A popular local restaurant soft opens a new location today; Crab Hut, which has established itself as a leader among the San Diego-based eateries serving Louisiana-inspired seafood, from crab, crawfish and shrimp boils to jambalaya, launches a third outpost in the Mira Mesa mall.
Owners Kim Phan, Ky Phan and Quan Le, who run bustling Crab Hut locations in Kearny Mesa and Downtown San Diego, hired Ocio Design to help implement their vision for the 5,000-square-foot space, which includes the eatery's signature nautical touches — including a handpainted octopus mural and a custom-built boat suspended over the bar — but incorporates them into a modern, updated style.
25-seat bar holds 20 craft beer taps and along one side, an oyster bar which will offer at least eight varieties of daily-delivered shellfish along with different toppings, from mignonettes to granita. This iteration of Crab Hut features the same menu as the downtown location, but will also include additional raw bar items, from fish and scallop ceviche to live clams and sea urchins, that will be introduced as the restaurant edges towards its March 19 grand opening.
Another upgrade is a new cocktail program from consulting bartender David Tye, who created the current craft cocktail menu at The Lion's Share. His drink list for Crab Hut ranges from classic New Orleans' Hurricane and Sazerac to the tiki-inspired King of the Waves (aged rum, black rum, pineapple, lime, vanilla) to exotic River Gambler (gin, lime, Thai basil, cardamom bitters).
Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Crab Hut offers daily specials, from Wing Wednesdays to BYOB Thursdays, and a weekday happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m. that features $3 beer and food specials, including $1 oysters.
The owners tell Eater that they plan to open at least two more Crab Huts locally and may branch out with new concepts. Next on tap is a modern revamp for its existing restaurant downtown and the original Convoy Street location, which is approaching its 10th anniversary.