Smorgasburg opened in LA just a few weeks ago, and we're already a little obsessed with the new Sunday market. The vendors are exciting, the food is incredible and, uh, there's two hours of free parking (score!). One of the best aspects of the market, though, is that it allows up-and-coming chefs and newly formed concepts to emerge, testing out dishes before possibly opening their first brick and mortar. This weekend, a new vendor is making an appearance—and they're bringing out a dish that LA definitely needs more of.
Introducing Summer Crab, a Singaporean chili crab concept from chefs Stephen Trujillo and Yuli Miller. Both have an impressive culinary background—Trujillo was with the Thomas Keller Group (Bouchon, French Laundry) for six years before working as the chef de cuisine at Tar & Roses; Miller is the co-founder and chef of Kaya Street Kitchen on Fairfax. Together, their love for Singaporean chili crab—a dish that primarily uses mud crabs served in a thick tomato and chili sauce—prompted the birth of Summer Crab, which will first offer crab sandwiches to the Smorgasburg crowd. Take the Trap Queen, for example: a soft shell deep-fried crab smothered in Singaporean chili crab sauce, held together by King's Hawaiian sweet buns and accompanied by a side of jingle bell peppers and cassava chips. Or the Cali King, another fried crab sandwich covered in spicy gribiche (a cold egg sauce) and crispy capers. To help quell the heat, customers can cool off with Singria, a Singaporean-inspired iced drink.
Singaporean chili crab in LA is an elusive dish—Starry Kitchen (in its former, underground location) was known for its coveted chili crab, and is even bringing it out of retirement this weekend during Friday night's Rose Garden dinner at LA Food Fest. But it doesn't pop up on menus as much as we'd hope, which is why Summer Crab's presence at Smorgasburg is a pretty exciting one. "We thought this was a great opportunity to share Singaporean chili crab," says Miller. "It's an amazingly complex, sweet and savory dish that we felt everyone needs to try." See you there?
What are some of your favorite vendors at Smorgasburg so far? Let us know in the comments below!