On the second floor space in a strip mall where the Brown Derby used to stand, this branch of a Cajun-Vietnamese chain greets diners with a red and white-striped lighthouse, wall-climbing “alligator,” faux great white shark head and dining room lined with cans of beers past. But the kitsch is all part of the experience. Step 1: What’s Your Catch? Select from blue crab, oysters, Dungeness crab, crawfish or shrimp, all sold by the pound. Step 2: What’s Your Flavor? The whole sha-bang is presented in a plastic bag “to preserve the flavors” of Ragin Cajun, lemon pepper or garlic sauce. Step 3: How Spicy Can You Go? Opt for Non-Spicy (plain n’ simple), Mild (just a kick), Med (It’s getting’ HOT in here!) or XXX (I can’t feel my mouth!). For newbies, start with crab, particularly if Dungeness ($16 per pound) is available. Helpful staffers provide a big shell cracker, a blue seafood spear and big plastic bib. Crack, eat and repeat.
When it comes to social dining, Korean cuisine is an obvious crowd-pleaser. Sitting around a table for a GIY (grill it yourself) dinner is an experience as much as it is a meal. With so many great, group-friendly hangouts from beer bars and karaoke bars to after-hours clubs and late-night dives, Koreatown is the place to be. Gather friends and up your culinary game at these nine K-town restaurants perfect for group dining.
RECOMMENDED: See more in our Koreatown guide