spicy mayonnaise. This dish will only be available at L.P. Rooftop Bar, the upstairs lounge. Enjoy the view of L.A. while you nosh.

Lace Battered Soft Shell - Ledlow
(Credit: Ledlow)

400 South Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-7015

Ledlow's Lace-Battered Soft-Shell Crab comes with spicy rucola greens and nectarines, as well as a pimento dipping sauce. The dish offers several summer elements all in one, but of course the soft-shell crab is the star.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine and Frugivore Magazine. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere.
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.