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Surprise Package at LA Crawfish

American, Cajun, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai all flow together in one jumble of LA Crawfish-brand cuisine.

I will personally eat crawfish in any manner in which they're served to me, although I prefer to leave the Cajun spice blend alone and instead order the garlic butter boil on everything: crawfish, shrimp, snow crabs, king crabs. I can't resist the little nubs of charred garlic that flavor every crevice of the crustaceans. And I've taken to dipping them — especially the sweet snow crab — into mayo with a generous sprinkling of Chinese five-spice powder on top. It's a bizarre yet craveable combination of sweet, tangy and garlicky that licks across your tongue like Black Cats.

Those same spices are put to excellent use in my second favorite dish at LA Crawfish: Chinese five-spice chicken wings. An idiosyncratic choice, to be sure, but I can't resist ordering a sixer every time I go. The standard five-spice blend mixes anise, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds and Sichuan numbing peppers that — on their own — will make your mouth feel as though it's been flooded with carbonated icewater. In the five-spice mix, however, the effect is somewhat muted.

I've never tasted any Sichuan peppers in the five-spice blend used in the chicken wings, however. Instead, I taste nutmeg and ginger. As such, the overall effect in the crispy batter is that of chicken and waffles, all in one glorious bite: sweet, buttery, meaty and full of warm spices that even come close to mimicking maple syrup. As with the crawfish pho, the five-spice chicken wings are a truly magnificent, triumphantly LA Crawfish creation.

Crawfish pho is the culmination of the way Vietnamese and Cajun cuisines have entangled themselves in Houston.
Troy Fields
Crawfish pho is the culmination of the way Vietnamese and Cajun cuisines have entangled themselves in Houston.

Location Info

Map

LA Crawfish

1005 Blalock
Houston, TX 77055

Category: Restaurant > Cajun

Region: Outer Loop - NW

Details

Hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Sundays.
Crawfish empanadas: $2.99
Chicken wings: $3.99
Cheese curds: $3.99
Crawfish pho: $6.99
Crawfish per pound: $6.99
Snow crab per pound: $12.99

READ MORE:
SLIDESHOW: Crawfish in Every Form at LA Crawfish
BLOG: How Much Pho Can You Eat in 30 Minutes?

More important, LA Crawfish and its dishes serve as a reminder that clever and ambitious cooking isn't found just in temples of haute cuisine here. In Houston, creative cuisine can be found high and low and often right around the corner. And sometimes even in the food court of a Chinese grocery store.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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14 comments
CarlosSW
CarlosSW

Not a bad dish.  Would have preferred that the garnishes come on the side rather than all in the bowl at once.  The one whole crawfish was a nice touch until I saw an employee eating the same dish (on her break).  Her order came with two whole crawfish that were the size of lobsters when compared to what I received.  

Brian Dahl
Brian Dahl

Planning to check it out next weekend!

LACrawfish
LACrawfish

One correction: Our Crawfish is currently $5.99 per pound. Thanks Katharine! See you around our little place again soon!

TaliaMirai
TaliaMirai

Methinks I know what I'll be having for lunch this Saturday. Thanks, HP, for the spotlight! I love Crawfish Season!

fmontes
fmontes

It's 8am and I'm reading this and my stomach is growling at me. Damnit

OldGoat7
OldGoat7

99 Ranch Market is a Korean grocery store and not Chinese.

chula0814
chula0814

I totally disagree, LA Crawfish's crawfish are the closest to New Orleans style crawfish in this city.  You must of gotten the mild.  I was raised in NoLa and the only thing missing for me are the ridiculous random foods that people put in a pot at a REAL crawfish boil (i.e. mushrooms, eggs, garlic, carrot, you get the point)

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

I have got to go try the Crawfish Pho!!!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@OldGoat7 I guess technically 99 Ranch is American, since it was founded in California. But it's a predominately Chinese and Taiwanese store. Even the website is in English and Mandarin Chinese: 99ranch.com

 
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