Love Shack: Angry Crab Shack in Mesa Delivers Seafood by the Pound

Categories: Cafe Review

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Jackie Mercandetti
One pound of crawfish from Angry Crab Shack in Mesa.
Originality is dead. It is a universal truth that we have come to accept, whether it be with regard to Hollywood's inability to produce anything but sequels and remakes, fashion's predictable cycle of "what's old is new again" or restaurateurs who seem to latch on to a popular idea and perpetuate it ad naseum. We could have solved a litany of societal woes if any one of them garnered as many resources as does trying to discover the next Chipotle or a new twist on sushi.

But almost without exception, the old adage hold true: The imitator is rarely as good as the original.

And that brings us to a curious exception in the realm of restaurant game theory, a case where he who copies is far better than who he copied.

See also: An Homage to the Classic Caesar Salad

Make no mistake about it: Angry Crab Shack is a blatant rip-off of Hot N Juicy Crawfish, a Cajun seafood concept founded in Las Vegas by a Vietnamese entrepreneur that has started its regional expansion and recently opened an outpost on Tempe's Mill Avenue. Hot N Juicy gained national notoriety when Food Network buffoon Guy Fieri anointed it, although, by then, the idea had already caught on. I was excited when I heard that Hot N Juicy was coming to town; it was always one of my first stops in Las Vegas. But my experience in Tempe was missing a certain je ne sais quoi; it was good, but not as good as the original. It was too clinical compared to Las Vegas, lacking the edginess, grit, loud music and service staff consisting most of off-duty strippers biding their time before the night shift started.

So it's ironic to find that missing grit in Mesa, an otherwise safe-haven of conservative values under the tight grip of the Mormon establishment. But given the quantity of cold beer and Hurricane cocktails being served in plastic cups on a crowded Friday night, no one in those parts seems to care much about the church-imposed moral code. Angry Crab Shack serves up culinary hedonism in a hokey Neptune-themed space where the walls are covered with faux fishing nets, schlocky nautical themes, and graffiti from the diners. It's loud, messy and decidedly unexpected. It's also fantastic, a better facsimile of the concept that it copied.

Location Info

Angry Crab Shack

2740 S. Alma School Rd., Mesa, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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44 comments
Kim Berard
Kim Berard

Just went there for first time a couple of nights ago it was Great!

James Holmes
James Holmes

We went this weekend and we loved it. FYI, don't wear white.

Kellie Ann Shill
Kellie Ann Shill

I've been there twice this week. Super decent food and great atmosphere!

Zoe Sevilla
Zoe Sevilla

Everyone who hasn't tried it, needs to! Seafood in Arizona IS delicious when it's flown in fresh and is live. Great atmosphere, great tasting food, and great people; both staff and guests that come in :) it's worth the drive to the east valley but another will be open in Arcadia soon! Check it out you won't be disappointed.

Alexis Blake
Alexis Blake

This all thanks to the BEST Daniel Sevilla \U0001f60a still so proud of you!

Jason Meyer
Jason Meyer

I live right down the street. Never knew about it till now. I'm sure I'll be there tomorrow.

Carlos Hernandez
Carlos Hernandez

I will await your word, I think they are making one near my place downtown

Rick Glass
Rick Glass

Carlos Hernandez its been on my radar since I heard about it last weekend

Carlos Hernandez
Carlos Hernandez

Rick Glass, please check this place out and let me know if it's good bro!

gharvxxi
gharvxxi

I'd check it out, even make the drive to Mesa to do so.

Laurie Martin
Laurie Martin

We ate there yesterday and it is delicious! Very good service and great atmosphere! Go it's a fun and tasty treat!

Katie Nicole
Katie Nicole

Trevor Knauf... This is the place that went in the "impossible to stay open" location on Alma School. Sounds like it's good, so hopefully it can beat the odds! We'll have to try!

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